Wii: The Big Surprise!

Nintendo’s come back game console begins with a Mii of you. I had so much fun doing this first step. Especially when a little nephew of mine insisted on his Mii to look like Jesus! No pun intended.

console.jpg For some time I was one of those quite weary of video games as I associated it with sedentary life big time. My sitting in front of the computer or my books is enough sitting for the day. Not until the birth of the new Nintendo Wii.

The basic package comes with the popular sports games: Lawn Tennis, Baseball, Bowling, Boxing, and Golf. No old joysticks or game pads this time but an ergonomic remote on one hand and a dangly thing aptly called a nanchuck on the other. And this time, at least with these sports games, you should definitely not be sitting. Wii has sensors designed to actually detect actual movements a player does just like a real game!

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Though unlike Mickey DeLorezo, I haven’t really measured or taken note of exact weight losses playing it. Nor did I have time to take some serious vitals before of after the games. But I knew my heart was definitely pounding like hell after boxing and tennis. Not so much alike that after a treadmill time but it felt more like after a 30 minute brisk walk. Personally, I think this is a good other way to do daily aerobic workout. And like him, I was definitely sweating!

Here are his personal results after 6 weeks of doing Wii for 30 minutes each day:

Weight 181lbs (82kg) to 172lbs (78kg)
Body Mass Index (BMI) from 25.2 to 24.0
with a two per cent body-fat loss over that period,

 

and without altering any of his diet.

Not bad at all for a video game. With this at home, one may miss the gym or a nice walk at the park outside under the bright sunshine but who cares, the end result is favorable to us.

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On occasions, it can also be a potent ice breaker and a legal upper for parties. It definitely is very attractive to all ages. When the virtual bowling alley is occupied by kids aged 6 years to 77 years old including a recovering breast cancer patient all out to score, that is just awesome!

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Other potential health benefits:

Time Magazine says…

“Not only have some gamers started turning the Wii and other similar active gaming consoles into a new form of exercise, but medical researchers are touting their health potential for more than just weight loss. A research team at the University of Toronto is developing a “therapeutic video game” to treat children who suffer from hemiplegic cerebral palsy, a condition that can partially paralyze one side of the body. If the children regularly use their weaker side, their motor function can improve. The problem is getting the children to do so outside of therapy sessions. Active video games might do the trick, thought William Li, an undergraduate engineering student at the University of Toronto who is conducting research at the university’s Bloorview Kids Rehab teaching hospital.”

Even a breast cancer patient was encouraged with the game according to the same article. Much like what I saw myself.

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But weight loss is still probably the biggest

health benefit the Wii will have for users.”

Here are other folks I found who seem to be also raving about it…

Make Sure Nobody or No Objects Are Near You As Accidents Can Happen!

International Sports Sciences Association Gives The Thumbs Up

40% More Calories Burnt With Wii

Great Scott!

As always, it is best to see and talk to a physician first before undertaking any fitness regimen, especially for those with preexisting conditions. As of yet, I haven’t found any relevant evidence based on actual clinical studies besides those quoted above.

As for me, I think this is a truly beneficial home game machine. Which comes with a big bundled surprise, a possible better health as an outcome. When you’re a little lazy, the affirmative motivating sounds on the controllers shall take care of that and you’ll be pounding, hitting, and moving in no time.

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~ by Karina Descartin on 16 May 2007.

8 Responses to “Wii: The Big Surprise!”

  1. Just understand that playing the Wii alone like Mickey did probably won’t result in much weight loss. Changing your diet is just as important as exercise when you embark on an effort to lose weight. If you do the math of the calories burned you’ll notice that Mickey clearly ate less or fudged some numbers. I lost over 16 pounds playing the Wii for 30 days, but I used wrist weights to up the resistance and intensity and I changed my diet from about 2800 calories a day to right around 2000 calories per day.

  2. Thanks, Tom! I agree with your points, especially the balance of diet and the physical activity for an effective and healthy way to weight loss. I specifically talked light about the exercise effects of the video game in here. Obviously, further studies and other givens like diet, stress factors, daily activity, familial predispositions, psychological (general outlook in life, etc.) all play a part in a person’s fitness endeavor. I am of the opinion that our entire being (mind, body, and soul) in balance does much to influence our overall fitness and in effect our general body habitus.
    My main point here was to share my renewed interest in video games just because I am interested (or am still marvelling!) at its mechanics as another available avenue for all of us to consider in our aim to maintain or even better our health while having fun at the same time.
    How much do your wrist weights weigh? My husband and I kept theorizing about using those but we have not gotten around to it yet. Added resistance is helpful especially for women (in maintaining bone health). It’s nice to know that you have done just that.
    All the best to you and thanks for reading.

  3. The Wii addresses three of the most difficult aspects of a regular exercise regimen — keeping it interesting (the games are varied, and competition helps even more), overcoming inertia to do it (it’s as easy as rolling off the couch) and most importantly, keeping it fun (yes it is!).

  4. but isn’t nintendo’s graphics somewhat, ahem, way behind than sony and xbox? ive seen the wii and they say the control is pretty heavy. i like playing ps2 and xbox and i havent had friends here who bought the nintendo. hmm…im not even sure if wii’s already available here.

  5. G: Till our next game! ;-P
    N: I’m not sure about how the graphics compares with that of PS2 and XboX in general. Though I admit I was quite disappointed with the graphics and overall game in Second Opinion: Trauma Center with the Wii. Though I feel I ought to give it a second chance, play further and get over the first impression. As to Wii Sports and Fitness, I am blown away! I hope you get to try the sports stuff when it becomes available over there. 🙂

  6. Wii doesn’t compete with the graphics and other hardware specs of the XBox 360 or PS3, but it wasn’t meant to. Instead of concentrating on geeky specs and ever-better visuals, Nintendo concentrated on play and fun. The graphics are just “good enough,” but I’m too busy enjoying the games to notice that they aren’t the best. Many hardcore gamers would perhaps disagree, but this console isn’t aimed primarily at them – though I know many who think its gameplay is revolutionary in its approach.

  7. […] of fun exercise activities out there that can take care of this beneficial necessity — the Wii, lawn tennis, walking, walking the dog, biking, running, jogging…just get off the couch and […]

  8. […] Other video game uses for public health: 1) The Wii (check out this review of the Wii for health) […]

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