Being that we’re in the elderly services industry, we’re well aware that as we age, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain an active lifestyle, especially if subject to challenges such as arthritis, joint pains, and other physical injuries. Playing sports, hiking and other forms of exercise may no longer be an option.
So what is one to do?
We found that seniors are actually bridging the generation gap and turning to video games. The popular video game console, Nintendo Wii, has become somewhat of an icon for at-home physical fitness and is the perfect way to mix a workout with fun.
In fact, thousands of senior homes across the country invested in one or more consoles to encourage participation and activity.
Can’t be on your feet long?
It’s hand-held remote control works as a pointing device and detects movement, challenging gamers to get up and move their body while having fun playing video games. Movement can still be detected while sitting, making this option easier for those in a wheelchair or who cannot stand for long periods of time.
Nintendo Wii offers a variety of games such as dancing, bowling, yoga and much more, all which are suitable for every age.
Seniors both at home and in assistant living homes are participating in their very own bowling tournaments and tennis matches; some have even created an Olympics event where they can complete in a variety of sports and games through the console.
Are videos games really a safe alternative to working out?
Its interaction and realistic feel can give seniors the same adrenaline as a workout but in safer settings. So, rather than picking up a 15 lb. bowling ball, just hold the [less than 10 oz.] controller and show off that arm-swing.These types of alternatives will keep gaming fun, convenient, and safe for seniors.
According to experts at healthfinder.gov, seniors who participate in regular physical activity have a lower risk of falls as well as improvement in cognitive function (i.e. learning and judgement skills).
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month so whether it’s the Nintendo Wii, Xbox Kinect, or a simple stroll around the house, let’s all make sure to exercise and stay active!
Popular Video Games for Seniors:
Wii Sports:This includes five classic sports in one game (Boxing, bowling, tennis, baseball and golf)
Wii Play:Also includes multiple games in one, such as billiards, fishing, and shooting range
Link’s Crossbow Training: Purchase the Wii Zapper and get Link’s Crossbow Training, which is a popular shooting game among the senior set
Mario Kart: This classic game isn’t just for kids anymore. Race go-karts or motorbikes around one of 16 tracks
Dancing with the Stars:Fans of the TV Show will love moving their body to this game
The Price is Right: Fans of The Price is Right will enjoy many favorites from the show including a chance to spin the Big Wheel.
Wii Hooked!: Fans who love to fish will love this game to compete with friends or just practice fishing skills.
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