Gaming consoles: The future of fitness?
Finally; interactive workouts that you can do from the comfort of your own home! Involving no tedious journeys to the gym and no pong of chlorine after a swim, there is no doubt that the Wii Fit and Xbox Kinect games offer convenient methods of exercise.
The Wii Fit features exercises like step, jogging, boxing, and balance, yoga and muscle workouts. Meanwhile, The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved are just two of the fitness games available for Kinect.
Step, jogging, boxing and cycling are the activities that involve the most physical exertion on the Wii Fit. However, it is undeniable that some Wii activities are easy to cheat on. As you cannot use the Wii Balance Board for jogging, you can imitate your movements simply by shaking the controller up and down. Even though the aerobic step exercises are virtually impossible to cheat on, having to step on and off a board is restricting in the amount of energy you can put into your work for fear of tripping up.
The Kinect is more technologically advanced than the Wii; its capability to detect the user’s 3D body movements is what really makes it special. There is no hand-held controller or floor mat to use with the Kinect and as a result you feel freer and can be more energetic and active.
The Kinect fitness games also take health a little further than the Wii Fit as it can track how many calories you have burned and your heart rate during exercise. Its ability to trace the outline of your body and all your movements means you can receive detailed feedback on your exercises and tips for improvement to maximise benefit.
In short, both consoles are good at getting you up and moving around in your home. The games and activities are fun and the social aspect of gaming and exercising that they provide are second to none. The benefits of the Kinect slightly outweigh those of the Wii purely because it is newer and therefore its technological advances are greater.
However, neither console provides greater benefits than going actually going to the gym, running, swimming or any other physical exercise. The physical experience of exercising through a game just is not the same and there is not the inspiration or desire to push yourself that little bit further to achieve maximum results.