Wii Fit vs Gym

By Russell Howe

We have all seen the ads, the toned girls working out at home in front of their Wii Fit, Xbox Kinect or Playstation Move consoles. But today we answer the question everybody wants to know...

Just how effective are these keep fit games consoles?

As a trainer it would be easy to dismiss this as the latest craze and advise people they'll never get the kind of workout they could in the real gym, right? So that's not what we're going to do here. Because the fact is, this is not a fad and it is here to stay. Every year the technology becomes more advanced. Here are the primary reasons why games console workouts are actually a GREAT thing for your fitness but also the fitness industry in general.

* If you lack the self confidence to join a public gym you can get good results at home with this.

* Owning an Xbox Kinect, Playstation Move or Wii Fit allows you to squeeze in a workout at just about any time

* The one time cost makes this very affordable. Cheaper than a home gym and a gym membership.

* 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.

But is it as effective as physically going to a gym? At the moment the technology is great (and always improving) at providing great body weight workouts, cardio sessions and stretching but is understandably somewhat lacking when it comes to resistance training. Steps have been taken already to move in this direction however (such as the inclusion of resistance bands with EA Sports Active 2, for example). As things stand right now, the gym wins hands down when it comes to weights.

As a trainer I firmly believe that within the next five years we will have the ability to perform a full weights workout via our Wii, Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 console at home. The technology is moving so nicely along that this warrants taking a look at what is already available and sticking with it to see how far it is taken.

If you are looking at a games console such as Nintendo Wii Fit, Microsoft Xbox Kinect or Sony Playstation Move and are trying to decide whether it is worth your hard earned bucks, as a qualified fitness instructor and personal trainer I fully give this software my support.

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