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keeping fit the digital way

How times seem to have changed, video games could actually help us get fit.

Continuing on from Monday’s theme, I wanted to look at how video games can encourage us to get moving. It seems every day you switch on the TV or open a newspaper there is a documentary or a report about the people of Britain getting fatter.

And with all the cold weather we’ve recently had it is no wonder individuals are not keen to get out there to exercise. So, say hello to active gaming.

The Nintendo Wii has changed the way we play games in the comfort of our own homes, but can it really help us to get fit?

You are now able to play tennis and have a boxing match from the confines of your living room and if you are playing against a mate who is competitive then it is quite easy to work up a decent sweat. But can these games assist us in shedding the pounds from our waistlines?

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine recently hinted that video games specifically designed to encourage youngsters to eat healthier have become somewhat effective.

Lead scientist Tom Baranowski revealed:

These games incorporated a broad diversity of behaviour change procedures woven in and around engrossing stories.

Can games really encourage people to eat well just based on their content? I wouldn’t have said that would work for me, but perhaps having a carrot as a lead character in the next shoot ’em-up might just do the trick? It is doubtful.

Physical exercise can help people to ditch the pounds, rather than pile them on, however individuals will not always fancy jogging on the spot in their living room.

Give a warm welcome to Playfect, an exercise mat for the Wii Fit. This allows people to do yoga, press-ups and stretching on it, while also providing grip when they start sweating on the surface. And this kind of gadget is a prime example of how video games can help us to get fit.

Young people especially might be able to benefit from these types of games, so says specialist fitness instructor Christine Flood of stayyoungexercisesafely.co.uk, as they can be a great way of socialising when playing with friends.

She said:

It makes them stay in their homes, so as an addition it’s excellent if it’s suitable for them.

So, for years video games have been the subject of blame for people getting fat all across the globe. But that could be no more if we purchase a console that enables us to get up and active and shed those pounds without having to brave any arctic conditions.

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