Can video games help you to get fitter?

Why Video Games Are Good For You—Really Good For You

Over the past year, as motion-controlled gaming has gained a greater hold in living rooms and basements everywhere, developers have worked hard to find games that take advantage of using movement to control games. One of the most sensible applications has been the dance game. While the big three game consoles have all approached motion control in a different way, each has a long list of dance games associated with it. These allow players to pixel polonaise – and a variety of other styles, from country to broadway. They can even soft-shoe like smurfs, proving that we’ve come a long way since arcade dance dance revolution machines. But could dance games be enjoyable to someone with only marginally more rhythm than a myocardial infarction? there was only one way to find out – i gathered my kids and jumped in with both left feet to try. The games that we looked at were everybody dance on the playstation 3, just dance 3 on the xbox 360 and just dance kids 2 on the wii. Overall, the games are quite similar in a number of ways. Each has about 40 songs. The interfaces are generally the same – there’s a model that the player attempts to mirror and a follow-the-bouncing-ball preview of upcoming moves that’s presented with stick figures. There’s some sort of feedback to tell the player how well he’s matching the dance moves. Lastly, all the games offer a way to ratchet up the difficulty. Now, on to the specifics.

As dancers, we know that what we’ve learned in the studio goes far beyond the steps and choreography. We know from our own experience that dance can be transformative; that it helps us grow not only as movers and artists, but as individuals and citizens. We learn so many skills through dance, but so often it is dismissed as fluffy, frivolous, or merely something to do for fun. So the next time someone tries to tell you that you are “just” a dancer (or “just” a dance teacher!), remind them that there is no such thing as “just” when it comes to dance! we learn valuable life skills through dance – skills that have applications extending far beyond the dance studio. Dance training truly is life training, and the skills developed through dance can be applied throughout your life. Here are just 8 of the life skills that are learned through dance: accountability – as a dancer, you are part of a team working together to present the best possible performance. Whether you are a member of the corps or the chorus, the prima ballerina or the leading man, a swing or an understudy, you are vital to the success of the production. If you skip rehearsal, phone it in, forget your entrance, or don’t give it all in every run through, the entire team suffers. You learn quickly that others rely on you, and you are accountable to fulfill your role with humility and hard work.

Skittles is a modified version of bowling. A few skittles are places in a triangular arrangement on one end of the room. The child is asked to stand at the opposite end of the room and throw a ball on the skittles. The objective is to make all the skittles fall. If a child has difficulty in aiming or throwing, they can be moved closer to the skittles. Musical numbers children move around and dance when the music is playing. When the music stops, the conductor calls out a number. The children have to get into groups of that number. If the children have difficulty with numbers, simpler numbers can be used. Another option is to use number cards. Guess the object in this game, the conductor has an object which he or she hides in a box. The children have to guess what the object is. They can only ask questions for which the answer is “yes” or “no”. Some questions could be – is it something we eat? is it something we play with? in this manner, the children collect clues and guess what the object is. Passing the hat in this game, children sit in a circle and music is played. A hat is passed around. Each child has to place the hat on their head and then pass it on. When the music stops, the person who has the hat has to sing a song, or tell a little story, or do a little dance. Ball darts this game requires a cardboard box in which a few holes have been cut out. The children need to take turns and throw a small ball into any one of the holes. If a child has difficulty in using their arms, the box can be brought closer to the child. Otherwise, the holes can be made very big. This game requires visual skills. Blowing the candle a set of twenty candles are arranged on a tray. Each child gets the opportunity to come forward and blow three times. The objective is to blow as many candles as possible. This game also helps children learn turn taking, and improves motor skills that are required for feeding, as well as speech. Dress-up game a collection of dress- up materials is kept available for the children. One at a time, each child picks up things that they would like to wear and puts it on. Finally, they parade for the rest of the group. Then it is the next child’s turn. A full size mirror will make dressing up more fun. Here is one more dressing game that you can use. Here is another group game for your class. These are just a few ideas to get you started. Make up your own games and think of ways you can modify games you know. 

Video games can improve your health. You just need to play the right ones.

Kiddo provides information, resources and skills for parents, teachers and early learning educators getting kids moving and building physical literacy and physical activity skills for life for children age 3-8  active at home hub 2020 the PE suite will allow parents and carers the opportunity to access a variety of PE, physical activities and sports contents to support children there are many you tube links to keeps children healthy and active including yoga, just dance and many more. The body coach physical education sessions PE sessions at home via you tube monday-friday 9am Real PE at home real PE is a unique, child centred approach that transforms how we teach PE to challenge and support every child Real PE at home supports PE home learning and families to play and learn together while having fun primary schools and families. London Sport have pulled together a range of resources that can help alleviate the difficulties many families will face in keeping their kids active. We’ve collated a small selection of providers who have an offer specifically for those children and young people below the age of 25. 

Older toddlers, with their physical abilities, problem-solving skills, and love of language, are eager for playmates. Months earlier, they may have watched others playing, or even played side by side with another child. Now, they are beginning to play together… sometimes even without fighting! your toddler will develop social skills with time, practice, and your guidance. During this third year, toddlers are able to use their imaginations in their play. A toy broom is not just for sweeping. It becomes a dance partner or a cowboy’s horse. As toddlers approach 3, they play more with peers, making up stories and “rules” for their games. Pretend play also helps them work through difficult experiences, like saying good-bye to a parent at child care.

Some games were actually created to help players learn to manage stress more efficiently. While these games aren’t necessarily as “mainstream” as some of the others, they can be especially helpful for stress relief. Some games train players in meditation while others can even train in biofeedback, helping players build skills in these powerful stress management techniques that can be used in virtually any stressful situation. Games that teach stress management skills are rare, but there are a few. An older game that teaches biofeedback is known as Relaxing Rhythms by Wild Devine, which uses finger sensors to provide in-game feedback. There is also a brain-sensing headband known as Muse, which provides feedback for meditation: you listen to nature sounds as you meditate, but once your mind begins to wander, the atmospheric nature sounds become more intense until you bring your thoughts back to the present moment. This is a device that seems to fall somewhere between game and tool, but can be enjoyable and more interesting to many new practitioners of meditation.

One very promising game is called Champions of the Shengha, and it allows players to wear a sensor in real life and become more powerful in the game by remaining calm as they play it, facilitating mindfulness practice. (Watch a video here about how Champions of the Shengha works.) Champions of the Shengha is a remarkable game in that it encourages the practice of emotional mastery and allows players to become more powerful in the game as well as in real life as a result. Its ideal for teens and others who may have a difficult time learning stress management techniques like mindfulness, but love playing games. It is still in development but should be available in the near future.

So, can video games help you to get fitter? Well yes. Really, any game that you truly enjoy can be a stress reliever. Virtually any game that you find to be truly fun can be beneficial by providing an escape from daily stress, a break from patterns of rumination, or a way to build positive feelings. Play, tune into your feelings during and after you play, and see what you enjoy the most!

Basically, if you enjoy a game, it is probably a good stress reliever for you. Games with a strong social component, particularly a cooperative one, may be especially beneficial as stress-relief tools. (They can also be time-consuming or even addictive, so be careful about that.) Finding a game that doesn’t require a huge time investment and allows for casual involvement (rather than carrying a stiff penalty if you need to quit a game after a certain amount of time or play only for limited amounts of time) may be less stressful as well, for obvious reasons. Ultimately, pay attention to how you feel during and after you play. Make adjustments based on your observations.

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