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Are Wii Fit and Xbox Kinect effective forms of exercise?

By Russell Howe


You've probably noticed the ads with the happy family working out in front of their HDTV, in their perfectly white home, with their latest Wii Fit, Xbox Kinect or Playstation Move software. But today we answer the top question on everybody's lips...

Just how effective are these keep fit games consoles?


Click here for Fitness Instructor Russ Howe\'s review of Weight Loss with Wii Fit



Being a Personal Trainer, it would probably be acceptable of me to dismiss these products as a fad. However, that is not what I am going to do. While many trainers would be happy to just advise you to use a real gym, we can undoubtedly see that Nintendo Wii Fit, for example, has huge potential. Here are a few reasons why we believe this software actually has a massive future.

* Have you ever heard anyone say they must lose some weight before they go to the gym? As a trainer, I have, and it drives me crazy. However, if you do lack the confidence to join a public gym, this is now a very god option.

* It's very easy to fit in a workout when you have the tools in your house. Convenience is an understatement.

* Compared to a monthly gym membership or the mammoth cost of assembling a decent home gym, a Wii Fit is actually affordable.

* In two years time the technology will have moved forward an awful lot.

As a trainer myself, I absolutely embrace the direction the gaming industry is taking here. While many less secure personal trainers and fitness instructors would openly dismiss the notion of working out at home as they consider it a potential threat to their own income, or even their job, anyone comfortable with their knowledge and customer base can only see this as a great step forward for exercise and fitness in general.

Make no mistake about it. If you have never really been one for working out or trying to lose weight in the past, then a Wii fit, Xbox Kinect or Playstation Move will provide you with an EXCELLENT starting block. And the technology is moving forward all the time. As a trainer I cannot wait to see where this leads in the next five to ten years.

Is working out via your games console as effective as using a real gym? At the moment, no. But that's not a bad thing in any way. In fact the technology is already great and you can achieve fantastic weight loss results with the range of cardiovascular, yoga and body weight workouts available. Where it is still way behind the gym of course is resistance training. However in five to ten years I can see this being hugely progressed, too.

I fully expect to see the functionality of weight training workouts integrated into the already great technology we have developed on Wii, Xbox and Playstation. Within five years or so, you will literally be able to do an entire workout at home. If weights aren't really your thing, though, then the progress already made is very good.

If you are thinking about buying an Xbox Kinect, Playstation Move or Wii Fit for weight loss purposes then a as a Fitness Instructor I highly recommend that you do. Not only will you be able to achieve great results with what is already available right now, but it gets better all the time.




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