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Do Fitness Games like Wii Fit really work?



Do Fitness Games like Wii Fit really work? I've heard a lot of positive and negative reviews about them and I am curious as to whether its worth trying."

- Jake G.


Hello Jake!

Fitness games are a big trend right now both in the fitness industry and in the video game industry, so there is going to be a lot of confusing reviews / testimonials out there aimed at selling Wii Fit and video game workouts.
There are some benefits to using such gaming equipment to improve your fitness levels, especially if you try the yoga and lower body strength exercises, but some of the exercises use very little motion and thus barely count as an exercise.

Some games like Dance Dance Revolution will get you sweating, and games like Just Dance 2 (JD2) are fun and fast paced, and some people swear by Wii Tennis as a good cardio exercise, but overall such games are pretty hit and miss.
Wii Archery for example has no exercise component at all, whereas real archery is more like weightlifting because it uses resistance training, balance and you need stamina to hold the bow steady.

For beginners, you will definitely get a good workout if you really get into the more active exercises available on such game consoles. For intermediates and advanced exercise enthusiasts, playing for 30 minutes a week could be a great supplement to an already existing exercise regimen. 
Such games have been proven to keep seniors more active and many homes for the elderly have invested in such game consoles. Don't expect to "lose 100 lbs playing Wii Fit" like some of the reviews you will find online. To get that kind of results you would need to be playing it 10 to 15 hours per week for a year and be doing the really active exercises.
Thus if you're lazy about your approach to these games and you play the games which require less movement, then you won't really see much benefit. So it really does depend on how often you play it and which exercises you choose to do.

Another fitness trend you will be seeing more of is the iPhone and iPad is fitness applications, podcast workouts and health/diet organizers. Examples include: Fitness Pro, Lose It, Fitness Builder, iTreadmill and GYM Goal ABC. Downloading podcasts with full workouts or informational seminars is free and easy. Plus you can also pick out any number of fitness/diet journals, calorie counters, grocery list creators and recipe apps.

Normally advancements in technology would make us lazy. Devices that do the exact opposite is proving to be unexpectedly cool.

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