Lose Weight and Get Toned Using Video Games

If you have a television, a radio, and a working pair of eyes or ears, you have probably seen or heard an advertisement for the Wii fit, which is an accessory for the Nintendo Wii video game system. The Wii Fit guides you through some exercises using a weight sensing pad and motion-sensing controllers to get you to move while you're playing the video game.

Wii Fit

Wii Fit is a really new concept, and I'm sure it will grow throughout the course of video gaming development, but right now, it is expensive, and once you get over the novelty, it's really kind of boring. A Wii itself can cost you up to $400 these days, and the Wii Fit accessory is $89 on Amazon.com. That's a pretty hefty price tag on what amounts to a very limited number of exercise options.

Cheaper Options for Video Game Exercise

Now, if you want to get out a little cheaper, you may be able to arrange your own video game exercise station for free, or at least very cheap. To do this, you will need the following:

A stationary exercise bike
A Television and Video Game system of any kind
Wireless Controller (optional)
Duct Tape

This is going to sound very complicated, but you must hook up the video game system, and then place the exercise bike in front of the television to which the video game system is attached. Hook up a controller and sit down on the bike with the controller. I use a Playstation 2. Seriously, I am that retro.

Important: Secure your controller cord!

Very, very importantly, try to get a wireless controller for your gaming system. If you don't have one, you must secure the cord on your controller away from the bike pedals. Make sure you use velcro, duct tape or electrical tape to secure the cord away from the bike pedals when they rotate, and any area where it might be a tripping hazard.

Failure to do so will at worst cause you injury, and at best yank the cord out of your controller at an enthralling and imperative point in the game.

After you secure the cord away from any hazardous areas, insert your favorite game into the system and power on. I find that I have the most success with sports games, such as hockey or baseball, or roleplaying games like Final Fantasy which do not require much precise controller movement.

Proper Video Game Choice is a Must

For instance, I like playing NHL Hockey on the Dynasty option, and I also like to play Final Fantasy X and X-2. Psychonauts is one of my favorite games, but because of the precision involved in some of the jumps and fighting, I find Psychonauts frustrating while I am biking. However, if you have not played Tim Schaefer's Psychonauts, by all means, you must, and please do. Just not on the bike.

I am usually unsuccessful with fighting games and the like while riding the stationary bicycle, mainly because the pedaling is too distracting to fight well. You will probably find it is a little harder to control your characters with precision when you're pedaling on the bike, but you might get better at it.

When you start out, put the bike on an easy setting so you get into the habit of pedaling while you're playing games. After you get used to it and start pedaling automatically, you can increase the resistance and bike a little harder.

Another option: Dance Dance Revolution

If you get bored with the bike, you can also buy a dance pad and a dancing game like Dance Dance Revolution, if you have a newer system. This can be fun, but is hazardous if you have downstairs neighbors.

With these easy tips, you should be able to get started with video game fitness for as little as a cheap exercise bike from the thrift store and an old NES from your basement. Make sure you keep some water nearby and don't overdo it.

For more information on Wii Fit, visit: