Last month, I gave you a side-by-side comparison of today’s most popular fitness gadgets. We looked at the Jawbone UP, the Nike FuelBand, the Fitbit Force, and a few other wearable devices you can take with you to track your physical activity on the go. There’s another contender in this area that deserves your consideration, and that’s the Wii Fit U. It’ll appeal most to those of you who already have a Nintendo Wii U game console, as opposed to those starting from scratch. Here’s a look at how it works.
Wii Fit U ‘Fit Meter’
The Fit Meter is one of three components that make up the complete Wii Fit U bundle. It’s the actual device you wear on the outside of your clothes when you’re out and about. Not only does it function as a pedometer, but it also keeps track of calories you burn and your activity throughout the day.
For all you early adopters of wearable tech, or even those of you observing from the sidelines for now, startup ‘Race Yourself’ wants to bring a new layer to your daily exercise routine: augmented reality.
Their app is launching Spring 2014 and is specifically made for Google Glass. You can pre-order a bundle of 10 exercise games for $9.95 on their website, as well as two accessories to enhance your workout experience.
The first is a Bluetooth heart rate monitor, which connects wirelessly to Google Glass. It sells for $39.95 and includes the same 10 exercise games. Since many of the games and activities include heart rate zones, it’d be a worthy investment to help you get the most out of your work out.
Adam Wedekind of Annapolis, Maryland was an active active child growing up, but the pressures of high school sports were enough to keep him from trying out. Instead, he turned to video games. This new, inactive lifestyle coupled with a poor diet led to severe weight gain, which left Adam the subject of frequent bullying.
To apease his parents Adam, now 22, tried to keep up his grades up so they couldn’t complain about his new hobby. He became so entranced with gaming that he drew away from all his friends and turned to people he met playing online video games for social interaction. He loved that he could be whoever he wanted online.
Post high school Adam went onto vocal college and kept up his gaming habits, which caused him to neglect his studies and eventually drop out. At that point he moved to Ohio to escape from his failures.
In 2009 Adam re-enrolled in college but still wasn’t dedicated to school and his grades suffered because of it. Despite his struggles, Adam’s mom continued to still support him. But even that encouragement left him at an all-time low.
“I hit a point where I didn’t want to leave my room.” said Adam. “I didn’t want to do anything, I played video games and I didn’t have any friends. I just sat in my room and I had no reason to leave. I was so depressed I even had suicidal thoughts.” (more…)
Apparently even today’s top of the line technology is no match for old fashioned bike riding and classic outdoor play. A new study revealed that “active” video games won’t actually make a kid more active.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that children and teens should get at least one hour of physical activity every day. Previously, it was believed that “active” video games could assist in increasing a child’s activity level.
Recently researchers tested this theory. Seventy-eight children were given Wii consoles and were monitored for 12 weeks. Half of the children in the study were given games like “Wii Fit Plus” and “Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party 3.” These are considered active games. The other half of the children were given “inactive” games like “Mario Kart Wii” or “Madden NFL 10.”
The children kept journals of their play time over the 12 weeks. They also wore accelerometers to measure their acceleration and exertion. The conclusion showed that the active game group was no more physically active than the inactive game group. The researchers thought there might have at least been an initial spike in physical activity at the beginning of the study, however they found that there were no differences throughout the entire study.
Kids are heavier than ever and get too little exercise, as school physical fitness has nearly evaporated and home activities revolve around computer games. So, to ensure that the computer time is extraordinarily bad for kids’ health, Activision and Pepsi have teamed up in a cross-promotion from Hell.
Activision and Pepsi have come up with “Rank Up XP,” a cross-promotional deal that is implemented via the new video game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The offer goes like this: When gamers buy certain Pepsi products, such as Mountain Dew or Doritos, they get redeemable codes to use for “Double XP time” in Call of Duty. Since I’m not familiar with the game, I can only say that it gives people a distinct advantage (presumably in Internet play?). (more…)
As you might suspect, if children play videos games to excess, they may be more apt to being overweight. The logical conclusion would be that it’s because they are sitting on their keesters and not outside breaking a sweat in the front yard with their friends.
While that might be true to some extent, the focus of new research is on what they put in their mouth while they are in the midst of their video game playing. According to new research, adolescent boys will eat more when they are playing video games, even if they aren’t hungry- the definition of mindless eating.
The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, makes a direct link between kids’ gaming habits and overeating.
Lead researcher Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa, Canada and his colleagues had 22 normal-weight teenage boys play video games for an hour. They also had some kids just sit for an hour. In each situation, they watched the children eat their lunch. (more…)
Now you can get the Biggest Loser workout by playing Kinect for XBox 360. You don’t even have to travel to the ranch! The new fitness game is called The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout, and does not require any additional controls. The game features workout with Biggest Loser trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels. If you hate working out at the gym, and would prefer to get fit from the comfort of your home, this game is a great option for you.
Fans of The Biggest Loser can use the game to achieve their weight-loss and fitness goals with features like body analysis, tracking and healthy recipes. You can even keep a video diary of your workout progress, just like contestants on the show. You can further customize your workout to suit your age, weight, physical ability and target areas with over 125 different exercises. Users can even incorporate wights, and resistance bands into their fitness routines.
I’ve never been a gaming fan. We have both a Wii and a GameCube in my home, but I’ve never enjoyed playing on either one. We have a Wii Fit board and I tried that for a little while, but I didn’t really enjoy it. It has too much nagging and the strength training was too repetitive. Also, seeing my weight every time I went on it quickly became an obsession. So, when I was sent Just Dance 2 to review, I was blase about the entire thing.
But I do love to dance – love, love LOVE to dance. I took ballet for more than 20 years and any time there is music on, I can be found shaking what my mama gave me. Happily, my kids have inherited this trait from me. We can often be seen dancing around the kitchen and generally having a good time. (more…)
Exercising on the Wii is an easy and fun way to get in your daily exercise. The number one rated fitness program for the Wii, used by millions of people worldwide, is EA Sports Active. This week, EA Sports announced the development of their newest title, EA SPORTS Active 2.0. Available for use on multiple platforms, including the Wii, PlayStation3, iPhone and iPod Touch, the newest member of the EA Sports fitness line features a wireless control system, controlled by arm and leg straps equipped with motion sensors. It comes equipped with a heart rate monitor and a customized online hub that enables you to track and share workout data. (more…)