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Phew - I'm Pooped!

Gaming console Nintendo Wii created a buzz and a revolution in online gaming when it introduced Wii Fit, a Wii “game” which is geared towards health and fitness. The game came with a new peripheral, a balance board that many people reviewed as amazingly sturdy and accurate. With the game and the balance board, Wii can calculate your body mass index, coordination and whether you’re doing the recommended moves correctly.  The Wii Fit is considered perfect for people who want to squeeze in an exercise without having to go to the gym, or those who would simply prefer to do their exercise routines alone. Included in the game package are activities like cardio, boxing and yoga.
"Many Wii Fit activities are directed towards a 'core' workout, a popular exercise method that emphasizes slower, controlled motions," say public relations director for Nintendo of America, Marc Franklin.

There are critics on the game however. Some critics say that Wii fit is not challenging enough and it doesn’t really take into account the number of calories burned. Because of this, people who are exercising through Wii Fit might think that they are doing a lot of work when in fact they are not burning as much calories as they should.

For instance in the case of Wii boxing, Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief science officer f the American Council on Exercise observes: "I've watched people play the Wii boxing, and they're just wiped out," says Bryant. "There's a lot of local muscle fatigue that occurs, but the caloric expenditure doesn't come close to how intensely you feel you're working. That's 210 calories for 30 minutes -- that's not a whole heck of a lot. The load isn't enough to count as strength training, but it is enough to count as muscular endurance."

However, he is quick to point out that Wii Fit still has its advantages. "It's a nice idea to take advantage of technology that's typically associated with sedentary behavior and use it with some of the gaming aspects, particularly for young people," says Bryant. He adds: "The one caveat is that while that's certainly better than the alternative -- traditional video games -- one shouldn't use it as a substitute for the real thing."

Bryant also states that the Wii Fit is certainly a better option versus other video games for the person who is inactive, but that people who are moderately or strongly fit will not find it much of a challenge. But Bryant also adds: "I do think it has the ability, if you hang in there long enough, to be a bit more challenging for those who are already engaging in physical activity. It's not a substitute, but it could certainly be a nice complement to a regular exercise program."

Overall, Wii Fit is a good game when it comes to health and fitness especially for people who are just looking to start getting active. It certainly enjoys a better reputation than games that are played sitting down for hours at a time.  However the long and short of it is that Wii Fit is a great game to supplement a real time training, but real exercise should still take precedence over the game.