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The Benefits of Exergaming for Kids

Feb 13, 2010

Exergaming is a new form of gaming that has been developed. The games require players to perform physical activities in order to play a game, therefore combining games and exercise. Physical activity includes anything from window washing to dancing, aerobics, martial arts and a variety of sports moves. Kids can play a game of tennis right in their living room. In the safety of their homes kids can go virtual skiing, flying down snow covered mountains and dodging trees.

Exergaming Facilitates Exercise

In the past, technology has been a hindrance to exercise. Technology such as television and online gaming has prevented many kids from getting the exercise they need to stay healthy. Gaming is popular among children, and many kids spend hours in front of games without exercising. With exergaming, technology is now facilitating exercise, and it's growing in popularity. There are different exergaming categories such as camera exergaming, rhythm exergaming, exergaming machines, workout exergaming and sensory exergaming. Exergaming can be enjoyed by anyone, as there are games to suit people of any gender, ability, fitness level or age. Games consist of different levels, so even beginners can enjoy the games. These games are accessible in many forms such as online, in arcades or at home.

Exergaming Promotes Good Health

Exergaming combines kids' enthusiasm for gaming and exercise. Games are fun and engaging, therefore encouraging children to exercise more. Exergaming promotes exercise among kids and motivates them to exercise more frequently. The physical exertion involved in the games has positive effects on health and fitness. With concerns about obesity rising, it's important to note that exergames can assist in calorie burning and weight loss. Exergaming can help improve coordination and body movements. Another benefit of exergaming is that it helps to decrease stress levels, as it provides a way to have fun and relieve stress. Kids get an aerobic workout while playing, and exergaming has cardiovascular benefits. Exergaming promotes sensory motor learning and has positive effects on cognitive performance for children.

Exergaming Creates Variety 

For children who are not talented at sports, this provides a way for them to get exercise without the pressure to perform on a sports team. Kids who feel self conscious playing sports now have another alternative. It's also an option for kids who find other forms of fitness training boring. Kids who do not often have friends around and whose parents are too busy to play sports with them can play against virtual players.

Exergaming as a Social Activity

Although exergaming can be played alone in the privacy of your living room, it can also be a social way to keep fit. Online exergaming communities offer a place where exergamers can meet and compete. Exergaming can be played when kids have their friends over. It can also be a family activity, facilitating family bonding, because exergaming has options for all ability levels and ages. Playing against other people promotes competition and therefore offers more of an incentive to exercise. Virtual trainers are available, so gamers can go through fitness programs where their progress is saved and reviewed.

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