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a month with Wii Fit

Actually, it’s been closer to two months, but here are my thoughts on using a Wii Fit Plus. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting into, but figured it would be a good supplement to my regular workouts. It’s worth noting that the Wii Fit is not my only exercise and I didn’t have any particular weight loss or fitness goals in my mind. Motive was primarily to get a little variety. I got the new Plus model, which just means a few extra games on the disc.

The balance games and measurement are probably the most useful to me. Discovering that I stand rather far back on my heels was interesting and something I wouldn’t have known otherwise. The balance games are also the most fun, in fact pretty much everything that you’d consider entertainment falls into the balance game category. Personal favorites are snowballs, soccer heading, and skiing (slalom and jump). At least half the fun stuff is in the Plus category. The original product must be quite boring.

Each day also starts off with a weigh in. I already have a scale, though it doesn’t record my progress or chirp at me in a high robo voice. The daily test has started to try my patience, however, just because of how much button clicking is required to get past the various screens and to tell my on screen scale buddy that no, I’d rather not hear a fitness tip today. Also, anytime you gain more than two pounds you have to pick one of eight excuses why it happened. I have been sticking with it, however, because I like the balance and agility tests and the motivational effect of getting to put a stamp on my calendar is surprisingly effective.

The strength training is ok, but doesn’t utilize the balance board. The yoga poses do more with the balance board, but the trainer gets tiresome. One second I’m doing awesome, then the next it’s “oh dear, you’re really wobbly.” Listening to the same canned responses wouldn’t be so bad, it’s that they fluctuate from one extreme to the other too quickly. The balance board does have a quirk where if you’re off balance when you start an exercise, you’re going to have a hard time maintaining your balance as according to the board. The aerobic exercises are too short and repetitive to be interesting. I’d rather listen to a podcast on a treadmill.

Further negatives are that the whole experience is rather slow. Nearly every activity contains a warning screen about falling over, or not jumping too hard, or throwing the wiimote, or something. After each exercise, assorted progress and score report screens must be clicked through. There are also mandatory animation sequences for some games. For some of the shorter activities, like sky jumping, you’ll easily spend half your time idling through such fluff. So much effort went into tricking you into thinking exercise is fun that it gets in the way when you really do just want to exercise. Ironically, while I can up the intensity of strength workouts like pushups to reasonably demanding levels, there’s no way to crank up real games like throwing snowballs to last more than two minutes.

On the whole, I’d say it’s not a high value item for myself. If you’re just getting fitness and need your exercise sugarcoated, the Wii Fit may be a good match. I’m currently looking into some of the other fitness titles available.

Posted 20 Jun 2011 15:05 by tedu Updated: 28 Jul 2011 19:29
Tagged: gadget review sports