Monday, June 15, 2009

No more "sitting on the sidelines" with EA Sports Active for Nintendo Wii

On a recent night after work, I met up with my friends Jerry, Krystal, and Scott in the recreation center of Scott’s building to test out EA SPORTS Active. With the exception of Krystal, the rest of us have varying disabilities (arthritis, spinal cord injury, and cerebral palsy—we all use wheelchairs) and wanted to see how well we faired with this new fitness video game package, which allows users to create their own customized workout from more than 25 exercises or follow the recommendations of a virtual trainer. We chose to try both.

Although Scott bailed before we could get the Wii to work on the big screen TV, Jerry finally got it up and running and the three of us began taking turns replicating the exercises as demonstrated by our virtual fitness trainer. Some exercises, like inline skating or squats, definitely proved difficult or impossible when you’re sitting in a wheelchair. But, we had a good laugh over trying to figure out a way to do the exercises and eventually passed along the controls to Krystal once we gave up. Other exercises, like tennis or hitting the punch bag, proved to be something we all could do—and we even broke quite a sweat!!

After following the recommended routine for a while, we decided it might be better for Jerry and I to create our own workout made up of exercises we knew we could do based on our own abilities. This turned out to be even more fun, so much so that I had trouble tearing the couple away for dinner. As the minutes (and calories) flew by, we continued to laugh and sweat over games of baseball, volleyball, and even dancing. While this fitness game system certainly can be played alone, I think we all agree that exercising with friends makes it much more enjoyable!

Having the option to customize your own workout also makes EA SPORTS Active a worthwhile investment for those with physical limitations. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, it allows you to “get in the game,” literally. In “virtual life,” Jerry and I can engage in activities, like baseball or tennis, whereas in “real life,” we could not. Furthermore, the customized workout allows us to skip those activities that we still can’t do virtually, like squats.

I recommend trying EA SPORTS Active as a fun way for those with disabilities to stay in shape, especially if you are one who doesn’t venture out much. The game package allows you to select exercises that are right for you—and any exercise is better than no exercise.


  1. My wife and I just saw the commercial for the first time (first for me at least). She's all pumped up about it. She's been bugging me to get a Wii. Thanks for the review!

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I have a neuromuscular disease and was disappointed with the Wii Fit because so much of it requires you to be barefoot. I can't stand or walk without my orthotics. I'm going to give this one a try!

  3. I hope you plan to keep going with it. It's really exciting how many great fitness games are out now, gems like EA Active, Gold's Gym, and Wii Fit! They make losing weight more fun than traditional tools like treadmills or krankcycles. Kudos for donating your hair to a good cause. :)

  4. I saw you on Twitter. I can definitely relate as I have had rheumatoid arthritis since the age of 8. I am always looking for a way to exercise w/o causing further joint damage, so thanks!:) @makeupbydeidra


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