The Doctor Mario Diet

Video games used to be one of the best excuses to curl up into a cozy ball on your couch and zone out for a couple of hours. But with the constant re-invention that is so commonly seen in gaming systems, it was only a matter of time until there was a way to play a video game and become more physically involved.One of the first examples of this type of video game is the physically exhausting arcade game Dance Dance Revolution (DDR). USA Today has reported several accounts of serious weight loss in gamers spending all their time and quarters while dancing off unwanted pounds. USA Today interviewed 19-year-old Matt Keene of South Carolina, who lost a whopping 200 pounds while playing DDR. Even UVM students have felt the physical effects of the techno-blaring game. Senior Nick Sachs admitted to playing the home version of DDR in a friend’s garage, claiming, “I used to be covered in sweat and really embarrassed I was playing DDR.” Despite the mild shame of sweating to cheesy techno, DDR is actually a great form of cardio exercise, delivering the strongest and most beneficial workout available from a video game according to The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA). Another new system that takes more than just button pushing is Nintendo’s Wii. Motion censored controllers allow gamers to physically interact during play. A UK study at the Liverpool John Moores University found that playing Wii burns 40 percent more calories than any other game consel. Average video game systems are associated with the growing number of overweight kids in America. However, the Wii offers a workout for more than just your fingers. Blogger Mickey DeLarenzo of Philadelphia proves this with his Wii Sports experiment detailed on DeLarenzo claims in his blog that playing the Wii Sports Suite for thirty minutes a day for six weeks with no change in eating habits caused him to drop 9 pounds and two pant sizes; pretty impressive for just having fun in your living room. There are even organized health and fitness programs, like WiiHealthy that center around weight loss from playing Wii Sports.The Wii Fitness program detailed on offers a ten week program helping participants reduce their body fat index. One testimonial claims to have lost 30 pounds using the program. UVM students are feeling the effects as well. “I got sucked into Guitar Hero for Wii the moment I started playing,” said Senior Nick Latos. “I definitely noticed my heart rate increasing; I found it was a pretty good workout and even made me break a sweat.” Latos said he felt the best workout came from Wii Boxing.”It’s really mentally and physically stimulating. It improves hand-eye coordination and totally gets you off the couch and moving. After just a few rounds I was even a little winded.” The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) agrees, and has officially endorsed Nintendo’s latest videogame console as a creditable means to promote metabolic health and provide beneficial effects for gamers. Prompted by the growing desire for entertaining fitness games, Nintendo is awaiting the release of Wii Fit. According to Gamespot, a popular gaming website, Wii Fit is designed to engage the player in a full range of body motions centered on yoga style poses and 40 other mini-game exercises. Wii Fit actually measures the player’s body fat index, and maps improvement. The game includes a white wireless floor mat with motion sensing technology for the player to replicate the movements of the character on screen. According to Nintendo, Wii Fit is scheduled to be released in February 2008, and seems a healthier alternative to computer games, promoting a healthier lifestyle for latent American youth. Say hello to a new exercise guru: Mario.