There are many people that still believe that digital gaming and physical fitness don’t belong together. While it’s true that sitting on your couch with a controller in your hand is not conducive to actual physical activity, other game systems have made it a grueling chore in order to be entertained. From personal experience, none have had the same effect on our family than the XBox Kinect.
Unlike other systems, the Kinect requires you to be on your feet in order to play. There is no “cheater play” as others allow you to sit on the couch and move a wireless controller about. It is this aspect that makes it superior – especially for the gaming enthusiasts. What are the physical benefits to playing games on the Kinect?
1. Standing –
Many people have taken to buying desks that can be used in a standing position. It is believed that standing is far better for you than sitting. Since you need to consistently stand in front of your television, you are already getting more activity than sitting in the couch with a controller in hand.
2. Improving Range of Motion –
Like any exercise routine, certain tasks in a game require you to move your body in a certain way. Over time, this improves your physical range of motion. You would get the same overall results if you belonged to an aerobics studio or gym. The only difference is you don’t have weights to lift. However, it doesn’t take much effort to include weights in your game play by simply holding five or ten pound dumbbells as you continue.
3. Stamina Building –
As with any other exercise routine, continuous use of the XBox Kinect can increase your overall stamina. The longer you can play without completely exhausting yourself, the better. Over time, you can begin to feel how your stamina is increasing as you are able to play longer without getting winded – just like any other exercise routine.
4. Calorie Burning –
There is a wide range of games for the Kinect ranging from a more relaxed movement style to far more intense physical labor. Regardless of the level of activity, you are still burning calories. Some games will even include an estimate of how much you have burned based on your movement. The “Just Dance 2014” dancing game has this ability and bases its calculation by how your body moves while following the game.
5. Keeping the Family Fit –
There is a wide range of titles that everyone in the family can enjoy. Nearly every genre is represented in one form or another. It is an entertaining way to promote physical activity for everyone. Whether you are into fighting games, racing, sports, dancing or aerobics, almost everyone can find a game that suits their wants.
One thing I love about the Kinect is that you need to keep moving if you want to keep entertained. The amount of activity that is required in many of these titles can be quite physically strenuous. You could easily find yourself sweating and tired after a quick 20 minutes worth of play, which can help you feel good throughout the rest of your day. Don’t discount the XBox simply because it’s a game system. It’s more difficult than you may think.