A growing trend in fitness is called exergaming or active gaming. This is because of the growing amount of screen time that kids partake in makes it more difficult for them to get the proper amount of exercise. A lot of kids accrue an average of 50 hours of screen time per week.
Exergaming developers aim to make at least some of this time more active so the kids aren’t sitting around with minimal movement.
There are a variety of game consoles, equipment, and technology out there that can be explored and can help bring fitness into your home.
Activities range from things like dancing to snowboarding to track and field and many more.
Why do those that participate in exergaming continue to do so?
Studies have been done and a lot more studies are emerging to help figure out if the kids enjoy the gaming and how effective it is.
People like it because it is fun, and according to the American College of Sports Medicine, 84 percent of adolescents stated that having fun is the single most important element in life.
It can also be a help for adults. One of the main reasons adults leave a workout routine is due to boredom. Exergaming gives participants a desirable experience and uses technology that makes some people feel like they aren’t even exercising.
Many also enjoy the social interaction of multiplayer or online games. It gives peers that play together something to talk about together and the competition of trying to beat each other’s scores could lead to more vigorous activity.
There is also a great variety of types of games and equipment that makes it very appealing because people can try many different types and almost everyone can find one they enjoy.
Exergaming is definitely not a complete replacement for regular cardio and strength training in a more challenging setting or for going outside and playing.
However, if you know a child that isn’t getting enough exercise, lives on their game console, or doesn’t enjoy exercise, exergaming may be a solution to get them up and moving. Many of the games are reasonably affordable and are worth checking out if you have tried everything else to get your child or yourself exercising.
Check with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program to make sure exercise is safe for you.
Tyler Glidden is the wellness director for the McPherson Family YMCA. He has a bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion and Wellness and a master’s degree in Exercise Science.