The Wii and Exercise and Diabetes

Nintendo Says You Need To Be In Shape To Play The Wii – Gizmodo

A Nintendo PR rep said, “If people are finding themselves sore, they may need to exercise more.” Wow, how’s that for motivation. You know you’re out of shape when a Nintendo PR rep tells you to hit the gym. The rep also said that the Wii is not Jenny Craig and should not be viewed as such. Ouch.

Wii controller and consoleAlso, there’s the chance you’re just not playing it right. If you’re flailing all about with the Wii, you might just be working too hard at it. For me, Wii Sports Tennis is the most active game, having to continuously judge whether the hit coming at you is a forehand or a backhand — then having to judge the spin and what counter-spin you want to use — then adjust your timing to hit across the court or straight up — and then how quick to flick your wrist at it — all the while figuring out which of two players on your side should hit the ball back – But, most of all, it’s learning that flailing your arm wildly will not lead to a faster return on your swing. It’s mostly in the wrist, not the arm. That said, it’s a lot more fun to play the game standing up and pretending you’re a tennis player in a slight crouch with your spare art counter balancing you all the way. . .

I’ve not had any pains from playing the Wii, but then I only ever play it for an hour or so at a time, maximum. If it’s any longer than that, I’ll switch up games to exercise different muscles.

Here’s the funny thing, though: It affects my blood sugar. Exercise is good for a diabetic. And all that standing up and lunging around and swinging your arms is a good way to keep yourself active, and a nice way to help regulate your blood sugar. It’s in no way a substitute for a long walk or a stint on the elliptical machine, but it’s ten times better than sitting in front of the computer or watching TV passively. I noticed a slight moderation in my blood sugar levels in the hours after playing with the Wii. I don’t have any hard statistics to back that up, but I’m certain that the limited activity on the Wii has been a help to my overall health, within reason. I’ll keep playing it because it’s fun, but enjoying it a little extra for the help it provides my pancreas.

One other thing: I’ve never had the Wiimote fly out of my hand to the point where the wrist strap had to catch it, posing the potential of it breaking and the Wiimote flying into my TV. If you play the games with just a modicum of self-control, I’m sure you won’t have that problem, either.


5 Responses to “The Wii and Exercise and Diabetes”

  1. Phil
    28. November 2006 at 11:18

    … dang. That’s justification for me to get one. BRILLIANT!

  2. Josh Herndon
    28. November 2006 at 13:04

    I almost had a Wiimote fly into my wife’s head when I was first playing Wii Sports. I was still getting used to the movements and play style and hadn’t quite figured out how tight of a grip I needed. Thankfully, I did have the strap around my wrist!

  3. Jeff
    28. November 2006 at 13:21

    Wii Boxing is the one that tires everyone out from the week-long experience my friends and family have had with it. My arms are still sore from a 5-hour long extravaganza this weekend. I’m severely out of shape.

  4. Nick
    28. November 2006 at 13:30

    I think an awful lot of this depends on how LONG you’re playing. I played Wii sports about 5 hours a day for 5 or 6 days in a row… you do anything that long, you’re going to get sore. Plus, I actually am out of shape…

    Now, though, I’m just playing a couple rounds of Tennis a night (they’re putting me up against players with about 1500 pro points… MAN are they tough!), and then doing the Wii Fitness test (best age was 29 still). It’s about an hour or so of play, and I don’t really get sore anymore.

    My wrists are getting sore playing Zelda, though. I honestly wish I could just hit a button to swing that stupid sword.

  5. Marino
    4. June 2008 at 08:55

    Funny thing, I noticed the same effect on muy sugar levels.

    I’m walking for a hour daily (5~6.5Km/h pace), and keeping record of blood sugar before and after the walk. I experience a 34 % reduction on the glycemyc readings after those walks.

    Yesterday, it was pouring, and not being a fan of walkingunder the rain, I opted for an hour long session of tennis on my kid’s Wii.

    As usual, I took readings,both before and after. Again, I experienced a 33 % reduction on blodd sugar.

    More than likely, it will be raining again today, and I won’t do anything, but I’ll take a couple of readings to see if that reduction is either related to excersize or medication.