Wii Fit is outside of the sort of games I normally play/review. But it was in the house and I don’t pass up free stuff. For those who don’t know what it is, Wii Fit is an exercise game for the Nintendo Wii console. It comes with a board that measures your movements as you stand on it.
Why Use It?
The game is mainly marketed at people wanting to lose weight or get fit. I’m in neither category. But I do have issues with balance (I have some ear problems) and flexibility (genetics… I was the kid who couldn’t touch my toes). I’m reviewing the game based on how well it handles those things, rather than the fat burning potential.
Weight-In and Goals
The first thing it* does is take some personal details, including a weigh-in session. After getting through all that, I set my goal to gain/lose 0 pounds in two weeks. You can at least by-pass the weight loss thing in that way.
I want a fit piggy (the thing that records how long you’ve been exercising). I think it’s a shame you only get the sentient board with the pack. I’d like a real fit piggy. It’d make a cute clock.
On to Real Exercise
I started with a fat-burner as a warm-up. They have a hula hoop game, which seemed like it’d be warm-up and some flexibility. It was quite fun. If I dropped the hoop, it’d give me a new one and I could carry on. It didn’t end early because I messed up. However, it didn’t tax me from the aerobic exercise point of view.
I did well on the basic yoga (flexibility), though I don’t think I could do anything harder than the ones I tried for awhile. It isn’t really a game, but it explains it simply. I didn’t have a problem following the directions and I could feel the strain on the muscles.
I tried skiing and tight-rope walking for balance. I didn’t do that well on either, though I had one lucky break on the tight-rope… I managed to stay on it till the time ran out. I wasn’t so impressed with the balance games. The two I tried were frustrating for someone with poor balance. Skiing was easy to fail completely. It didn’t reward partial success. Tight rope walking restarted the game every time I failed. Having to restart every ten seconds isn’t fun. Possibly some of the other games are better… I want a starter game more like hula hoops, where a failure means a point reduction rather than ending the game.
The most obviously working thing was the yoga. I could feel the affect on my muscles on the first attempt. I liked the fact the games had a little monitor to show if you were moving correctly. It made it easier to correct posture and balance.
The balance games weren’t the best for starter games. I wanted a game that didn’t restart when I fell. With that said, I think they’ll work in time. I did see an improvement using the tight rope walking, even if it took a lot of restarting to get there.
As far as general aerobic exercise goes, I’m not so convinced. My level of overall fitness was too high to benefit… I wouldn’t be able to maintain my current fitness levels with this device. I get far more exercise from walking and bouncing**. I can see it would help someone at the early stages of an exercise routine, but people should be aware they’ll need to move on to other forms of exercise at a later date. The reviews I’ve seen have glossed over this point.
And I want a fit piggy clock.
* ‘It’ is an animated, talking, version of the board you stand on. I’m suspicious of that talking board. I usually like my gaming devices to be non-sentient, especially if I’m trampling on them.
** Some might loosely refer to this as dancing. There’s music. And there’s jumping up and down. So it might qualify.