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Losing Weight with Exercise Games

Updated on September 10, 2011
Video games on the Nintendo Wii can help you reach your weight loss goals.
Video games on the Nintendo Wii can help you reach your weight loss goals. | Source

Do you hate to exercise, but wish you could lose weight? According to the American Council on Exercise, the Nintendo Wii might be a wise investment.

Dropping Pounds by Playing Video Games

If you need to drop a few pounds and get in shape, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) has some great news. Instead of forcing yourself to spend hours on the treadmill at the gym, you can reach your fitness and weight loss goals by playing video games.

Although video games were once considered passive entertainment much like watching television, the introduction of the Nintendo Wii has revolutionized the industry. This innovative console uses a wireless handheld with acceleration sensors and an infrared camera built into the console to encourage players to become physically involved in their gaming experience.

When you purchase a Nintendo Wii, your system comes with Wii Sports , a game that includes activities such as baseball, bowling, boxing, golf, and tennis. There are numerous other games available for purchase, but many people find that Wii Sports provides months of entertainment all on its own. The game is especially popular among families with young children.

According to the ACE study, people who play Wii Sports are found to have increased heart rate, maximum oxygen intake, and perceived exertion – signs that they are working towards improving their overall fitness level just as if they were following a traditional exercise program. The study was conducting using men and women between the ages of 20 and 29, but the results are assumed to be applicable to all age groups.

Boxing is the most beneficial form of exercise on the Wii. Calorie burn for Wii Sports activities is as follows:

  • Boxing – 216 calories in 30 minutes
  • Tennis – 159 calories in 30 minutes
  • Baseball – 135 calories in 30 minutes
  • Bowling – 117 calories in 30 minutes
  • Golf – 93 calories in 30 minutes

While the amount of calories burned playing the Nintendo Wii is still less than what you'd expect actually playing a particular sport in real life, the ACE study reports that the benefits of the Wii still make it a wise investment. For the avid gamer who doesn't enjoy traditional forms of exercise, Wii Sports is a fun way to add more physical activity to the day and may provide the motivation needed to stick to a regular workout routine.

To learn more about the fitness benefits associated with the Nintendo Wii, you can download a PDF copy of the ACE study results.

Popular Nintendo Wii Exercise Games to Consider

Part of planning an effective exercise routine is knowing how to keep yourself from getting bored. If your workout becomes tedious, repetitive, or just too easy, you're likely to find excuses to keep from exercising on a regular basis.

Here are a few other exercise games you might want to add to your collection as your budget permits:

  • Wii Fit Plus: Wii Fit Plus has simple games featuring yoga, step areobics, strength training, running, and more. The game begins with a minimum of exercises, but new activites are unlocked as you spend more time playing.
  • EA Sports Active or EA Sports Active 2 : While Wii Fit Plus is a great start for anyone interested in Wii fitness routines, these games take getting in shape to the next level with exercises divided into separate categories such as lower body, upper body, and cardio.
  • Gold's Gym Cardio Boxing : This game is a wonderful way to release your pent up frustrations while burning lots of calories.
  • Just Dance and Just Dance 2 : These phenomenally popular dance games feature an assortment of popular tunes and moves that are relatively easy to follow along with. Even if you’re not a perfect dancer, you’ll burn a ton of calories while having fun.


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