Using Wii to Exercise With MS

Jake Crest Health Guide
  • I know this might seem a bit childish, but while Mandy and I were out of town visiting family over the long Thanksgiving weekend, I discovered something that a good portion of the game playing public already knows. I was introduced to Wii, a game machine by Nintendo that has apparently captivated gamers and non-gamers alike and that has been making tremendous inroads into the adult market.

    While Wii-'bowling' with my niece, it occurred to me that this simple game might be able to help my wife, who suffers from relapsing-remitting MS, get a little exercise in order to keep her muscles toned. My suspicions were confirmed as I watched Mandy Wii-'box' with an opponent, her arms thrashing wildly as she worked feverishly to pummel her Wii-generated opponent. So, with a bow towards impulse buying and a firm desire to help the US economy climb out of its recent decline, Mandy and I purchased our very own Wii. Of course, me being a web designer, the first thing I did was hook it up to our in-home wireless network. This will allow us to play games with Wii-wielding family and friends, no matter where in the world they happen to be. The game comes standard with Wii Sports and includes bowling, tennis, boxing, golf, and baseball. We plan on getting Wii Fitness, which is a fitness program that you perform with the Wii coaching you along and measuring your progress. We can both use this one.

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    Tonight we'll be at the store buying a second controller so that Mandy can take a shot at boxing with me. My suspicion is that this might be something lots of wives would like to do given the chance. I plan to make a little Wii character named MonSter that Mandy can compete against...and beat.

    Mandy's in a pretty good place right now, MS-wise. Her legs get a bit unsteady if overused, but she's grown used to that and has made carrying a cane standard fare when she knows in advance that a lot of walking is required. But even she laments the overall loss of muscle tone. One of the most debilitating aspects of MS is its ability to create extreme fatigue in those who suffer with it. Mandy's not in that place right now, so it will be interesting to see if her playing the Wii slows down when fatigue invariably finds its way to her once more. In the meantime, however, we're going to push forward and see if perhaps by putting a little fun into the chore of daily exercise we can start to reverse the downward physical spiral that seems to grab hold of victims of MS.

    As I'm guessing that there are those of you who might actually be interested, I'll keep you updated on our progress.

Published On: December 01, 2008