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Nintendo Wii – Fitness Friend or Foe?

We have video game systems in my house. A lot of them. Playstation 2, GameCube, Nintendo DS. So it was a hard sell to get me to purchase yet an additional system – the Nintendo Wii. I didn’t want another reason for my kids to sit around. According to the American Obesity Society, 30% of American children are overweight and 15% of American children are actually obese, with the numbers steadily rising. Lack of exercise is a contributing factor. And yes – the personal trainer’s children hate to exercise.

So..to Wii or not to Wii? That was the question.

I did decided to give the Wii a chance and purchased it for my son’s 11th birthday. The Pokemon game allows you to just sit there as usual – no surprise. But the Wii Sports game gets children actively involved. My daughter loved the “fitness tests” for each sport (bowling, boxing, tennis, baseball) and did very well. She kept working at it until she lowered her Wii Fitness Age (a good thing). My son (who hates to move an inch) actually boxed until he was sweaty and his arms were tired. Then mommy gave it a shot. Who knew I had such a powerful right hook? My daughter was squealing with delight as I smashed the virtual bag to smithereens, increasing her score, and my son was proud that “mommy was finally playing video games.” I was so inspired by the boxing I’ve decided to get a free-standing boxing bag and some gloves. Can you say “stress relief?”

My verdict? If they play more “active” games the Wii can contribute towards daily exercise goals. But it’s still hard getting them off the couch. The “couch potato” games are favorites. We have decided as a group to allow an extra 15 minutes of video games (any kind) in exchange for 30 minutes of Wii Sports a day. It’s not huge – but it’s a start.

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9 Comments on "Nintendo Wii – Fitness Friend or Foe?"

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tammy
Guest
Video games drive me crazy, just for the resons you have mentioned. My husband and daughter can spend HOURS just sitting, staring and not moving around. Then they wonder why they are tired later! ha! At least the Wii sounds more interactive and even more family oriented. I don’t have an interest in video games, per se, but I know they would enjoy if I could share their interest to some degree. The Wii just might be a possibilty then. I guess I’d have to try it before investing in it, since we already have handheld games and X Box’s… Read more »
Karen
Guest
My son has had the Wii for a few months and I finally agreed to try it out even though I despise video games. (For the most part, they make me feel very dizzy and sick to my stomach.) We played Wii Sports and had a blast. I’m probably the world’s worst baseball player (I can’t get the hang of holding the bat in the right position so that I can see past it), but I’m one fantastic bowler! I haven’t tried the boxing yet, but after reading your post I think I’ll go try it out. Sounds like a… Read more »
spinchick
Guest

I agree with both of you. Maybe with the Wii, pretty soon we will have an epidemic of mommies taking over the game controls…and kicking some butt!

jmp
Guest
My 4-year old loves video games, and while we do limit the amount of time he spends on the computer, he’s obsessed! We don’t have any of the video game sytems yet (he just plays games on the children’s websites like Cartoon Network), but he’s becoming very interested in Wii. Personally, I haven’t been into video games since I was a teenager, so I don’t understand how people can spend hours a day playing games. I haven’t seen Wii and don’t know how much real ‘exercise’ it would provide, and I’d certainly rather see my kids running around outside –… Read more »
spinchick
Guest

I’d rather them play outside, too, but when it’s 110 degrees and we don’t have a pool, well…

I hate video games. I don’t watch TV. I have no patience for anything other than my beloved Mac. But I like that fact that they are weaving some interactivity into the games now. My son received a sword for the Wii for his birthday so we will see. Maybe he’ll end up with his right arm much stronger than his left??

Heather t.G.
Guest
I registered for wii on my Target wedding registry! I HOPE I GET IT! If I don’t, I’ll just go buy it. I get 20% off of everything on my registry that I don’t recieve as a gift. The wii sport game is hard to find. It must be the best game because it is always out of stock! I kinda like Guitar Hero too. I rock so hard that it ends up being an on-my-feet workout game too! I’ve also come to really like boxing too. I want to get a bag and gloves for Justin and myself. Stress… Read more »
spinchick
Guest

And boxing is good marriage therapy…

Tammy
Guest
Now I’m 25 and tried out the WII and I will be buying it just to save the money at the Gym. I counldn’t get motivated enough to make it to the gym everyday. But with the WII I can go home and have some fun. I did play it once and I loved the boxing. Not only you are having fun with a video game but you are breaking a sweat after 10 min. That was great. You also move so much, it’s just a great thing that they came out with. I think no matter how old or… Read more »
business success
Guest

I also love playing fitness test on my nintendo. I really helped my burn my fats and lose calories.

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