Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wii Fit Review - Vol I

A couple of people have asked if I'm liking the Wii Fit, or what I think of it, so I thought I'd do a bit of a review. I tagged the 'Vol 1' on the title, because I'm sure this won't be the last time I talk about it.

I will start of by saying I am not into video games at all. Husband is, he spends most of his free time playing computer games (mainly PC, but we do have an Xbox, PS2 and a Wii). Personally, I would rather spend my time on other things.

But, when I heard about the Wii I liked the idea that playing acutally involves physical movement. This is more up my alley (if Holodecks ever become a reality, I am so there...Oh, excuse me Captain Picard, didn't see you there behind that tree...). So we got a Wii last fall and for a while Husband and I were playing the Wii Sports, which I thought was great because a) It was fun! And b) Husband was actually standing up and moving around rather than sitting in a computer chair. Sadly, it didn't last and he went back to being a computer-chair-potato.

Enter Wii Fit.

We've had it for going on 2 weeks now. My initial reaction was mixed - I did think it was fun, but wasn't sure how much use I would personally get out of it. But, I was hoping it would get Husband interested in doing a little physical exercise.

To explain my mixed reaction, I will take you through how the thing works.

It comes with a balance board that you stand on for most of the exercises. When you start, you give it some information (height, age), it weighs you and in our case told us we were overweight. Fair enough, no surprise there.

There are different categories of activities - Yoga, Aerobics, Strength Training and Balance Exercises. In each category there are different exercises. You can view a demo of each exercise before you begin, which is a good thing to do for each new exercise you try. Each activity has a duration. After you finish each activity, it gives you a review of how well you did, and it adds the actual minutes of exercise to a little Wii Bank. As you collect minutes (or credits), more exercises become available to you.

The down side here is: the actual minutes that you are doing activity take a while to add up. The other night I finally tried out the Strength Training exercises for the first time. Being the first time, I watched the demo for each activity before doing it myself. So out of 25 minutes, I ended up with 11 minutes of actual activity (it tracks your total for the session). Once you know the exercises and cut out the demos, you'll save some time, but you still end up with a fair amount of standing around time.

This would be why I wondered whether I would get much use of the the Wii Fit. Since I already have an established exercise routine, I don't see the Wii Fit replacing my routine and becoming my main form of exercise. My regular workouts will take priority. There is only so much time left over to spend using the Wii Fit, so I can't see myself using it every single day. However, I do find it fun to play with. I think doing a few of the activities every couple of days could add some variety to my workouts which is always good. Also, the Wii Fit tells me that I can enter in other exercise that I do - I just haven't figured out how/where yet.

As for how challenging it is, I'd say that varies. As I have mentioned, I'm pretty bad at the balance games. And I think my coordination and reaction time definitely need improvement. So for me, those activities are challenging and fun - whether they will make me more fit, I couldn't say. So far I'm acing most of the yoga poses, and I did ok with most of the Strength Training ones as well.

I do think the level of challenge is somewhat uneven though. Two examples:

1. Yoga -> The Tree Pose. I believe I mentioned this before. It's one of the Yoga poses available right from the start, and they have you jumping right to placing the sole of your foot against your thigh. No modifications offered, no cautioning about placing your foot against your knee, which you should not do. So it loses marks for that. I've been doing Yoga for a while, and I still keep my foot against my calf for the Tree Pose.

2. Strength Training -> Push Up with Side Plank. Push ups are hard enough, especially for a person who maybe doesn't normally exercise. They jump right to Push ups with side planks, which I have tried in the past and they are not easy to do. In this case, they do say you can put your knees on the floor for the push up. You could also modify the side plank, but they don't really mention that. Maybe if you are doing the push ups from your knees you'd figure that out anyway. **Side note here: you do your push ups with your hands on the balance board. Not sure how well that would work for a broad shouldered person.

To me, it seems that those two exercises represent quite a jump in difficulty level compared to most of the others. But maybe that's just me.

Summing up...For me, it's a fun toy. Hopefully it will get a little more activity, and a different variety of activities, into my day sometimes. Yes I like it. No, I don't imagine it is going to change my life.

I think for someone who doesn't exercise [often], but wants to start [or do more], it might be a fun and non-intimidating way to get going. I think a person could get a workout using it the Wii Fit. As long as they are willing to get up out of their computer chair, go down to the basement, turn the darned thing on and use it.

Okay, that last statement may have been a little pointed... :)

Daily Record
BF: Kashi Granola Bar, Cherries, coffee w/cream
Lunch: Rockin' Moroccan Stew
Snack: Yogurt & granola
Supper: White Chicken Chili (Eat, Shrink & Be Merry)
Post Workout Snack: spoonful of peanut butter, Fibre1 bar

Workout: Weights


the Bag Lady said...

Hey, if it gets you movin', it's all good, right? (Of course, you do have to turn it on....:)

Bi0nicw0man said...

Thanks for that.

See, that's all I really would want out of it. I am not a video game person either, but the few times I played with a Wii it was fun because it was different and not stationary. I would want DBF to try it out too, but just as your hubby abandoned it after one try, I'm pretty sure DBF would too. He's more of a PS3 guy because he can race cars on that. Hence, we can't agree so we don't have any video consoles. (Sorry I got blathering on!)

On another note, I love the White Chili from ESBM...enjoy!

Sagan Morrow said...

Interesting take on it.

I think that the Wii Fit isn't really designed to be any kind of exercise routine and certainly shouldn't replace an existing routine... more of a way to encourage a little bit more movement if people are going to be sitting around playing video games anyways.

I'm not much of a video game person but the few times I've played the Wii it HAS been lots of fun! I haven't had the opportunity to try out the Wii Fit but it looks enjoyable.

MizFit said...

oh how I long to have you...

(uh, the wii fit. not you java chick. I mean youre funny and nice and all but...)



candlerun (htabby) said...

I have been playing around going through the stuff but not able to actually do anything yet and I can see where you are coming from... I would like to figure out if you can combine them right after another. I saw you could do that and I haven't figured it out yet.

I agree for it not to replace your main workouts, but on a day off or something different for a day is nice on a planned lighter intensity day. But I must say that little Wii Fit board on the screen is cute! :) (and he doesn't lie!) lol

IzzyBeth said...

Thanks for stopping by! I am planning on linking to your review in tomorrow's post!

Have a great Monday!