Wii Fit for Seniors
The longer you live, the more times you hear the same advice over and over again: eat right and exercise, eat right and exercise, eat right and exercise.
You may be sick of hearing it, but you know people keep saying it for a reason. With trending diets and stories on new health research that often seems to contradict the old, it’s hard to know what’s really good for you. Except for those two pieces of advice you’ve heard your whole life, that no one’s yet discredited and no medical expert ever questions: eat right and exercise.
Unfortunately, exercise gets harder with age. Someone who’s consistent in their work outs throughout adulthood will find themselves unable to do some of the same exercises they could in past years. Those that start late will face an even harder time taking on some of the exercises recommended for things like heart health, balance, and mobility.
Adding to that, several practical concerns make finding excuses not to exercise even easier for seniors. Once you take a senior’s keys away, how are they supposed to make it to a gym? And most seniors you talk to probably know someone their age who’s managed to pull a muscle or break a bone exercising. That’s a real concern, but it’s not too hard to avoid exercise injuries if you take the right approach.
What is a Wii Fit?
The Wii is an interactive gaming console sold by Nintendo. The interactive nature of the technology makes it a great fit for games that take a more active, fitness focus. When you buy a Wii Fit, it comes with a balance board that tracks your movement so the game can provide personalized recommendations. It also provides a number of different activities, including:
- Balance Games
- Strength Training
Wii Fit is specifically designed to be safe for people of all ages, and seniors have been one of the main markets to respond well to the technology.
4 Reasons the Wii Fit is Great for Seniors
If you know a senior that’s full of excuses when the subject of exercise comes up – or one that would like to be more active, but has had trouble figuring out the best way to do so – the Wii Fit may be just the solution they need.
While it wasn’t developed with seniors specifically in mind, there are several ways in which the game is especially optimized for the needs seniors have when it comes to getting in a work out.
- There’s no need to leave the house.
Many seniors face failing eyesight or slower reaction times as they age, which makes driving a big risk. For many seniors, an exercise option that doesn’t require getting in a car to get somewhere is going to be much easier to commit to than driving to a gym every day.
All of the games included with the Wii Fit can be played in a bedroom or living room, you just need a TV and a little bit of space to work with. That takes care of one of the main excuses seniors give for not exercising.
- It offers feedback.
The Wii Fit balance board makes it possible for the game to track your movements and recognize problems with your stance or form. With that information, it provides personalized visual feedback to ensure you can correct those problems as they arise. This both reduces the chance of injury and makes it possible for players to track their progress as they go.
- It works.
If you’re concerned that a video game couldn’t possibly provide the level of work out needed, don’t worry. Research has shown it really does.
While the studies done suggest the work out doesn’t do that much for younger users, it actually makes a big difference for older users. The Wii Fit has been shown to reduce falls and improve balance in seniors. It won’t make you a body builder, but it will make you healthier and help you age more safely.
- It’s fun.
The biggest excuse people (not just seniors) have that keeps them from exercising is that they simply don’t want to. Why make the time for something you don’t enjoy when there are TV shows to watch and fun hobbies to pursue. Who wants to give over an hour a day to something as dull as exercise?
The Wii Fit can help eliminate that excuse as well. It’s actually fun. And the personalized feedback provides a challenge that gives users an incentive to constantly improve.
By bringing some convenient, safe exercise options right into your home, an investment in a Wii Fit can help seniors with the second part of the “eat right and exercise” mantra you’re so used to hearing.