When you think of jogging, you probably think of hitting the roads, trails or even the treadmill. The "Wii Fit" video game from Nintendo was designed to give you a less orthodox option. With the "Wii Fit" you simply jog on the spot while keeping the Wii controller in your pocket. The controller acts as a pedometer, estimating your speed and controlling your avatar. While this may not satisfy serious runners, jogging with the game can be a convenient and fun way to burn calories and track your progress.
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You can jog with a Wii regardless of the weather. If it's a snowy winter day or in the middle of a heat wave, you're avoiding the elements. "Wii Fit" also makes it easy to simply go for a jog without having to worry about mapping out your run, dealing with traffic, or running through unsafe neighborhoods after dark. Treadmills offer these benefits too, but those can be costly and take up a lot of room. With the "Wii Fit," you don't need any special equipment beyond the Wii System and the game.
A 2009 study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise tested a bunch of Wii games and found the jogging games were the biggest calorie burners. Both "Free Run" and "Island Run" burned an average of 5.5 calories per minute -- or about 165 calories per half hour. By comparison, "Rhythm Boxing" burned an average of just 3.8 calories per minute while "Free Step" burned 3.3.
The Fun Factor
Most people will find jogging in place boring on its own. But the "Wii Fit" turns this into a game. You can watch your avatar on the screen and even race against your friends in the two player version. If you play on the free run setting, you can challenge yourself to see how far you can run in a set time. The screen shows a countdown clock and estimates your distance.
The Wii system also helps you track your progress from one session to another. If you run on your own, you need to keep track of your runs yourself. The "Wii Fit" will automatically store this information as part of your profile, allowing you to check your run distance and times each time you use the system. You can also track your calorie burn, which the system estimates based on the height and weight you enter. You can even track your body mass index to see how jogging affects your body composition over time.