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Popularity of video game workouts takes Y by surprise

Popularity of video game workouts takes Y by surpriseCARTER HAYDU The Moose Jaw Times Herald

Jessica Sorowski, 12, poses with the video boxing game at the YMCA on Thursday. The YMCA has incorporated physical activity and video games as a way to keep kids active. Colin Dewar photographA happy surprise from the local YMCA’s summer video game fitness trial program is the positive response from senior citizens. Jeff Fox, YMCA CEO, said elderly women from an osteoporosis class, for example, really enjoy the interactivity of the video exercise equipment. “We didn’t really plan for that, but it happened.” The local health and fitness organization purchased the video games, which incorporate physical activity, back in June. Fox said various groups and day camps, as well as individual YMCA members, have used the equipment over the past couple months, giving organizers an idea how to incorporate the devices into the facility’s autumn programming. “(The day campers) have kind of been our guinea pigs,” he said, adding autumn programs begin in September.

There are two general video-game options at the YMCA. Stationary bikes are hooked up to a Play Station 2. Using racing games, the video characters go faster and perform better depending on the intensity one peddles his or her real-life bike. Also, there are separate “exergaming” (exercise plus gaming) units that allow club members to play baseball, tennis, boxing and other non-racing sports.Carter Haydu can be reached at 691-1265.

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