Why should I try active gaming instead of visiting my local gym or sports club?Imagine you've spent an intense day in front of your computer and you're itching to stretch your legs. A strenuous game of football would be an ideal way to sweat off the stresses and strains of the day, and to help you forget about your worries. But your team doesn't meet for several days. Or you call your dance partner, hoping to practice your salsa and keep fit in the process, only to find that he or she has pulled a muscle and can't oblige.
This is where active gaming can come in, by giving you more opportunities to get fit and providing added benefits that you don't get with more traditional forms of exercise. Here are some of those advantages:
Work out at your own paceMost games have easy, medium and hard settings to choose from, and games range from gentle golf and yoga to more hard-core dancing and fitness titles. No matter what your level of fitness is, you should be able to find something suitable. There's no need to feel that you're letting your side down because you can't keep up with group activities, or to be held back by everyone else.
Exercise when it suits youWhether or not the gym is open and no matter what the weather is like, so long as you have an electricity supply you can play. You're not restricted to a set time each week, or to when you can find a suitable partner for activities such as tennis, squash, or ballroom dancing.
Jumping around in brief, figure-hugging lycra is best left to the most athletic amongst usIf you're shy about exercising in public, or you have hang-ups about your body, this type of gaming is the perfect way to work out in the privacy of your home.
There's plenty of varietyWe've come a long way since the only readily available active console games were a handful of dance mat titles aimed at teenage girls who like pop music. These days there are titles for combat, dance, party fun, various sports, and for serious fitness enthusiasts. Changing your sport is as easy as getting hold of a new game, so there's much less chance of getting bored.
You don't have to travel to enjoy active gamesUnless of course you don't own your own console, and you count visiting your friends' houses to use theirs.
There are always targets to aim forHigh score tables offer an objective way to measure your progress. This helps you to keep trying, and it's encouraging to know what your score is and to see yourself getting a little better each time you play.
It's fun!You may not even notice you're getting a workout whilst you concentrate on making the right moves.
As the gaming industry develops, we have seen improvements in the variety and usability of devices for active gameplay. Motion-detection has moved from the two-dimensional dance mats and EyeToy to devices that can track your movement in 3D. Games themselves have continued to evolve so that there is better gameplay and more choice than ever before. So whilst this genre of gaming is in its infancy things are always improving, and it's a great time to get involved.
Remember, if you participate in active console gaming that doesn't mean you have to abandon your regular sports club or other physical activities. These things can work well to complement each other. It's all about finding something that suits your lifestyle and keeps you inspired to work out every day. Have fun!