Video Games That Help You Lose Weight

As a thirty-something, I feel like in my youth I was witness to the evolution of video games. I still play with my old Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and find the games, such as Mario Brothers and Legend of Zelda completely entertaining. And it boggles my mind when I can then plug in my Xbox and play some of the best graphically-designed games out there (personal favorite is Gears of War). Yes, my pile of video game consoles on my living room floor next to the big screen is testament that I am a child of the video game generation.

A new generation of video games, such as Wii Fit and EA Active, are designed to help you get in shape and lose weight and have fun doing it.

A new generation of video games, such as Wii Fit and EA Active, are designed to help you get in shape and lose weight and have fun doing it.

My husband and I spent a number of afternoon and evenings standing in lineups trying to buy a Wii when they first came out. We eventually got one and, although the graphics are simple, we found the games really fun to play. For hours we would play bowling, golf and tennis and this was one of the first times that my husband and I actually exercised together, although neither one of us considered it exercise at the time. And then I realized that I can play Mario Cart Wii while I do the elliptical, which is located in one of the corners of the living room. I now pass an hour or more exercising away while I drive Mario through a maze of other crazy drivers, red shells, bullets and bombs and it is the most enjoyable hour ever, even if I am working my butt off.

So what does all this have to do with losing weight? For a very long time, group exercise came in two forms. You could go to the gym and get a workout with a class leader, or you could rent an exercise videotape or DVD (one of my personal favorites was “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” with Richard Simmons, more for laughter therapy than anything else). These worked well, but people did tend to get tired of using the same workout time and time again, and they would eventually quit working out all together. After that, pay per view or on-demand television made it easy to find new workouts. However, these can be limited as well. And now, as we become well-embedded into this new era of technological gadgetry it seems only suiting that there is a new generation of video games that are specifically designed to help you get more exercise and lose weight too.

Perhaps the first type of video game that showed gaming was not just for people who sat on the couch for hours on end was meant for pure fun. There can be activity with video gaming that can help people get in and stay in shape. Dance, Dance Revolution (as an example) was something that came out in homes and you could also find it in video game arcades around the country. There is no way you can play this game sitting down, and you can not sit still. You win by getting the most dance moves right, and some who loved the game said it was highly addictive.

Today, Wii Fit is everywhere. It is quite expensive, but it can be a great investment if you want a fun and ever changing way to work out. There are Wii games you can play that require you to mimic the activity of the game. Some examples are golf, tennis, or even running. Now, Wii Fit has all types of accessories that can help someone do cardio workouts, strength training, and yoga. Wii Fit also has an interactive channel that allows the user to track BMI and weight.

Ubisoft has created something called My Weight Loss Coach. This is something like a video game, but it helps a dieter or athlete to track nutrition and physical activity, and has a pedometer feature as well. This was developed with a personal trainer/fitness coach and nutritionist. This game, made for the portable Nintendo DS, should work with someone at their own skill level instead of thinking one size will fit all.

For some competition for Wii Fit, EA Sports has also come out with its own video game for the Wii called EA Active. EA Active appears to blow Wii Fit out of the water really. The workouts appear to be as intense as you like and it would be difficult not to break a sweat. It also comes equipped with your own Virtual Trainer to guide and motivate you and a 30-Day Challenge option that gives you a new workout every day and gradually increases the intensity of your workouts for you. I will definitely be buying this video game when it comes out in the next month and will give you an update post about how I find it.

What I like most about video games that help you lose weight is that they are bringing the “fun” back into exercising. Even if you aren’t a person who has enjoyed video games in the past, Wii Fit and EA Active are two games that will entertain almost everyone. Whether you use these video games just on rainy days when exercising outside is unpleasant, or you incorporate them into your daily routine, one thing is for sure… your body will become stronger and healthier, you will burn calories and you will have a good time doing it. As far as working out goes, that’s about as good as it get.

5 comments to Video Games That Help You Lose Weight

  • Barry

    Great post! On the question on how to lose weight? Sometime we neglect to implement exercise in our program of losing weight. Playing video games can definitely help us to exercise more

  • Stephanine

    Wii Fit totally works – if you play it. The truth is though, that most people buy it because of the novelty, use it a few times, then it sits and collects dust much like all the other exercise equipment that they have purchased. Even though it’s a video game, it’s still exercise. It might be fun a little bit, but it’s work.

    • Rene

      I bought the wii fit for my husband and I as a fun way to get back in shape and help us create a more healthy lifestyle. With our work schedules being so busy we were finding it really hard to get to the gym once a week let alone every day. Using the wii fit has been fun and we’re still achieving fantastic results. Yes it does require discipline & but works if you’re serious about loosing weight.

  • Gerarrd

    I use my Wii Fit for about 30-40 minutes per day 4-5 days a week. In four months, I have lost 40 pounds (and I am still losing each week). Yes, I did start eating better in addition to the exercise, but the Wii Fit was the only thing that could motivate me to get off my butt!

  • heather

    I use my WII fit every day to track my weight. I find that it is not necessarily that the games/activities themselves that are burning all the calories, but rather it is by tracking your weight and your wii fit age you actually take notice of the numbers and that’s what makes you accountable. By realizing that a few days of laziness equals several pounds of weight gain that take 1 – 2 weeks to get rid of, well let’s say you won’t be reaching for that brownie so easily.

    After doing a forty minute workout and realizing that by eating two pieces of bread you null and void the workout, you will probably only opt for one slice of toast in the morning. Or perhaps some oatmeal or a bowl of blueberries in lieu of the bacon and sausage thank you very much.

    I think it is the actual logging of your activities that makes the difference with the wii fit.

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