New active video games are helping children increase their minutes of exercise, contributing to better health and a lower risk of being overweight.
In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that kids who played active games in addition to participating in a weight management program had more minutes of activity each week and lost more weight than children who just participated in the weight management program.
Try out these kid-friendly exercise games to make the most of your kids’ screen time.
Sports games, such as Kinect Sports or Wii Sports, let children play virtual games like baseball, tennis and bowling. The Xbox Kinect games are among the best at increasing activity in children as the special cameras require kids to stand up and go through the motions to move their on-screen characters. Nintendo Wii games that involve the balance board or a mat with controllers encourage the most activity out of these games.
Kinect Adventures! requires kids to dodge targets, paddle a raft and complete obstacle courses to meet goals while travelling around the world. Active Life Explorer for the Wii uses a mat and remotes to take you through different games and challenges. The mat allows one or two players to play, encouraging family fitness fun.
Dancing games are available for many different video game consoles. Some may require special pads for kids to dance on. These games make kids go through fast-paced dance routines to some of their favorite music. The more accurate the kids are in dancing, the better they score. These games raise the heart rate and help teach coordination and balance.
While video games should never replace outdoor activities, adding active games to your family’s fitness routine can help everyone get the activity they need.