Monday, August 4, 2008

To Wii or not to wii....?

I woke up this morning and once again was faced with a grey/white sky that looked like it belonged to a gloomy morning in December in Northern Europe. The only difference being that humidity has shot up once again , as have the temperatures. Now, we all know what summer in the Emirates is like (and for those who don't - the answer is 'uncomfortable'). But what are some of the consequences of living in such a harsh climate - for a least a good part of the year.

I know its a global problem - but one that is sinking its teeth nicely into the emirates is the problem of obesity , particularly diabetes! The unbearable weather , coupled with not very many footpaths for pedestrians- UAE is not exactly condusive to healthy living. Yes, yes, before you say it , there are no shortness of personal trainers and fitness centres here, but if you DONT fancy giving your hard earned cash to Fitness First and its ilk in order to achieve what should be perfectly attainable without their help - you're between a rock and a hard place in Dubai!Furthermore, as a resident of the lovely Sharjah , I would rather come home from work and be able to catch an hour of non-working activity before heading to bed. A detour to the gym is sure to lead to hours of traffic and delays on top of what is an already hellish commute.

For fear of this turning into a 'reasons why I shouldn't exercise" post, allow me to make my point!The only way I have ever been able to exercise , has been through a brisk long walk - which, contrary to popular belief - its brilliant aerobic exercise. Its also 'do-able' just about anywhere. Anywhere , that is , except most parts of Sharjah , where you will take your life into your hands and risk being run off the road by those lovely trucks with the dangly jingly decorations hanging from the back! Heat , of course is also something that is a strong deterrent for me to get out onto the roads . Also, being in Sharjah, I have noticed that I am distinctly uncomfortable walking as a woman on my own. Am not appreciating the stares of some who cant keep their eyes in their heads. The obvious answer to this would be to throw on an abaya , but seeing as heat is a detterent for me , well thats not going to improve my personal situation now is it !
Enter the Wii. As a teacher by profession , anybody who knows me , knows that I am anti - computer games, and I'm basing that souly on having met ten year olds who cannot conduct a normal conversation due to hours of sitting slack jawed in front of a screen perfecting their thumb dexterity and becoming shockingly desensitised to violence. However, I feel nintendo have somewhat redeemed themselves with the wii. Anything that makes you get off your rear and start to move is a good thing in my book , add to that the fact that if you miss a day - you are asked what happened! Well its working for me!

It has , in the past, come under harsh criticism in recent times in the UK because it allegedly called a young girl "fat". I dont think any parent with a brain should be putting their kids on the wii BMI monitor - it IS fairly honest - and perhaps , as described, inaccurate for developing kids.

But in my book, the wii remains untarnished - anything that gets you moving, and is fun and interactive is a keeper!

Lets face it , if healthy living and an active lifestyle is the norm in your household - then why on earth would you even need to test your BMI on a computer game - let alone allow your children to do it?

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