Clarksburg YMCA Introduces Makoto - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Clarksburg YMCA Introduces Makoto

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CLARKSBURG -

As technology advances, more and more electronic games are being put on the market, and the target audience gets younger and younger.

With entertainment at the palm of the hand, kids are spending less time outdoors and burning less calories.

Fast food restaurants are on nearly every block, and daily calorie intakes often exceed recommended values.

Factors like those are contributing to high obesity rates, especially in kids and teenagers. 

The YMCA in Clarksburg recognizes those issues. But instead of preaching against video games and electronic devices, the Y is using them to get more kids and adults moving.

Belinda Lewis said it's part of "Project Fit."

"We're losing the battle trying to get kids motivated to exercise. Kind of draw them in on the technological aspect of it," Lewis said.

The newest addition to the program is a machine called the Makoto.  Users interact with the machine by responding to noise and sound alerts.

"Every time I hear and see the lights I'm trying to get a really good reaction. My heart rate is going up," said Belinda Lewis, Project Fit coordinator at the Harrison County YMCA in Clarksburg.

Lewis said it's much harder than it looks and sounds.

"It's very challenging," Lewis said.

While Lewis' motivation for getting the Makoto into the facility was to encourage youth participation, the Makoto is proving beneficial for all age groups.

Lewis said the machine is especially beneficial for Alzheimer's patients.

"Trying to remember where the lights are. Trying to get to them. It's mostly reaction time," Lewis said.

The Makoto costs roughly $10,000 and was paid for through a technology and exercise grant.

Lewis said even people who can't stand can use it, and it can be modified to meet almost anyone's needs.