In Today, Out Tomorrow

IN: Exergaming
OUT: Video games being for kids only

Newsflash: It’s okay if you’re not a gym person. The jungle of weights, crowds of sweaty people, and weird-looking machines aren’t for everyone, and, thanks to gaming systems like Wii and Kinect (from Xbox 360), more at-home fitness options exist now than ever before. From dancing and yoga to strength training and hula-hooping, just about any form of sweat-inducing movement you can think of has been uploaded onto software.

It gets better: the games are designed to accommodate everyone. That’s right, everyone. Even senior citizens have gotten on board, using the games for socialization, rehabilitation, and staying in shape mentally and physically. And with obesity creating major concerns over the past few decades (according to the Brookings Institute, rates of obesity have doubled since 1970 to over 30 percent, with more than two-thirds of Americans now overweight), it seems that exergaming has surfaced at just the right time.

If you already have a Wii or Xbox 360 console, all you have to do is rent or buy one of the many exergaming options available. If you don’t have a console and aren’t willing to put in the extra cash for one, head to the XRKade interactive gaming center at the North Community YMCA or North St. Paul’s community center. There you’ll find the most advanced active gaming and entertainment systems including DDR, boxing, biking, dancing, tennis, and many others.

North Community YMCA, 1711 W. Broadway Ave., Mpls., 612-588-9484
North St. Paul Community Center, 2290 N. First St., North St. Paul, 651-747-2411