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Video Games for PE?

With the cold weather sweeping the nation currently, homeschooled and virtual skilled kids don’t have as many opportunities to just get outside and play—and many of them don’t have in-home gyms to use when the weather is poor. Unfortunately, not only does that lead to kids who are inactive, it often leads to kids who are cranky and whiny, with moods that are unpredictable and tempers that are a bit too short. You may not have many options—but you might also have several that are right in your own home.

Do you have a video game system? Regardless of which one you have, there are likely games available that have fitness components. The Wii Fit is designed to track time spent on it and allow for strength training, posture work, and aerobic exercise—all incorporated into fun games that your children will look forward to doing. For other systems, you can check out the Just Dance series.

Kids will love the idea of playing games against each other—and against Mom or Dad. More importantly, however, they will be getting plenty of exercise as they dance, bounce, or otherwise play together. The games are interactive, so even if you only have one child, they can get in some exercise on their own. There’s no need for you to actively participate, but you can easily monitor exactly how long they have been playing: both the Wii Fit and the Just Dance games track the amount of time spent within them.

Obviously, staring at the television is not the best way to spend an entire afternoon; but if your child is happy, engaged, and moving, it’s better than not being able to accomplish anything all day because they’re trapped indoors and unable to burn off their excess energy. Additionally, the games encourage active movement and “punish” inactivity—unlike simply sending them outside, which can lead to just sitting, if that’s what your child is inclined to do.

All in all, a fitness game is a wise investment for any family that already has the system. It encourages interaction between family members and allows for your kids to be much more active—something that will benefit all of you in the long run.