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Wii exergamers proceed with caution

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After numerous injuries sustained researching Wii exergaming, this author exhorts all exergamers to proceed with caution.

"But it's only a video game"

The Wii console and exergames are constantly approached as if anyone can try it once and win. Wii Fit Plus, for one, will burst that bubble. Like all great video games, you have to increase your skill to unlock the next level. Like an exergame, instead of, or in some cases, in addition to strategy, you are called upon to master a variety of virtual fitness challenges.

  • Note that mimicking tennis is truly using the power of virtual reality to inspire you to move.
  • Note that mimicking an Avatar's jumping jacks is not a creative use of the video game medium.

Underestimating the level of physical and emotional interaction with the game is common among first timers. Newbies are likely to be uncoordinated in virtual reality and encounter a learning curve maneuvering with the Wii remote. This translates into wild swinging, jumping around and perhaps bumping into things all which can result in injury. In addition, playing too hard, also quite common especially if you're competitive (ie swinging too hard, stomping too hard) can result in stress to joints, bruising to muscles and inability to relax while playing.

Beware Wii Fit Plus

Only those experienced in various fitness activities may find the Wii Fit Plus exergame undaunting, but not the unsuspecting public who purchased it in droves. What the Wii Fit Plus promised to deliver, it delivered in spades and then some.

  • Who has played all the games and explored all the activities of Wii Fit Plus? How many hours have you logged?

Don't feel bad if you tried some of those exercises and almost broke your face. Those of us with fitness backgrounds are just as pitiful too, at first. It took this author years to successfully play hula hooping for 10 minutes. Most of the exercises in the Yoga and Strength Training sections are extremely challenging, befitting the intensity-craving insanity fitness fanatic, and for the rest of us, birthing creativity in modifying moves to play the game.

  • Note: Try it for yourself. Select Yoga/Sun Salutation and create your own moves while keeping the the dot centered. Explore your balance and flexibility at your own pace. Play your own soothing soundtrack.

Test for Yourself

There will be no respect for any Wii exergamer if she is not willing to test these exergames seriously, extensively and then demonstrate proficiency in play, form and technique. Because of the extensive offerings and complexity of Wii Fit Plus, it will take many more players to explore its potential.

Opportunity is knocking

What if we all came together to 'crowdsource' the testing of various Wii exergaming activities and minigames of Wii Fit Plus. Group fitness professionals and personal trainers would be invited to record various how-to videos demonstrating modifications of movements and game.

  • Take Action: Tweet @pendagoddess your video demonstrating a Wii Fit Plus activity. Please show the human performing the motion, not just the game projection. WEE want to see how you move!
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