An Exercise In Television Viewing

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - January 31, 2007
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I believe that my doctor will be happy to know that I am getting vigorous exercise - by watching TV. No, not execising the thumb with which I operate the TV remote control, but genuine, sweat-producing, heavy-breathing, heart-pounding exercise.

This is because we bought our 9-year-old daughter a Nintendo Wii game console. Actually, she paid for half of it with money she had saved up. If you don’t know what the Wii is all about, it’s probably the hottest video game player out.

I think the reason is because the “joystick” controller is wireless and the games rely on major interaction from the player. For instance, in a bowling game, you’re actual holding the controller like a bowling ball and going through all the physical motions of whipping it down the lane.

There’s also baseball, tennis, boxing, golf and even a footrace. My wife said she read where a guy lost eight pounds in the first week of playing his Wii. I didn’t believe her until our daughter enlisted me to play some of the games with her.

She’s a fierce competitor, so I had to refrain from pulling any punches in my game. After what seemed like hours in front of the TV playing these games on the Wii, I was totally exhausted. The stamina of a healthy 9-year-old far outweighs that of a 48-year-old dad.

I was ready to take a break when our daughter wanted to switch to another video-type game she received from her uncle for Christmas. I figured “Why not?” - that is, until I found out that the game was called Dance Revolution. That’s the one where you hip-hop dance on a pad and you follow steps that are called out and shown on the TV screen. It’s like running a marathon.

Later that night after the kids were asleep, my wife sat next to me on the living room couch and said, “Let’s relax and watch some TV.” I looked over at her and replied, “Not tonight, Honey, I’m way too tired.”


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