By Russ Howe
You’ve probably noticed the ads with the happy family working out in front of their HDTV, in their perfectly white home, with their latest Wii Fit, Xbox Kinect or Playstation Move software. But today we answer the top question on everybody’s lips…
How good are tools such as Wii Fit, Playstation Move and Xbox Kinect for weight loss and toning up when they are compared to going to the gym?
Being a Personal Trainer, it would probably be acceptable of me to dismiss these products as a fad. However, that is not what I am going to do. While many trainers would be happy to just advise you to use a real gym, we can undoubtedly see that Nintendo Wii Fit, for example, has huge potential. Here are a few reasons why we believe this software actually has a massive future.
* Tools such as Wii Fit are fantastic for people who lack the confidence to workout in front of others at the gym
* Convenience is important in order to keep up with your fitness regime. This software literally allows a workout any time.
* Compared to a monthly gym membership or the mammoth cost of assembling a decent home gym, a Wii Fit is actually affordable.
* In two years time the technology will have moved forward an awful lot.
As a trainer myself, I absolutely embrace the direction the gaming industry is taking here. While many less secure personal trainers and fitness instructors would openly dismiss the notion of working out at home as they consider it a potential threat to their own income, or even their job, anyone comfortable with their knowledge and customer base can only see this as a great step forward for exercise and fitness in general.
Tools like this are excellent starting points for anyone who falls into the categories we listed above, and given the ability to download new workout routines to your console, workout with network friends, and the ever evolving nature of computer games in general I say this particular avenue of fitness is one which is very exciting indeed.
But is it as effective as physically going to a gym? At the moment the technology is great (and always improving) at providing great body weight workouts, cardio sessions and stretching but is understandably somewhat lacking when it comes to resistance training. Steps have been taken already to move in this direction however (such as the inclusion of resistance bands with EA Sports Active 2, for example). As things stand right now, the gym wins hands down when it comes to weights.
I fully expect to see the functionality of weight training workouts integrated into the already great technology we have developed on Wii, Xbox and Playstation. Within five years or so, you will literally be able to do an entire workout at home. If weights aren’t really your thing, though, then the progress already made is very good.
If you are considering buying a Wii Fit, Xbox Kinect or Playstation Move for keep fit purposes I fully recommend you do so. They are already sound and have proven results but the most exciting aspect is that they get better with every single month which passes by.
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