Xbox Kinect and Wii Fit vs The 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?

Being a Personal Trainer, it would probably be acceptable of me to dismiss these products as a fad. However, that is not what I am going to do. While many trainers would be happy to just advise you to use a real gym, we can undoubtedly see that Nintendo Wii Fit, for example, has huge potential. Here are a few reasons why we believe this software actually has a massive future.

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

* Convenience is important in order to keep up with your fitness regime. This software literally allows a workout 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 personal trainer you have to look at this type of technology with great enthusiasm for the future. You could, of course, see it as a potential threat however to me that's a sign of an insecure teacher. The fact is, this type of software allows gyms to prosper as it will help way more people get through the first, giant step of joining a gym. Who knows, maybe they would previously never have reached that stage with their confidence had they not been able to get started at home first.

If you are relatively new to exercise and lack the confidence to go to the gym, or simply find it hard allocating the necessary time to squeeze in a workout most days, then Wii Fit, Xbox Kinect and Playstation Move provide an absolutely brilliant way to take care of this dilemma and get you on the road to a leaner, better body. The fact that the technology is always moving forward, too, bodes well for the future.

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.

I fully expect to see the functionality of weight training workouts integrated into the already great technology we have developed on Wii, Xbox and Playstation. Within five years or so, you will literally be able to do an entire workout at home. If weights aren't really your thing, though, then the progress already made is very good.

If you are considering buying a Wii Fit, Xbox Kinect or Playstation Move for keep fit purposes I fully recommend you do so. They are already sound and have proven results but the most exciting aspect is that they get better with every single month which passes by.

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