Bring Back the Wii!

Remember when the Nintendo Wii first came out and everybody had so much fun playing the virtual games and sports? The Wii popularity seemed to die down with the rise of Play Station 3 and the XBox 360, shifting the role of millenium video games from physical activity immersion to strategy building and problem solving.  I still use my Wii to watch Netflix but hardly play my Wii Sports or Wii Fit games anymore.  My roommates and I decided to play some Wii boxing and bowling against each other before going out this weekend.  I was so absorbed in my first boxing match that one round turned into about 15.  I was uppercutting, jabbing, throwing right hooks and ducking from my opponent with as much force as I  would have exerted in a real fight.

The next morning I woke so sore and weak that I could barely lift my cellphone off my nightstand to silence my alarm clock.  I felt every muscle in my back, neck, shoulders, arms and abs sore and throbbing from my boxing match.  The Wii Fit games are actually targeted to weight loss and physical activity goals; you can choose a personal trainer to instruct you as you perform yoga, balance, running, etc moves on your Wii Fit board.  Wii Fit weighs you at the start of your personalized program and helps you plan your activity and weight loss each week over the course of a month or however long you expect to shed the weight.

The Wii console, unlike the PS3 or XBox games that use headsets to keep the players connected during online play, requires that players be in the same room with each other using their own remotes to compete against each other on the same TV.  Playing together in person creates actual bonding time between players who are usually close friends or acquaintances in real life.  Do you even know who your closest comrade ‘Commander Eagle Eye’ is in actuality when you play Call of Duty with him on PS3 or what he looks like?  I suppose it’s all preference but I think the Wii makes for a more entertaining and personal video game experience.

Prevention During Spring Break

For you few lucky college students who are traveling in a few weeks for spring break, the goal is to have fun and keep your bodies nourished and protected while you do it.  The number one rule of going anywhere warm and sunny is obviously SUNSCREEN.  Sun protection is essential to skin cancer prevention – about 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 65 percent of melanomas are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.  In a rigorous study of more than 1,600 adults over the course of a decade, researchers determined that subjects applying sunscreen with an SPF of 16 daily reduced their risk of melanoma by 50 percent (Sunscreen Safety: The Reality).

My second rule to laying out in the sun all day and for that matter, performing any physical activity under the hot sun, requires drinking extra water and eating lush foods like fruits and vegetables that contain high percentages of water.  Dehydration can cause problems like swollen feet, headaches or life-threatening conditions like heat strokes.  I suggest wearing a brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect delicate facial skin from sun spots, wrinkles and leathery skin down the road.

Sticking to your workout routine over any kind of vacation can be very challenging once you’re faced with all the sweet cocktails, good food, beach merriment and night clubs on your vacation but it’s possible to avoid any extra weight gain.  Wake up early and eat the good kinds of carbs and protein like eggs, bacon and whole wheat toast before going on an inspirational run on the beach for 30 minutes.  In addition to your cardio run, here’s a powerful 30 minute workout from Health Magazine you can do without gym equipment; a perfect vacation solution to keep the weight off while you party.

  • 2 minutes of jumping jacks
  • Side lunges w/ 5-8 pound dumbbells for 24 reps, each leg
  • Dancing squats w/ 8 pound dumbbell for 24 reps, each leg
  • Line hops or jump rope for 2 minutes
  • ‘Tipsy’ Bridge and Lift for 24 repps, each side
  • Biceps and Arm Circles w/ 5-8 pound dumbbells for 16 reps, each arm
  • Fast Feet for 2 minutes
  • Triceps w/ a Twist using 8-10 pound dumbbells for 24 reps, each side
  • Supermans (aka Roll Over and Sit Ups) for 16 reps back and stomach
  • Cross Crawl for 2 minutes

Stretch it out and you’re done, ready to relax and carry on with your festivities!