Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gaming for Exercise

We have had a Wii gaming system in the house for about two years now. I am not a gamer, but my kids are. They have on occasion prevailed on me to play Wii games with them. But that has been fairly rare.

For Christmas my Mom gave our family a second Wii system. This has already reduced tension, since different children can play on different systems simultaneously.

This second system has been set up in the room where I work out and where the family exercise equipment is kept. I have a pretty serious daily workout regimen. The other day when I went to do my cardio workout, my kids got me to play the boxing feature on the Wii Sports program instead.

Holy cow. My eight-year-old consistently beat my tail. The game had me huffing and puffing pretty hard. Three of my kids kept trading off so that I could get a good, long cardio workout. (I jogged in place between bouts.) Although I regularly do strength training that includes working the back, my back muscles have been quite sore from the boxing workout.

From years of regular exercise, I have discovered that I can usually work some of the soreness out of my muscles by repeating three to four days later the same exercise that caused the soreness. So, yesterday I again did the Wii boxing. This time I only competed against the machine (which is still quite challenging for a non-gamer like me). It was still a very intense and strenuous workout. And thankfully, my back muscles are much less sore now.

If you have a Wii system and you want a serious full-body cardio workout, try the boxing feature on the Wii Sports disc (that is included with many Wii systems). You’ll end up panting and sweating. It’s also kind of fun (even if it’s a bit violent).


Alice said...

I've been doing the hula hoop exercises on wii fit, and have been surprised at how sore it makes me.

I don't think wii exercises should replace all others, but it's fun.

Unknown said...

Yes!!! One of the many reasons that - also as a non-gamer - I love our Wii!!! Aren't they wonderful? Now we're just trying to find a game that a 2 1/2 year-old can play... :-)

Scott Hinrichs said...

I don't know about any Wii games that would be good for toddlers. Our 8-year-old is getting pretty proficient at a number of games, but he had many frustrating episodes when he was six and seven trying to play Wii games. Our 6-year-old can do some of the Wii sports and a handful of Wii games, but not with much proficiency. She got a Disney Princesses game for Christmas that seems to work for her.

I'm glad to hear about Wii fit. My wife thinks that she would like to try that out.