Video games that do the body good

Sandra Sepaniak

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Seldom does one go to a family-friendly party without seeing a Nintendo Wii or an Xbox with Kinect set up beneath the living room TV set. It’s commonplace for those consoles to have a game from the “Just Dance” series in them and for a group of people to be doing something resembling dancing in front of it while others amusedly watch.

Many people can accredit positive changes in lifestyle and exercise to recently acquiring one of the “Just Dance” games, and at the same time, most of its users will agree that it’s a refreshing change of pace from the usual exercise routine. Dozens of songs are available to dance to on each game, varying from lost hits of the 80’s such as Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” on the original game to more recent songs like LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” on the game’s latest incarnation. The effort involved in getting a high score also varies from song to song.

I know several people who have fallen in love with “Just Dance” to the point that they’ve admitted to almost feeling addicted to its simple dance moves and catchy music. While the idea of being addicted to a video game is unsettling to me at first, I’ve noticed that it’s had some benefits.

My own mother, one of these alleged “addicts,” has recently gotten into “Just Dance 2.” This came about after suggestions from her doctor to start exercising in order to combat elevated cholesterol and blood fat levels.

Since she started using the game on a regular basis, coupled with a slight change in her diet, my mom has seen her cholesterol start to lower back down to normal levels.

Admittedly, the dance moves in the game aren’t exactly something one would want to perform in front of a crowd – it’d probably look a little awkward to any third parties that might walk in on someone dancing in front of a television screen. However, be it done for weight loss or for fun, the results should speak for themselves.

The “Just Dance” series brings hours of user-friendly fun to parties and get-togethers. With a variety of games catering to all sorts of music fans, including one with kid-oriented tunes and another consisting entirely of Broadway numbers, I’d be hard pressed to find someone who genuinely doesn’t like to play “Just Dance” with a group of their friends during a party. Tack onto that the fitness aspect of the games, and players are met with a solid package of entertainment and health benefits.

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