Exergaming gets you fit and off the couch


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Photo by Exergamefitness.ca/wordpress

Gaming has come a long way. From duck hunting to guitar strumming, the days of the handheld joystick are long gone. In its place, interactive consoles such as the Xbox Kinect and Nintendo Wii have brought users into a much more expansive virtual space where even the worlds of exercise and gaming have collided, spawning fitness trends like exergaming.

Capitalizing on the impact this craze could have on a national level, the Obama administration has officially endorsed interactive fitness gaming as part of a new program called the Active Play Presidential Active Lifestyle Award Challenge (PALA+).

White House workout
The initiative was launched at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., on May 1, where the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) announced its partnership with the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and its member companies (i.e. – Ubisoft, Konami, etc).

Part of the PCFSN’s aim is to promote active gaming habits and to integrate PALA+ into participating publishers’ most popular active video games to educate players on how to utilize the program.

Suggested active gaming habits vary by age, but the overall program provides tracking tools to monitor progress as well as a nutrition component to encourage healthy-eating habits over the six-week goal period that leads up to earning your presidential fitness award.

Exercising interactively
So whether you want to par your way to a stronger heart or tone up to an aerobic groove, there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy. Some participating titles include the Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 (EA Sports), Wii Fit Plus (Nintendo) and the revered Dance Dance Revolution (Konami).