Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wii Fit Review

I'm going on day 35 of using my Wii Fit and I've at least weighed in all but 5 days. I'm also eating a lot better and I'm tracking diet and activity with a great Internet program called Fit Day. Results: I'm down almost 8 lbs. since I started the diet (a week before I got the Wii fit).

Thinking of getting one? I do recommend it, more for the balance board than the program itself, which leaves some to be desired. First, it's quite obnoxious about telling you how fat you are (every day you start out as a twig and then your Mii ballooons up to your weight, which looks fat even if you're normal, and if you're in the "obese" range it makes this roly-poly circus elephant tune and the board proclaims "That's obese!" as if it's surprised), and isn't terribly encouraging. The trainers are repetitive and uninspiring - the best trainer in the game is the punching bag on Rhythm Boxing. Every day it wants you to do balance and agility tests, but it doesn't track actual results, only the esoteric "Wii Fit Age" (a concept I never understood - I surely don't feel the 30ish it tells me I am). I would also prefer on a lot of the games to be able to look at MY best scores, not the best my 16-year-old tennis playing son can do. The other thing that annoys me is the fact that I can't just set up a workout and do it. I have to stand around clicking the A button while I listen to the trainer say the same things he/she has said the last 35 days, or I move in and out of aerobic games while my heart rate drops.

Still, every day I warm up with my favorite yoga and strength exercises, and then go to aerobics to do a little hula hoop (very little, my knees don't like it at all), regular and advanced step, and then Rhythm Boxing (my favorite) workouts, all of them in order, and then cool down with a balance game or two. It gives me about 40 to 60 minutes of exercise, 20 to 30 of it aerobic.

Great things about Wii Fit -
  • The balance board has tremendous potential. More on this later.
  • It's nice to have a way to track your weight, and your activity, although the FitDay program linked above has much better options for this, including a line that tracks what your progress should be to reach your goal.
  • It's fun. Even if you only do balance games, you're up and moving. Fun while exercising is not something I've had a lot of, excepting things like hiking, dancing and horseback riding, which I can't do on a daily basis really.
  • It gets you thinking about exercise. Even if you don't want to play games for exercise every day, you want to get your exercise in, so you go for a walk, take the stairs, get your family moving with you.
All that said, I am VERY much looking forward to a new exercise system coming out for Wii that uses the balance board (although the preview vid doesn't show much of that) and also seems more comprehensive in targeting body areas and cardio. You strap a nunchuk to your leg so it tracks what your lower body is doing and isn't as focused on balance as Wii Fit is. It's called EA Sports Active. Check out the preview on Amazon. A "new 20-minute workout every day" sounds great to me. I've also heard that My Fitness Coach is a good program, and I hope to pick that up at some point too, to give me some variety when the Tennessee summers get too hot and humid to think about exercising outside much.


Aywren said...

Good job and keep at it!

I just read today that there will be a new Yoga-only game that uses the balance board coming out later this year (I heard October). The Yoga was my favorite part of the Wii Fit, so if this gets good reviews, I'll be thinking about picking it up when it comes out, too!

SLColman said...

I have My Fitness Coach but it doesn't use the balance board but it does keep your heart rate up better.

My favorites on the Wii Fit are Yoga and the Boxing!!