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The Wii Workout
The Nintendo Wii is the newest and one of the most enjoyable ways to get a workout. If you aren't familiar with the Wii, it is a video game console that requires physical interaction to play the game versus the tradional video game consoles that require the player to just sit and hit buttons. If you are skeptical about using the Wii as a workout tool, you will be happy to hear that many doctors are recommending the Wii for use in retirement homes for exercise. Doctors are recommending this for overweight youth who enjoy video games too. This provides a way for them to still play their video games while getting a workout at the same time. Also, the new Wii Fit is a game designed for the purpose of improving you health and would be a great purchase for anyone. As a side note, you will not get the same workout from the Wii as you would if you were to run, bike, etc. However, the Wii will move you and work you out enough to break a decent sweat. I also want to point out that the Wii is great for people who are beginners to exercise and would not be running or biking anyways.
All you need to get a good workout from the Wii is the Wii itself, a controller (Wiimote), and the Wii Sports game that comes with the console. The Wii costs about $250 and it comes with one Wiimote (controller) and the game Wii Sports.
In my opinion, tennis, baseball, and boxing provide the most movement and the best overall workout. Bowling and Golf are fun, but don't provide a ton of movement in a quick enough time. Before you get started, it is a good idea to stretch out. You especially want to make sure you stretch out your arms and back since most of the movement required to play the Wii is explosive movement from the upper body. Also, as another safety precaution, make sure you use the strap provided with the Wiimote to secure the controller to your hand. This will prevent you from throwing the Wiimote through your television by accident. You will also want to make sure you have a good amount of space to play so you don't accidentally hit some with a tennis swing or baseball throw.
The key to the workout itself is really getting into the games and using a lot of upper body motion. The games will respond to minimal motion, but you will not get a workout if you play the game this way. For example, when I play tennis, I swing about as hard and with the same form as if I was really playing tennis. This makes the game much more fun for me and also makes for a much better workout than if I was just using wrist motion to play.
Playing the games with a partner can make this workout much more enjoyable as well. The competition of another person will help you to get into the game. Also, playing with other people will make the time fly by. Before you know it, you will have been playing for an hour.
Calories burned: (Avg for a 175 pound male)
- Boxing = 500 calories / hour
- Tennis = 360 calories / hour
- Bowling = 300 calories / hour
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