‘Nintendo Switch Sports’: Low Impact Workout Has High Impact for Chronic Illness

Entertainment Games

If you’re of a “certain age,” you remember the early weekend morning, standing-outside-a-Big-Box-store Wii drops of the early 2000s. You might even remember when the original Wii Sports was released and the way assisted care facilities used it with their residents. If you fondly remember getting that low-impact workout from bowling (yes, bowling, ok?), then the new Switch Sports ($32.99) is right up your alley. 

When Nintendo invited me to a pre-release demo in New York City, I jumped at the opportunity with equal part nostalgia and a new level of curiosity. 

What Is Switch Sports?

Ahhhh, in case you’re not of the same certain age, let me give you some insight into what Switch Sports is. 

Using your Switch Joy-Cons, you can play a series of different sports including:

  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Bowling
  • Badminton
  • Chambara
  • Volleyball

If you do remember the original Wii Sports, you’ll notice a few old familiars as well as some newcomers. 

Bowling no longer requires you to release the button to throw the ball, although muscle memory may still have you doing that. The good news here is that it doesn’t matter. 

On the other hand, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the chambara was uniquely satisfying as a mom playing against a teenager. It’s not violent, but you do get the opportunity to try to knock someone off a pedestal. So, there’s that. 

Are You Really Getting a Workout?

Again, if you remember the old Wii Sports, you’re gonna remember that by the end of a game, you were huffing and puffing. Yes, your heart rate is definitely going to go up while you’re playing these games. 

As the mid-afternoon sun warmed the room, we all found ourselves shedding sweatshirts and jackets. However, I can safely say that even the teen was a little out of breath from the activity. 

Now, a more organized person than I am would have clearly tracked all of this with a smartwatch for an objective assessment. I am, clearly, not that organized, so we’re just going to have to go with the qualitative “I was out of breath by the end of each demo.”

What Is the High Impact for Chronically Ill People?

In 2016, I was diagnosed with MS. Now, my life had changed a bit before that for a whole host of other reasons, but this was a huge change in how I dealt with things. 

As a parent, the thing I miss the most is hanging out and playing sports with my kid. It’s not fun to know that spending time with your child doing something they love is going to cause you pain, and my child lives for soccer. Over the last few years, one of the biggest impacts my diagnosis has had on my kid is that I can’t just hang out at the field and kick the ball around anymore. 

In honesty, I wanted to check out Switch Sports soccer primarily to see if this would be a way to compromise on doing what my kid loves without adding additional pain to my life. 

Truthfully, this was the main reason that I wanted to bring GeekKid L along with me to test out the games. The flipside of wanting to hang out with my kid and virtually “kick a ball around” is that as a soccer player, GeekKid L is pretty particular when it comes to their passion.

The good news for Nintendo (and possibly me?) is that L enjoyed the soccer module so much that they wanted to keep playing it.

Switch Sports – When You’re Nostalgic for 2006

Ok, maybe that’s going a bit far, but let’s be clear. I loved the original Wii Sports, and I’m incredibly excited to extend my gameplay to bring my now-teenager into the fold.

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