lose weight with wii and nutrisystem

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Wii, Xbox, and PS3 Fitness Game Forums / Wii Fitness / Wii Fitness Games / Is Wii Exercise good?
Posted:  24 Jul 2011 07:17
I need to lose weight, but I read some things that say exercising using video games is a waste of time, while others say that Wii exercise is useful.

So, what's the truth? Can you really lose weight using the Wii?
Posted:  24 Jul 2011 17:17   Last Edited By: steve
Hey wiifan,

You're right that there's a LOT of opinion out there. The University of Mississippi famously put out a "study" in 2009 after studying eight (that's right eight) families for a few months and declared that Wii Fitness was a waste of time. Around the same time, the American Council on Exercise (based on studies from the University of Wisconsin) studied sixteen volunteers and declared that Wii fitness amounted to "a very, very mild workout".

On the flip side, you'll find just as many "studies" that extol the benefits of the Wii. Southeastern Louisiana University published their findings this year that talk about how "Wii Fit Lives Up to Its Name". The American Academy of Pediatrics gives a mixed but mostly positive review.

So what's the REAL answer?

I always get kind of a chuckle when I read these "studies"--if I were given grant money to play video games during college, I might just have paid a little more attention in class than I did :P

The main issue I have with these studies is that proclaiming that "Wii Exercise Works" or "Wii Exercise Doesn't Work" isn't a scientific question. It's like asking "do treadmills work?" or "do elliptical machines work?" In my case, I've had an elliptical machine in my living room for about 5 years now and I've used it about 4 times. So if the study were done on me, the answer would be no, elliptical machines are useless for losing weight.

Two other issues I have with these studies are 1) that they're always done on a very, very small sample size, and 2) the educational community doesn't seem to realize that there are a LOT more exercise games out there than Wii Fit and Wii Sports!

The answer I like to tell people when they ask "Is the Wii really good for exercise" is: Yes. But ONLY if they are committed to it. Which means this:

1) Playing to the point where you sweat and have an elevated heart rate for 30 minutes at least three times a week indefinitely (!)

2) Changing your lifestyle. Walk or bike instead of driving to the store. During lunch hour, walk for an hour instead of sitting at your desk the whole day.

3) And of course, changing your diet! REALLY cut down on fats and empty carbs. Aside from looking great, you WILL feel better and you really WILL be adding years to your life. We pay money for heath and life insurance, but what is REAL "insurance"? Forking money to insurance companies won't add one second to your life or improve your outlook on life. Eating right and exercise will.

I think the reason fitness video games "fail" for most people is that video games should be *fun*. But admittedly, it's not fun to be sweating and panting three times a week. This is why I suggest "mixing up" the games. Play EA Sports once a week, play Just Dance 2 once a week, play Dance Dance Revolution once a week on family game night.

I would also challenge Wii game publishers to stop putting out the same garbage year after year and start really innovating. This is where I love games like Walk It Out and Exerbeat, where the traditional "addictive video game elements" like collecting coins and completing a "round the world" board are great motivators. As I've said many times, the best fitness games are games where you "work out without feeling like you've worked out".

Bottom line, your body is built to take in food for fuel and to use fuel when you burn calories. As long as your output > your intake, you WILL lose weight. Guaranteed. As for how to do that output, some people go to the gym, some people jog, some people bike. Those things are great, but I like that there's an option to get great exercise right in your own home, especially on days like today when it's 107 degrees out, and I'm in my air conditioned room!

Hope this helps! Thanks for the question!

Posted:  24 Jul 2011 23:04
I gave my mother (60+), who has COPD, a Wii + Walk it out and Exerbeat. It stimulates her to do some exercises instead of doing nothing. Today she walked for more than 30 minutes and did some Exerbeat yoga exercises.
Not sure if she will keep it up, but IMO every attempt to improve health should be encouraged. Not only to lose weight, but also to strengthen muscles and improve balance.
Posted:  29 Jul 2011 15:06
I agree with Steve that those reports examined only a narrow range of the available Wii exercise options, and they ignored the more serious ones.

I was skeptical too, but the first day of EA Active Sports 2's nine-week workout was all the evidence I needed that you can get a real workout from the Wii.  I was beat after 20 minutes and very sore the next day. 

The same goes for Gold's Gym Cardio Workout (shadow boxing).  I couldn't believe how sweaty I got after 30 minutes, and how sore my arms were the next day.

But I like Steve's analogy about the treadmill.  The Wii can't force you to work hard at exercising anymore than a treadmill can.  You have to turn it on and use it for it to work.
Posted:  23 Aug 2011 04:43
I lost 10 pounds using Walk It Out and being careful with the foods I eat.  I wasn't sure what was helping but I got busy and couldn't walk as much- the weight started coming back.

I get great workouts with Gold's Gym dance workout, EA Sports Active More Workouts, New U and a few others.

I love the Wii for working out.  There's a lot of variety and it's fun.
Posted:  03 Jan 2012 09:09
Yeah it can be great exercise, I recently bought this game call "Outdoor Challenge" and it played for like 15 minutes with my sister and within that 15 minutes we were sweating like crazy and drinking loads of water so you have to move and do it daily to stay in shape.
It is really fun, you have this mat somewhat like the dance dance revolution one and you have to run on the spot and jump over obstacles and you drive your own kart it is really fun...