Digital joggers train with the game console

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Digital joggers work out with the game console instead of in the fitness center

Instead of the fitness studio, recreational athletes now often prefer the game console or complete their training program with fitness portals on the Internet. Experts are not necessarily critical of this trend, but point out the disadvantages of digital training.

Numerous exercise programs for game consoles In the 80s, Jane Fonda led the way. With video aerobics classes, she quickly became the fitness queen. Now recreational athletes use yoga, aerobics, zumba and other fitness games for consoles with motion control. The Internet offer is also increasing steadily. Portals like, or offer instructions and videos for home athletes. There are also nutritional and health tips. Hobby athletes can take part in competitions, upload photos of their trained bodies, compile their own training program and log all activities.

The exercise programs and training goals also play a decisive role in the fitness consoles. For example, Ubisoft offers "Your Fitness-Coach Club" for the Move motion control on the Playstation 3 and "Your Shape Evolved" for the Kinect sensor on the Xbox 360. Sony has launched "Move Fitness" on the market.
For the Wii from Nintendo there is "Wii Fit", which is supplied together with a so-called balance board, which detects weight changes in addition to its function as a scale. "EA Sports Active" offers Electronic Arts for all three consoles.

Compared to the monthly fee in the gym, the fitness games are cheap. They usually cost between 30 and 40 euros, which, depending on the provider and tariff, might just include two monthly fees in the Mucki-Booth. The internet portals are largely free of charge.

With game consoles, training is possible at any time of the day or night "For many it is an advantage to be able to do the training at any time privately and not publicly in the gym," reports Professor Klaus Völker, head of the Institute for Sports Medicine at the University of Münster Exercises done regularly can have a positive effect. " However, the consoles also have disadvantages. "Customization is always a big problem," explains the expert. Because users generally complete a program that was developed by someone else. This can easily lead to under or overstraining, because the physical requirements are very individual. Endurance sports are generally not very suitable for consoles. "Running on the spot is far from being as effective as proper jogging outside or in the hall," reports Völker.

In addition, many users are annoyed by the constant declarations, which contain almost all programs, when used continuously. In addition, with the initial enthusiasm for fitness games, it was often quickly over. "After an initial hype, the enthusiasm often goes down quickly," says Völker. Self-discipline is also part of the sport with the console.

Health hazards when playing sports with the game console are minor Völker has no major health concerns regarding the fitness consoles. "Of course, I can also pull myself something," he explains. "I have never seen any extreme or dangerous exercises in such fitness games."

"We always make sure that our exercises are suitable for all users," explains the spokeswoman for the "" portal, Kristina Schneider. Some exercise units are only risky in the case of pre-existing conditions such as herniated discs. Then a warning notice always appears. Other risk factors such as the weight of the user must be specified when registering. It is then taken into account when creating the training program. "Of course, we cannot replace a physiotherapist," explains Schneider. She recommends every user to visit a doctor before the first session, as with other fitness programs.

Ralf Anheier from the game manufacturer Electronic Arts reports: “The exercises require a certain radius of action. In small living rooms, this can sometimes be difficult. "Sufficient space is required, especially for the motion control Kinect for the Xbox 360. The manufacturer Microsoft advises that the TV should be 1.80 meters away. In addition, living room athletes should think about their neighbors, for example, because they run fast can become an uncomfortable tramp in the apartment below.

Alternatives to the game console Every child knows today that exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle. Nevertheless, many people find it difficult to get up for sport. It often starts with the youngest. Many children are overweight as early as kindergarten. In addition to incorrect and unhealthy nutrition, a lack of exercise is also largely responsible for this. Parents should therefore support their children in joining sports clubs or visiting other sports groups. In addition to physical activity, community sports also promote children's social behavior. In this way, they learn from an early age that teamwork is important.

If adults find it difficult to jog after a hard day's work, so-called running meetings help. Dates and meeting points are announced, for example, on notices or on social networks on the Internet. Anyone who is on site at the agreed time can run along. This makes it easier to overcome if you are not alone.

Some gyms are now open 24 hours a day so that working people with less busy working hours or shift work can also accept such offers. (ag)

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