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Do you believe in a Wii workout?


Posted by Kristen D.

I just read online that a study found that people who play Wii for 12 hours a week-the average time a "gamer" would play a system, apparently-they burned 1,800 calories. Sounds like a great workout, but if you can only usually burn about 300 calories through a moderate speed, one-hour treadmill walk, I find the study's numbers kind of surprising. I'll admit, playing Wii Sports, I worked up a sweat-but just a minor one at that. And even then, throwing the excitement of the experience in the mix may have had my heart rate up too. What do you all think about the "wii workout"?
 
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Seems dubious to me.... There's something about this that just seems kinda suspect. I guess I find it difficult to believe that playing a Wii for 12 hours a week is enough to make you burn that many calories, when I know people who actually work up a sweat and burn even fewer. Were there other factors that contributed to their calorie-burning? I'm sure there was probably a huge difference between people who lived sedentary lifestyles and those who were more active, for instance. Was there a reliable control group? I just feel that if it was that easy to burn calories, everyone would be playing video games rather than eating their veggies and doing their cardio.
A Wii Workout Station. On MSNBC.com, I found a story about a health club in Vancouver that offers a "Wii Workout Station" that gym users can incorporate into their circuit training. I guess the owner of the place decided to introduce it at the gym after seeing children enjoying it and working up a sweat. The article said he estimated that one session of Wii tennis, bowling or boxing equates to go for a brisk walk and can burn 75 to 125 calories.
And one more thing..... I've heard that Nintendo is developing a game called "Wii Fit" to be released in 2008. Apparently it will include a variety of fitness activities, including yoga (yay!). I'm interested to see just how they do that. When I buy it, I'll try and do a review.
DDR . A brother of a good friend of mine lost 100 lbs in a year by playing Dance Dance Revolution.
100 pounds? Wow!. I've never played Dance Dance Revolution-I played a similar game, the name of which escapes me right now. To hear that someone lost that much weight with a video game is great. I think that although the Wii and video games that encourage you to get up and move shouldn't necessarily replace a mainstream workout, it definitely is uplifting to know that game makers are introducing more and more of this great type of entertainment.
If it works I guess go for it. I suppose if this is the only way that we can get some children and adults to get up and exercise, then it must be a good thing. I know my nephew is one of these kids who hates leaving the couch, but he loves wii.... so at least he is moving while he mindlessly plays his video game.
I haven't done the Wii workout yet but I sure do enjoy getting off the couch and being active. My shoulder is sore from bowling last night. LOL

1800 calories in 12 hours isn't as much as it sounds like. That is about 150 calories per hour.

I've always read that a good rule of thumb for running or walking a mile is 100 calories for the average person (very small/light people will likely burn fewer calories, and larger people should burn more). Using that metric, even a relatively slow walking speed of 2 miles per hour would burn 200 calories per hour. At a brisk 4 mile per hour walking speed, it's about 400 calories per hour.

Also, I didn't look up the actual study that Kristen D. mentioned, but I do notice that she says "people" not "children" -- "people" probably means "adults," and adults, being larger, would likely burn more calories moving their bodies around than a small child would.

Fitness is more than simple "calorie burn", but ANY workout/training implement will only be as good as its ability to maintain your interest (read: if its fun, you'll likely come back for more!)

And while there will be limitations in how you can make the "Wii workout" progressive in order to provide any continuing physiolgical benefits beyond the initial adaptation response, I suppose I could look at it as a "gateway" to *real* exercise.

-JS-

I just wanted to note, that since I have the Japanese Wii, I was able to purchase WiiFit. It's great. You pick a virtual personal trainer that coaches you with yoga exercises, as well as fitness exercises such as push ups. In addition to that theres also exercise games that allow you to jog in place for about 20 minutes, hoola hoop, and do stretch arobics. It's a great software to make exercising less of a chore, and you can do it in the privacy of your own home. It also keeps track of your BMI, and gives you goals to beat to keep up your motivation. I've already lost about 4 lbs since getting this game for christmas. I highly recommend it.
Oh wow! You have Wii Fitness already?! I've been so anxious to get my hands on it. I'm determined to have it the day it comes out (pre-order, here I come!). I was unsure of how they planned to work yoga and other exercises into a game using a Wii-mote, and I still am. Do you hold the wii-mote in the process? If so, does it become an issue when in certain yoga positions or doing pushups? I'd love to hear more about it. And congrats on losing 4 pounds! That's great!

Thanks. Since it kept track of my weight I feel guiltier when my weight went up. If you gained too much in a short period of time, the sofware makes you select the reason for the weight gain. In my case, I went drinking the night before, and so I got a little lecture from the wii, that drinking alcohol increases hunger, thus you gain weight. And you get a red dot on your chart that won't go away.

as for the use of the wii remote, there's very little use for it besides navigating through WiiFit. For most, if not all of the exercises, you can just put the remote aside. The Wii Remote doubles as a pedometer during the jogging exercises, and you will also need it for the arm flab reducing boxing training (very different from the WiiSport Version).

I just wanted to mention that this isn't really a game, so it's not something you would want to pop into the Wii during a friend/family get together. I hate exercising, and so I find it kind of boring. My mom uses it everyday, but I probably only use it 3 times a week for about 30-40 minutes, and it still works.

I can't wait to get WiiFit! I was just doing a search online though, and the "word on the street" is that it won't be released in the U.S. until May. I'm hoping that the growing interest in it that's evident on the message boards I've read will maybe persuade Nintendo to move the release date forward, but who knows.

Alice, thanks for the insight into WiiFit. One more question-I read something about a "balance board" or something of that nature that comes with it. Can you tell me more about that?

I think the "wii workout" is a sad state of affairs. I was in a major department store the other day and saw an exercise bike for a toddler. It came with a dvd that looked like a nice bike ride outdoors and I stopped with my Mom to recall "the good ol' days" when people actually took their children outside for a bike ride. Don't get me wrong; I am not a mother and can only acknowledge the busy stresses that they are faced with today. The idea of at least having your children getting some exercise while you can supervise them and make a healthy meal is appealing. I wonder if the Wii system is encouraging a healthy lifestyle as much as it is encouraging the sales of their system and other less active video games. As a whole, our society is getting lazier, lead by consumerism and smart marketing. I have seen some interesting articles on the Wii system and hand eye coordination, including as training for surgeons, and am not putting the system down per say, but it is leading our youth down the wrong path in my opinion.
Kristy, I can see what your saying. But at the same time, if Wii has succeeded in any way shape or form in getting at least some people who are, for the most part, sedentary up and moving by playing games like Wii Sports, it's something. I'm hopeful that maybe it's even peaked their interest in sports like tennis, boxing, golf, bowling, and baseball. (Am I missing any?) If that's the case, it could be a step in the right direction for some children and adults.
Don't know about the Wii workout, but Xbox has an exercise training program (maybe called for myself?) that gives you a digital personal trainer and you set goals. Has strength training;; aerobics and yoga. I've even gotten my teenage boys to do it!
I look forward to the future of gaming, or Wii gaming as it were. If it can help get those "gamers" off their butts & make them active, just imagine the possiblities,,,, gaming outside,,,in the fresh air???

Heh, you just got me thinking- more people playing Tennis on their Wii's means more open courts for me! I need at least two because of my current lack of skill, I am bound to hit someone near me. Also, Kristen, you are right in that it may at least encourage the most sedentary up and that would be a good thing- but lets put as much energy into marketing local sports and rec leagues, and huge free community "picnics" where people are all getting together to throw around a ball or a frisbee- lets dream big. I don't see it doing as much good as damage. My cousins who would go play street hockey in their crescnet, now invites the same kids over to battle it out on the wii. Maybe that will subside when it isn't the newest- coolest- gotta have gadget. But, I have to admit; I have been known to throw in an exercise video versus venture into the great outdoors or call a few friends to go for a hike. I do see the conundrum.

Believe me Kristy, I'm all about getting outside rather than playing a video game inside-even if video game gets you to get off the couch. Truth be told, I haven't picked up my Wii "racquet" (or bowling ball or bat for that matter, hehe) for quite a while. I am excited about the release of Wii Fit, although again, I'm not sure how long it will keep my attention. Right now, I'm looking forward much more to weather thats warm enough for me to go kayaking....my favorite upper body workout.
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