Despite their bad reputation, video games can actually be good for you. Scientists have long been using different games to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and pre-surgery anxiety. With that said, is it a surprise that they are also reaching into the weight loss market? Scientists agree that combining video games and exercise is a great idea, as many kids spend hours anyway playing in front of the TV.
One of the oldest video games to incorporate exercise was Dance Dance Revolution® (DDR). DDR consists of a pad with colored arrows; as a character dances on the screen, players simply follow the moves by stepping on the right arrows on the pad. A typical workout on the DDR lasts for about 15 minutes, although longer ones can be programmed.
Another example of how to use video games to exercise is the Entertrainer®. This simple device can be hooked to any TV or radio and then strapped on to your chest. As long as you keep your heart rate up, the Entertrainer® will do nothing. If you stop moving, however, the machine will start lowering the TV volume until it eventually turns it off. How you keep your heart rate, however, is up to you. Jumping, running in place, and agitating your arms are all acceptable techniques.
If you need a little more guidance, choose the GameRunner®,one of the best additions to video games ever to hit the market. The GameRunner® looks like a regular treadmill, except that it can be hooked to first-person shooter games. Using special devices in the handlebars to do anything from shooting to keeping your characters on the run, the GameRunner® is one of the best ways to enjoy active games.
Other video games that can be used to exercise and lose weight include: EyeToy Kinetic®, where a small camera hooked to your TV set transforms you in the main character of the video game. Once on the screen, you are prompted to kick, punched, and destroy a series of objects by doing certain moves on real life. Finally, Tetris Weightlifting® is one of the few video games created to develop muscle tone rather than cardio. To put the pieces in place, you are asked to move a weighed bar, which provides a significant upper-body workout.