Friday, January 06, 2012

Fitness Friday: Wii Fit

I'm going to try to post a series of Fitness Friday posts on the blog this year. Like most people who have struggled with their weight, I've tried lots of different things with varying rates of success. Last year I lost close to 40 lbs (and put a few back on over the holidays, darn it!) but I'm far from where I should be (another 20 would do it, I think!)

So I'll be talking different workouts, probably sharing recipes, linking to articles, and various other fitness related stuff throughout the year.

Today I thought I'd give a bit of a review of Wii Fit. I know a lot of people get gaming systems for Christmas at the same time as they make weight loss and exercise goals. We've got Wii Fit, so here's my run down.

The Wii Fit is fun - you can personalize your Mii to look sort of like you. Mine has long dark hair, extra weight around the middle, and glasses.

You also do a fit test each time you log in - it records your weight, your posture, and then gives you a few balance exercises to calculate your Wii Fit Age. I'm not sure how this works, to be honest. If I've worked out a lot, I'm tired and my posture may be off a bit, making me 45. If I do certain tests, I score better and I might be 23. But the recording of your weight is a neat tool, and it is also accurate within .2 of a pound usually to my digital scale. It'll give you your weight and your BMI, but I have to admit it drives me crazy when the little voice chimes out, "That's Obese". A polite way of saying "More time on the Wii Fit Board, Lardass."

The workout:

The exercises are divided up into four groups: Aerobic, Strength, Yoga, and Balance. In the original wii fit, you do one exercise at a time and then have to pick the next, rather than making a program or "playlist" type set up, which is time consuming. As you use it more, more exercises are unlocked.

In aerobic, there's basic step and advanced step, running in place, boxing, and hula hooping.

For strength you can pick individual moves and do a certain number of reps. There's often a "balance" component to make sure your form is correct. The same goes for yoga, only those exercises focus on holding the pose rather than reps.

Balance games are fun - there's ski jump, slalom skiing, tightrope walking, a fun thing with penguins and fish...

Once you do 30 minutes you also get a way-to-go type announcement and a star. Woo hoo.

Ultimately though what you get from this program is going to depend a LOT on your current fitness level. If you're sedentary and not used to exercising, this might not be a bad place to start. It is also good for people with joint issues as there is very little impact and it is what I'd call a "gentle" workout. A few years ago when the daily dog walk was my exercise, I broke a sweat with boxing and hula hooping. But when I stepped on the other night, it really didn't work me physically much at all.

So if you're already up and moving and looking to up your fitness and develop some real strength/cardio health/endurance - give this one a pass. You need something higher intensity to really get a burn. Wii fit will get you moving, but you won't be on fire.


  1. Hi Donna
    We had Wii Fit, we sold it just before Christmas. Like you we found it didn't give us the workout we needed and wanted.
    My kids loved it, but they hardly used it due to other commitments - so, it went!
    Good luck finding what works - my hubby and i are trying something new this year so we can lose our weight too :)

  2. Hi Donna
    I used the Wii Fit two years ago to lose weight for my wedding, stupidly having bought the dress knowing I needed to lose about half a stone for it to look great rather than good. I did diet too, and I stuck to the jogging on the spot, hula hooping and boxing, followed by a few lunges etc with the uber smug personal trainer, and I have to say it did actually work. Sadly I've put the weight back on since then. We've just bought the xbox kinect for Christmas and I see they have a fitness game too so I may try that this time. The benefit is there is no hand-held controller, so no possibility of me shaking it when jogging to get to the end of the course rather than properly throwing myself into it! In terms of diet I found the Dukan Plan really did work as a kick start, then you can stick to a more realistic diet and the weight does stay off, so that will be my plan B!