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- Journal of Sport and Health Science: Implications of Exergaming for the Physical Education Curriculum in the 21st Century
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Exercise Equipment With Built in Video Games
It is possible to find treadmills, ellipticals and stationary bikes that provide entertainment as well as a workout. Finding the motivation to exercise can be difficult, especially during cold months when you are confined to the indoors. Certain exercise equipment has built-in video games that you can play while you work out. Some equipment comes with preloaded games, while others have a wireless connection to your television and gaming platforms.
Several different companies make equipment that has preloaded games and videos to make your workout more interactive. Game Rider makes a stationary bike with four different interactive games. In order to play, the handles swivel like a racing vehicle. GameRunner also makes a treadmill that lets you use the movement of your body to play video games built into the system. You control the game through movements of the handlebars. MOG has a stationary bike that has several racing games built in to the machine. You control the games through the speed of the pedals and with the handles.
Connection to Television
Equipment can also connect to your television. In this way, you can play racing games on a big screen through your treadmill, bike or elliptical. These games are preloaded on the machine, which connects wirelessly to your television. Certain Game Rider models offer this option, as well as GameRunner. The downside to this type of equipment is that your television must be compatible with your exercise machine.
Connection to Gaming Equipment
Xbox, Playstation and Gamecube all make games that connect to compatible exercise equipment. The games usually are racing games focusing on speed and steering. As in other built-in games, you steer in the game through the handles of the exercise equipment, and you build speed in the game by moving faster on the equipment. CatEye makes several stationary bikes that are compatible with Xbox, Playstation or Gamecube systems. Kilowatt makes a strength-training machine that also connects to these gaming systems.
As Catherine D. Ennis discusses in her article, "Implications of Exergaming for the Physical Education Curriculum in the 21st Century," research shows that those who play games while working out are stronger, have lower body-fat percentages and better balance. Playing video games where you are racing against the computer encourages you to increase your speed, thus giving you a better workout. These games also keep your mind occupied and introduce an element of fun, which encourages you to work out longer and more often. This increases the success rate of your exercise program. It also increases perceptual motor skills and balance, because you are engaging in hand-eye coordination and foot-eye coordination to advance in the video games.
Elizabeth Gray has been writing since the age of five, but professionally since the age of 21. Her current writing gigs include article writing for Studio Anya, and playwriting for the Manhattan Repertory Theatre.