Man Versus Machine

There's been a lot of media chatter about whether the new 'active' video games help you generate the moderate level of physical activity the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends performing at least 150 minutes a week. To find out, Nintendo funded a study presented at the AHA's Scientific Session 2009.

Estimated energy expenditure is measured in units called Metabolic Equivalent Values (METs). Light intensity exercise is 1 to 3 METs, moderate intensity is 3 to 6 METs, and anything higher is considered vigorous. Turns out that about a third of the games tested require an energy expenditure of 3 METs or above. Five games made players work out at rates above 4 METs.

The Bigger Picture: While playing video games isn't likely to rival a torturous hour under a weighted-down barbell, it might be a reasonable substitution for cardio day. Active video also presents you with a fun way to change up your training and keep it real…in a digital video dimension.
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