Dec 162012

Just because a gaming console is intended for gameplay (which usually brings to mind images of boys lounging around, staring with intensity at a TV displaying violence, and tightly gripping a controller), doesn’t mean it’s going to cause your kids to sit on their behinds in front of the TV all day.

The Wii U is one of the best game consoles for getting and staying fit. They way it’s designed usually means that more than just fingers and eyeballs will be moving around. In fact, it’s predecessor, the Wii, was one of the first to combine exercise and video gameplay together in one activity.

Is it as good as getting out in the fresh air to take a refreshing jog? Is it as good as a hard workout at the gym? Is it as good as enrolling your child in a sport? No, to be honest, but it’s better than nothing and will help fitness creep into your entertainment time. It’s a good place to start if you’ve been sedentary for a while. It’s also a good way to engage both your brain and your body while enjoying yourself.

The Wii Fit, a Nintendo game designed for use with its famous console, has been a huge seller in past years. It’s filled with training tips and mini-games that make movement fun. Previous versions of this game used a balance board which detects your movements as you balance on it, and you can use this same balance board with the Wii U and the newer Wii Fit U game.

You can do both strength training and aerobics with Wii Fit U. Both start off easy, and allow you to unlock harder levels as you progress. You’ll be able to feel the exercises get harder and harder, but you’ll be able to handle them better because you’ll slowly be getting more fit.

Trampoline Target is one of the fun new mini-games included in this game, which you can easily download from Nintendo’s eShop for a reasonable price. You’ll get a work out by manipulating your weight and doing squats. Even though the name suggests that jumping will be a part of the game, you use a jumping movement instead of actually doing jumps, which still provide you with a good leg workout.

Core Luge is another included mini-game in Wii Fit U, where you sit on the balance board and perform in a virtual luge competition. Your butt muscles are the main movers here. Tone up your booty with this fun virtual competition!

In Dessert Course, you take on the role of a waiter, and your GamePad is held like serving tray as you virtually deliver desserts to your customers. Anyone who’s ever actually been a server can tell you that the pace can get fast and crazy. It can make for a good workout. Plus this game is a lot more fun than doing actual work.

Wii U can help your fitness levels improve, especially if you use Nintendo’s Wii Fit U. Include it in the mix, but don’t depend on it to provide all the physical activity you need. Keep in mind that it doesn’t claim to help with weight loss or cure any health conditions. But what it does do is encourage you to be more physically active by walking you through exercises and giving you the option of playing fun games that require you to get up and move around.

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