Finally, months after I pre-ordered it from Amazon, my Wii Fit has arrived. And it more than surpasses my expectations.
It can be played with in a number of ways. There are over 40 activities with four basic areas – yoga, balance games, aerobic exercises and muscle workouts. And many of the activities have different levels of difficulty. This means just about anybody can find something that suits them.
I initially ordered Wii Fit as I wanted to use it for exercise. However, once it arrived and the children had a shot I realised what a good family game it is. All three of my children (ages 4, 6 and 9) have had enormous fun with it. Some of the balance games are really too difficult for the littlest one. And none of them are all that interested in yoga or the muscle training. But they love the jogging and hoola hoop games. The balance and aerobic games particularly appeal to the children as they get to use their Miis. (Actually, I think Nintendo have greatly underutilised Miis. It’s so much fun playing with a cartoon version of yourself I can’t think why they haven’t brought out more games with them.)
The first time you use Wii Fit it asks for your height and then weighs you to calculate your body mass index. You are then given the option of setting yourself a goal. My BMI is good at 23 but my trousers have been getting a bit tight around my middle recently – so I’ve set a goal of 4lb loss over 4 weeks. Shouldn’t be too hard. Famous last words…
Each day you use Wii Fit, to get your stamp on the calendar, you need to have it re-weigh you and chart your BMI. This is my only criticism. Anyone actually trying to change their weight shouldn’t be weighing themselves daily. Weekly is more than enough. Why can’t you get your stamp for doing training rather than just weighing yourself? Yesterday it told my 9 year-old daughter she had gained a pound. I do not want my children to be obsessing about their weights. It’s not healthy. Fortunately you can just do the games without weighing yourself which is what I’m going to get the children to do.
I’ve been impressed with the number of yoga and muscle activities there are. Initially only about half are unlocked but gradually more will become available the more you do and the better you become. I’ve found the exercises surprising difficult. Of course, it depends how hard you want to push yourself but I managed to work up a sweat and my muscles are aching which shows I’m doing something.
I’ve suffered with intermittent back pain for years but it’s been worse recently. The current best evidence advises daily exercise to treat back pain and reduce recurrence. I’ve been doing exercises specific for back pain daily for the last two weeks – about 5 minutes each time. So far they haven’t helped at all. (Doing a lot of weeding in the garden this week clearly hasn’t helped though!) The new plan is to do Wii Fit every morning instead – probably about half an hour. I’m going to concentrate on the yoga activities and the muscle exercises that work on your back. I’m interested to see if Wii Fit can be used as “personal trainer” for proper exercise or is it just a toy. I’m not sure it could really aid weight loss a great deal in itself – but I bet it could be a pretty good motivator. It’s one thing to set a goal for weight loss but it really helps to monitor progress to keep up your motivation.
So I’ll update in 4 weeks. Will I lose 4lb? And more importantly, will my back pain be improved?