If you read my blog regularly you know I am a HUGE Nintendo Fan. I was very excited for Wii Fit to come out and pre-ordered it. I have now been playing for almost 2 weeks and wanted to tell you JUST how incredible Wii Fit is.
For those who don’t know… Wii Fit is Nintendo’s new release for the Nintendo Wii that is basically an at home fitness trainer. It comes with an add on “Wii Balance Board” that you put in front of the television as you “work out”. The Board in itself is incredible and works with the idea of strengthening the core muscles through exercises to gain overall health. It can weigh you and when you put in your height — it will also tell you your BMI (Body Mass Index). By standing on the board it can also tell you where your center of balance is and Wii Fit will give you hints on how to improve your posture and your general health. You can set goals as to how much weight you want to lose and after a brief “Balance Test” it will give you your “Wii Fitness Age”. I am 38 and average weight and after my first test it said my Wii fitness age was 48! (Since then I have ranged from 24-49!) I set my goal to lose 10 lb in 2 months and it told me that was a reasonable time frame (thank goodness I won’t have to pack that bikini away JUST yet)! Each day you log in and are clocked for how much time you spend exercising and you have to choose whether you want a male or female fitness trainer. You are allowed to register and keep track of 8 “Miis” and anyone else after that can participate in a few of the exercises from each category.
There are games broken down into 4 categories. Strength Training, Yoga, Aerobics and Balance. In good old fashioned Nintendo tradition they do not give you all the activities when you start… you must play to unlock more activities in each category. For some activities you need proficiency to move on to the next skill level. For others to unlock you simply need to play it for a decent amount of time. In 2 weeks (I missed 2 days within that time from anywhere from 20 minutes to 70 minutes) I have unlocked MOST of the activities but not necessarily all the skill levels.
I will include a summary of each category — some of the exercises within and my impressions.
For most of these exercises you are on the board but for some you are just holding the Wii Remote. For the exercises they have a shape like an oval or circle on the screen and a red dot in the middle that registers your balance throughout the exercise. You are trying to maintain balance while you exercise and keep that red dot in the shape. The exercises themselves have a huge range for toning different parts of your body. These consist of Single Leg Extension, Sideways Leg Lift, Arm and Leg Lift, Single-Arm Stand, Torso Twists, Rowing Squat, Single Leg Twist, Lunge, Push-Up and Side Plank, Jackknife, Plank and Tricep Extension. These are wonderful exercises for toning and as you find the ones that call to the part of your body you need the most work with — you will unlock longer reps and each exercise will take longer to complete racking up your clocked time. I find the Balance Board really great for these because you are not only strengthening yourself but it is measuring your balance throughout to ensure you are doing the exercise correctly.
I have done Yoga before in several different places and while this obviously does not have the ambiance of attending a yoga class…. it does take you through a lot of the basic poses with the first one being the deep breathing. This is handy because they want you to time your inhalations and exhalations with a blue circle getting smaller and larger. If you have not done yoga before it is important you get this before proceeding. The circle is present during most of the poses so you can time your breath accordingly. They also have the balance meter as in strength training. Wii Fit offers a lot of my favorite poses and activities like Deep Breathing, Half-Moon, Dance, Cobra, Bridge, Spinal Twist, Shoulder Stand, Warrior, Tree, Sun Salutation, Standing Knee, Palm Tree, Chair, Triangle and Downward-Facing Dog. Some you have to do on the floor without the balance board. I feel Nintendo does a great job with a difficult task. This is a great introduction to yoga and some of the poses are challenging.
Hula Hoop – You start with basic hula hooping where you swivel your hips for a few minutes and catch extra hoops when other Mii’s throw them toward you. One of my favorites and a real workout. After doing well at this you will unlock advanced hula hooping which has you swiveling in one direction for a few minutes then SWITCHING directions for a few! Whew!
Running — This is more of a jog as they do not let you pass the person in front of you. It is not on the balance board but is done holding the Wii remote. You also have the option of a 2 player run although only one will get the time credit. Once you get good and play for a while you will unlock first the longer distance run then the Free Run.
Step Class — I LOVE this one. Just like a step class. Follow the feet as they step on and off the board. The first level is a good one for you to get used to and when you do you will unlock Advanced Step which is faster and has you kicking, stepping on and off sideways and is a great workout. After a while you will unlock Free Step which is just you stepping on and off for 10 minutes and I did not enjoy as much as the others but it will get your heart pumping from the 10 minutes of consistent exercise. It has been fun watching my son’s rhythm improve significantly in the 2 weeks he has been playing this!
Boxing — This is the only activity you need the nunchuck for as well. It’s you and your trainer which is a talking punching bag! You are given a simple combination that includes stepping on and off the board with punches as well as blocking. The activities get more complex as you advance. The last 10 seconds is free punching and you try to knock the punching bag out. As you progress you will unlock Advanced and Expert which are longer with more complex routines. This is a fun workout as well as one that will get your heart pumping!
Soccer – You get balls kicked at you as you try and hit them with your head by leaning the appropriate way — but watch out for those cleats and panda heads (OUCH)! You can unlock advanced levels of this and this is a HUGE hit with friends that have tried it as well as my son.
Slalom Skiing – One of my favorites. Shift your weight side to side and you will feel like you are skiing down the mountain. The Advanced gets a bit harder and it took me about a week to get past it without missing any gates.
Ski Jump — There is no real jumping on the board but you bend your knees and then extend quickly to standing to jump. You get 2 chances per turn and this is another fun one that all ages can do and everyone loves.
Table Tilt — This one has the feel of a “game”. Your Mii IS the ball and you are trying to maneuver it into the hole(s) on the board without going off into never never land. There are 8 boards of increasing difficulty. Get past the first level and you will get Advanced. I have solved Advanced and am now trying to decrease my time and am hoping there is an Expert Level ahead! Lots of fun!
Tightrope Walk — My son’s favorite. You step in place to get across and JUMP (knee extension) over the chain chomp that is inconveniently on the rope. You see birds and it is so funny to see lots of Miis from your collection watching you and cheering you on and covering their eyes when you get off balance. This also has Advanced and Expert with wind blowing and bird feathers blocking your view and even more chain chomps to jump.
Bubble Balance — You have to unlock this. You are in a bubble traveling through a stream and have to move the bubble through without touching land or getting burst by passing bees. This one I have had a hard time getting the hang of though I did finally solve Beginner and unlocked Advanced.
Penguin Slide — You have to unlock this as well. This is my daughter’s favorite and is so cute. Your Mii is in a penguin suit on block of ice. You need to move side to side to slide your penguin across the ice to catch the fish as they jump out of the water.
Snowboard Slalom – This requires unlocking as well as putting the balance board the other way so it is like a snowboard. Similar to the ski slalom except you are moving your balance back and forward instead of side to side.
Lotus Focus — This was the last to unlock in this category and had me having a bet with my son. You sit cross legged on the balance board totally still (meditating) for as long as you can (up to 3 minutes). My son is a fidget master so I bet him he could not make it 30 seconds… he made it 29! But then he tried again and eventually made it the whole 3 minutes — thank you Nintendo! You are sitting in front of a candle that flickers if you are moving — stay as still as possible while you may hear creaking and other sounds meant to see how focused you really are — don’t let that candle go out!
Wii Fit is so much fun that it is almost possible to forget you are exercising. You don’t need to do it 45 minutes a day…. even if you do it for 15 minutes/day a few times a week I believe you will feel results. I am feeling stronger already although the scale has not gone down yet (but muscle weighs more than fat, right?) ! I am looking forward to seeing where I am 6 weeks from now when my 2 month deadline comes up. Nintendo has really taken technology to a new level with this one. It makes exercise seem more fun and that might mean a lot more people that don’t usually exercise taking up fitness training! I highly recommend Wii Fit for the whole family whether it be to lose weight, tone up or just for the pure fun and entertainment value!
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