Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Exercise, Wii Not?

So you hate exercise more than you hate Parkinson's Disease? You must really hate exercise. I could cite chapter and verse about why you should love it, or, failing love, at least have a tawdry, cheap affair with it. But who am I to browbeat you into doing something you dislike? Over at Parkinson's Disease Exercise ,there's a nifty report about using video games to make exercise *GASP!* enjoyable.

According to their post

"... researchers from the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) showed how just four weeks of play exacted marked improvements in patients suffering from Parkinson’s at varying degrees of severity. Using games that require finesse in bilateral movement, eye-hand coordination, and figure-ground relationship is an ideal way to help a person afflicted with a disease that impairs motor skills. Playing rounds of Wii tennis, bowling, and boxing three times a week for a month was all the longer it took to see changes."

Although I am a mild-mannered, gentle soul, I am surprisingly attracted to the idea of Wii boxing. I see myself in the role of Joe Louis, (there is only one Ali) and Parkinson's in the role of my hapless opponent.

It's round four. Adrenalin is pumping. My opponent senses that he has been overconfident. I jab a right to the midriff, an uppercut to the jaw. A little fancy festination footwork sets up a roundhouse swing... and a sudden shower of sweat explodes from the face of the PD Palooka as my glove lands a shattering clout to his nose. Huffing like a hyperventilating rhino he sways. His eyes fill with shock, confusion and impotent rage. He totters and plunges face-down to the mat with a wet smack that reverberates above the roar of the hysterical crowd. Light bulbs flash to the cadence of the ref counting off the ritual certification of a knockout. I lean over my stricken opponent, smile, and say "Are we still on for tennis tomorrow?"

The beauty here is how fantasy feeds back in a positive way to reality. An act of imagination leads to better management of The Beast. And at the very least, we can now go down swinging.

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