By: Freelance Writer Alexandra Rodriguez
Traditional exercise can be laborious and in many cases, ineffective. I use the word ineffective because when you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’re less likely to stay motivated. When you lack motivation you’re more likely to fall off the saddle. And when you fall of the saddle, it’s difficult to get back on… so it looks like you’re walking back to town.
Call me crazy (I do, after all, refer to my readers as “zombies”), but I’m of the mindset that exercise should be fun. Thankfully some game developers and a handful of fitness facilities have not only grasped this concept, but have taken action on turning it into reality. Make that “virtual” reality… My God! Does my nerdiness know no bounds?!
Now we’ve all heard of the Wii Fit, Kinect, and PS Move. I own a Wii Fit and a Kinect, but dare not turn on my Wii Fit for fear of having my self esteem obliterated by an adorably voiced Wii Fit Board caricature.
Look, I work in client relations and I’m awesome at remembering people’s names. I remembered the name of a bank rep who had come to my job twice to meet with my bosses over six months ago. Wii Fit, who saw me daily for a few months, mistook me for my cat after a couple months of not working out. You know what I call that? Bad customer service! But… Despite the trespasses my Wii Fit has committed against me, I still appreciate it because Rhythm Parade is one awesome game! I could play that on advanced a good three times before my glutes and legs start to fatigue.
I digress… I think the home console exergames, as we’ll call them, are beyond great. I think they take a tremendous step forward in attempting to deal with one of America’s leading health issues; obesity. Unfortunately I have one issue.
As someone who previously had laparoscopic surgery done on her knee to correct minor ligament tears, some exercises and movements can irritate my knee greatly. When my knee gets irritated, massaging becomes difficult, and mama (me) becomes a very unhappy panda.
Like myself, most people don’t always know what exercises are going to have a negative effect on their joints, muscles, and ligaments. We usually get a sense of this once we’ve aggravated a body part, which usually is no bueno. I feel the best way to avoid joint irritation and such is to take part in a supervised fitness program.
I earlier began to mention that some game developers and fitness facilities have recognized the importance of implementing fun into fitness. This in turn has birthed the creation of what we’ll call Exercades/Xarcades. After all this rambling and explanation, I’ll get to the point of this post…
I just so happen to work for a health and wellness facility that has integrated exergaming into its model (the name of my company will come in a future post). Sadly, within the last year or so I have allowed my health to go by the way side, and now have a body mass index (BMI) of 26+. For those of you who have had the pleasure of stepping onto a Wii Fit Board, a BMI of 25+ usually provokes a judgmental “oh” response from the Wii Fit (I can feel my self esteem going down as I type this…) because you’re now considered overweight. While I’m not considered morbidly obese, I’m not particularly happy about being overweight. So now’s the time to do something about it, and that’s where exergaming and GIT come in.
My mission, and yes, I choose to accept it, is to put supervised exergaming to the test. With the aid of the exercise physiologists at my company, I will have a personalized exercise program designed that (strictly) utilizes our exergaming equipment. This program will not only help me reach my 15lbs weight loss goal, but will also make sure to a) balance out my structural imbalances (so I’m not all lopsided anymore) and b) refrain from adding additional strain to an already weakened joint; my knee. I will post my progress weekly at Gamer In Thought. It will also be published here on Armed Gamer but with a two week delay. If you want the most up to date progress, make sure to check out my page! My progress will include the types of exercises I’m doing, my weight, how motivated I am to keep exergaming, and more.
On we game!
P.S. The title of my post includes the words “full time”. That’s because I’m getting paid to game and lose weight at work. Awesome!!!
P.S.S. One thing to remember… I’m a massage therapist, client experience rep, gamer gal, and snarkastic writer. I’m not a registered dietitian (RD) nor am I an exercise physiologist (EP). I’m merely piecing together things I’ve learned from the RDs and EPs at my job and sharing my results.
Alexandra Rodriguez is a wanna-be Frag Doll who’s on a quest to blaze her own path of awesomeness into the game industry. Her love of video games is the result of being reared on a cocktail of ColecoVision, NES, and Sega Genesis. When she’s not busy feigning sweetness in her day job, she unleashes her ramblings and mental scraps on the world through her blog, Gamer In Thought (GIT). Make sure to like Gamer In Thought on Facebook and Twitter as well!
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