Is remote exercising worth the risk?

If your dog is fat, you’re not getting enough exercise.—Author Unknown


Everyone has a Wii by now, right? Isn’t it the best thing? Before it and the Wii Fit, I had never felt the need for a game console. We skipped right over the Play Stations and Xboxes. (Do they still sell those?) But I just couldn’t resist those commercials with the little logo letters bowing at me.

In my vast experience, it’s the greatest thing since Atari Space Invaders. That says a lot. Probably more than I want it to.

Everybody in my house loves it, except for Libby, our ample lab. And I suspect it’s not just winter fur that’s bulked her up.

I’m not holding that against her because it’s not her fault. She has a great attitude for being 10 going on 70, and at any given moment, jumps at the chance to clip on a leash and take a walk. Problem is, she hasn’t had too many chances.

I think this whole indoor fitness thing we have going on here is starting to wear on her.

First, she had to watch us drag in a treadmill. Then a Wii Fit. It’s no wonder she’s put on some pounds. Aside from fewer walks, she’s been drowning her sorrows in whatever she can pull out of the trash can. We’ve all been there. If not literally, then at least emotionally.

There may be good news for Libby and other slighted dogs forced to pick a corner and watch their masters run on the Wii fit. People are getting injured through “exergames.” Will this be the factor that again sets our dogs free to take a guided walk outside?

USA Today ran a story about the frequency of injuries from video game exercise regimens. It made me chuckle, mainly because it gave examples of reported injuries. Not that I stand and point or blatantly laugh at falling people, but in a “funniest home videos” kind of way, it’s good stuff.

It’s actually funnier that someone spent the time compiling a study in 2010 that concludes that exercise is a good thing.

The article cited these documented cases from medical journals: a 14-year-old who broke her ankle by tripping off the balance board; another kid smacked his sister in the face with the remote; and the worst one, a woman who fell into a coffee table during a Wii tennis game and spent five days in the hospital with internal bleeding.

I completely understand that one—my kids are repeatedly warned to stay back several feet during my tennis sessions. One can’t be held responsible when the competition heats up.

The article urged us electronic “athletes” to weight the risks against the rewards.

“Injuries can occur with everything we do in life, including rolling out of bed,” offered an exercise scientist from an American university.


So, it’s OK for us to risk contracting “Wiiitis” (a real term for sore wrists and shoulders from remote overuse) for the sake of our sport.

And, more importantly, no matter how bad we are at the real thing (take me…at tennis) we can realize our dreams through cloned Miis and an invisible racket. Some days I so love technology.

I just wish I could Mii my dog. I’d sure like to take her on a run sometime.

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