An upswing in smart phones, exercise games and fitness websites is helping students stay accountable with their fitness routines using the technologies they already employ on a daily basis.
According to the website whattheyplay.com, fitness-related games, including the Wii Fit and EA Sports Active, now account for one-sixth of all games sold, with the latest gaming invention, Xbox’s Kinect, released this month.
The trend of video game exercising, called “exergaming or extertainment” has increased in popularity since its breakthrough with Dance Dance Revolution.
Marilyn Porter, a former university Human Resources employee, said she heard about Wii Fit from a friend. She said the game allowed her to work out at home and not have to drive to a gym.
“It’s the ease of having it there,” Porter said.
The game is progressive 8212; as Porter’s fitness level changed, so did the game.
Aside from convenience, these technologies also help people pay attention to their health and stay committed to a routine.
Brittany Brady, a Master of Education student at the University of Texas at Arlington, said she uses her iPhone to keep track of her workout progress. She used the iPod application and the Nike Accelerator, a chip that is embedded in certain Nike shoes that tracks mileage, to track the miles she walked every morning with her dog, Moxie.
“It might motivate me to do more if I could keep up with stuff like that,” she said. “I’ve noticed that I am walking farther now.”
Before she bought the application, she said she would drive to the park. Now the application has motivated her to walk to the park and go farther.
Assistant Director of Health and Fitness at the Campus Recreation Center, Molly McGregor, said it was important to give people a variety of options to help them with their goals.
“I would absolutely consider creating some sort of exercise log system on the TCU recreation website. Applications like Lose It! and others are just another tool and resource to help people become more mindful of their health and wellness,” she said. “If an online system resonates with the TCU community, I’m all for it.”
Senior environmental earth resources major Ryan Forrest said he uses e-mail to stay on track with his fitness regimen.
According to MensHealth.com, the magazine has teamed up with the book “Eat This, Not That.” The newsletter will send readers daily e-mails, which encourage readers to watch what they eat at restaurants and to substitute when they are able. They also will send nutrition tips.
“I think that I work out better rather than more,” Forrest said. “When I have something that will hold me accountable to the time I dedicate to working out, as well as the intensity, I feel better about myself and my workout.”