In today’s tech savvy world the power of technology can’t be underrated. While I’m not aware of any videogame devices that can eliminate the need for a monthly gym membership, your Wii or X-Box can be a great way to slowly introduce your body to some light cardio. This would be a great option for people who have been sedentary for a long time, or those who suffer from more chronic heart conditions- as long as you have medical clearance from your primary care physician or cardiologist.
The Wii has sport games such as boxing and tennis that are such to get your heart rate going, and the X-Box has a dancing program that allows you to dance to the moves on your television screen. The once popular game Dance Dance Revolution also sells at home versions of their popular game so you can lean fancy footwork at home while burning some calories. Back in high school a friend of mine actually had one of these Dance Dance Revolution home kits and we used it every chance we got. It was a fun way to get our heart rate up and laugh until our sides hurt.
Starting out with these videogames in the comfort of your own home is also a great way to work on your self esteem. If you are feeling self conscious about your current level of cardio fitness, working on improving cardiovascular function via games such as this is a great way to ease into a cardio training routine. Plus, there is the added benefit that you can perform these moves in your PJs on a Saturday morning and never have to leave the house!
Just be sure to keep increasing the intensity. If you mastered all the beginner level sports or dances on your gaming console, but sure to try out medium difficulties and then the hard modes to keep your cardiovascular health improving. The goal should be fun and fitness performance so your health improves in a positive way. Additionally, always remember to keep your heart rate in check and in your optimal fitness range.
Using videogames in this way is also a great alternative if you are sick and can’t make it to the gym. My clients can still do light cardio at home when they are ill to keep on track with their health and wellness goals, without having to get their trainer or other gym goers sick with what they might have. As a trainer who often works with sick clients, my immune system thanks you for not getting me sick too.
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