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Do Video Games Count As Exercise?

By Expert HERWriter
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Be honest, how many of you play Wii sports or jam out to Rockband? Experts are noticing that once self-proclaimed coach potatoes are getting up and getting moving in the name of video games. The energy expenditure used in boxing, tennis, golf, aerobics, and others can raise your heart rate and cause you to break a sweat.

Nintendo (the makers of the Wii) aren’t claiming that playing their games will make you healthier or help you lose weight but it will get you up off your backside and into motion. Researchers are still trying to determine calories burned while playing various games, however early data is controversial.

For example, Wii golf burns 3 calories per minute, tennis burns 5 calories per minute and boxing burns 7 calories per minute. Some experts think this is over exaggerated and can’t compare to actually going out on the tennis court for a strenuous match, or taking a kickboxing class for an hour.

Many consider these new games as ‘activity’ and not quite ‘exercise.’ Not all activity counts as full-blown exercise as it doesn’t raise your heart rate for a sustained amount of time. Examples of ‘activity’ are washing your car, gardening, washing dishes, and shopping at the mall.

I have to say that after watching someone play tennis, dance, or spar for 30 minutes straight, they are often out of breath and having a great time. It’s bringing families closer and providing in-house entertainment for friendly gatherings. Kids who never left the house and didn’t participate in athletics are becoming masters at yoga or golf.

It’s true – when you exercise, you should do it within the appropriate heart rate for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. If you are new to exercise or looking for something to start in the privacy of your own home then the video games are a great option. If you’re more physically fit you might find it below your expectations however it’s still a lot of fun to play.

Add a Comment2 Comments

I think the wii fit could potentially qualify as exercise. If it gets your heartrate up and keeps it there then it is definitely doing something. I'd certainly prefer my child to go outside and run, play, do other physical activities over being on the wii but for people such as my sister who you can't pay to go outside and run-- I'll take her on the wii fit over nothing at all.

January 14, 2010 - 6:51am
EmpowHER Guest

Video games are just that, games. Luckily there are free online tools that focus on exercise and fitness. Holosfitness.com is a free online tool that can help you get in shape, stay in shape, and lead a healthy lifestyle. With hundreds of exercises posted with step-by-step instruction, all of which are completely free. They also feature a video demonstration of many exercises and blogs posted by fitness professionals.

January 13, 2010 - 2:06pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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