The active-play phenomenon started by Wii Sports now spreads to your whole body thanks to “Wii Fit” and the pressure-sensitive Wii Balance Board, which comes bundled with it. Used together players will experience an extensive array of fun, dynamic and surprisingly challenging activities, including aerobics, yoga, muscle stretches and balance oriented games. The focus of these activities is towards providing a “core” workout, a popular exercise method that emphasizes slower, controlled motions, but it’s the fun approach to fitness of “Wii Fit” that will keep players hooked on fitness for years to come.
The “Wii Fit” Balance Board
The primary tenet of Wii Fit is balance. Your center of balance, the point between your left and right sides when you stand upright, has a lot to do with your health. Those without an even center of balance will be unnaturally compensating for this imbalance, which causes their posture to become misaligned, increasing the possibility of putting unnecessary strain on their bodies. This is where the Wii Balance Board comes in.
Similar in appearance to a step aerobics board, the Wii Balance Board is much, much more. Easily capable of supporting weights up to a maximum of 300 pounds, it is sturdy and precise, able to measure weight and register pressure accurately when placed on a variety of flat surfaces. This advanced level of sensitivity allows for both the wide range of activities found in the “Wii Fit” software as well as the board’s amazing ability recognize individual players by their weight alone.
Getting Started: Create a Profile
Before you jump into doing exercises and activities, you’ll start by creating a profile. This is done easily and intuitively by simply choosing a Mii, entering your height and age information, and doing a few quick tests that will serve as a baseline for your new Wii fitness regimen. These tests are:
* BMI Check: BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that is the standard used by agencies such as the World Health Organization and the National Institute of Health. To check your BMI, you’ll enter your height then stand on the Wii Balance Board and let it read your weight.
* Wii Fit Age: After you’ve checked your BMI, you’ll do a basic balance test and find out your current Wii Fit Age. This basic balance test measures how well you can control your left and right balance. Based on the results, you’ll be assigned a “Wii Fit” Age.
Four Categories of Fun
Once you have created your profile it’s time to have some fun. “Wii Fit” features four main categories of exercises to choose from: Strength Training, Aerobics, Yoga and Balance Games. “Wii Fit” will guide you through the first three with the help of your own virtual personal trainer, while the balance games offer variety and fun to help keep you engaged and excited about your fitness goals. In addition, as you spend time exercising, you’ll earn Fit Credits that unlock additional exercises and activities within your favorite categories that will allow you to continue to push yourself. See more detail on the four categories below:
* Strength Training: Put your strength to the test with muscle-toning exercises like 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. Challenges include Push-Up Challenge, Plank Challenge and Jackknife Challenge.
* Aerobics: Get your heart pumping with fun, interactive Aerobic exercises like Hula Hoop, Basic Step, Basic Run, Super Hula Hoop, Advanced Step, 2-P Run, Rhythm Boxing, Free Step and Free Run.
* Yoga: Work on your balance and flexibility with Yoga 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.
* Balance Games: Get into the action with fun, balanced-based games like Soccer Heading, Ski Slalom, Ski Jump, Table Tilt, Tightrope Walk, Balance Bubble, Penguin Slide, Snowboard Slalom and Lotus Focus.
Keep Track of Your Progress
Because keeping fit is an ongoing process, Wii Fit also tracks the activities you do the most and puts them into your Favorites category. With this information players can note exercises and activities that they are strong in, as well as others that may need to improve at. Some of the ways players can use this information for are to:
* Keep tabs on your daily progress with easy-to-understand graphs and charts. Using your personal profile, you can set goals, view a graph of your BMI results over time, see how many Fit Credits you’ve earned, check your Wii Fit Age and even enter exercise time you’ve done outside of Wii Fit. It’s all about coming back and exercising a little every day, and the personal profile makes tracking your daily progress simple and easy.
* Quickly check your Wii Fit Age and BMI without even putting the game in the console by going directly to the Wii Fit Channel.
* Allow up to eight family members can create their own profiles in Wii Fit. On the profile-selection screen, everyone in the family can see each other’s recent BMI progress and Fit Credit total. This will allow families to have a friendly competition to exercise and get fit.
Variety, fun and progress tracking; Wii Fit has it all. So, Wii owners if you ready to reclaim your balance and get fit all you need is Wii Fit, a few minutes a day to play and the urge to have fun. Get on board today.
Get a great workout right in your home without going to the gym. Nintendo Wii Fit with Wii Balance Board turns your living room into a fitness center for the whole family. Family members will have fun getting a “core” workout, and talking about and comparing their results and progress on a new channel on the Wii Menu. Aerobic Exercise – 10-minute exercises that are designed to get your heart pumping Muscle Conditioning – Controlled motions using arms, legs and other body parts Yoga Poses – Classic poses that focus on balance and stretching Balance Games – Fun activities, such as ski jumping and heading soccer balls, that challenge the player’s overall body balance.
The balance board is your guide to making “Wii Fit” work. The balance board can tell you lots of things from your weight, body mass index and your movements. Not surprisingly the board works really well and interacts with the Wii fantastically. The problem is the balance board often seems like a better idea for a surfing game than a fitness product.
It’s a really positive move in the video game industry to have a game that focuses on fitness. But this won’t replace your gym membership. What “Wii Fit” certainly won’t help you with is solid fitness advice. You may or may not end up in the good side of your body mass index but “Wii Fit” isn’t going to give you lots of details of why you aren’t or how you can get there. I guess its just believed to be common knowledge. That might make sense for a 30 year-old but not a 16 year-old.
There are different training games that take you through numerous different exercises. You can go from yoga to strength training. The Yoga moves sure aren’t as hard as the real thing. A lot of it has to do with breathing and posturing. Of course the game never really knows what you are up to but if you are going to fake it here you’ll fake it at the gym too so what would it matter? There are a wide array of aerobic exercises like step-dancing, jogging and boxing. The balance ones are skiing type moves and a tilting table.
The biggest missing element to “Wii Fit” and its score is that it can’t take into account what you are really doing. It can tell your weight and other things, like your level of balance but not your upper-body exercises. You could just stand there and pretend to be doing your workout–but again you are only cheating yourself.
With limited exercises, 30 total, the exercise regime gets a bit boring. Worse yet–you have to unlock the exercises. Sure it gives you incentive but its a lot of work to try and get some variety. One of the biggest problems is the inability to create your own workout routine. It makes sense to have a video game where you have to go through a certain level a certain way, but not for an exercise game. At the gym you have tons of things to choose from. The real proof that it’s working is increasing weight or reps and/or losing weight and putting on muscle. It would also be cool to be able to insert your own music.
It’s really hard to put down a game that actually strives to make you healthier. There are some flaws, but the game shows a lot of promise. You can bet that the next version will be a lot better. “Wii Fit” is sort of like having your cake and eating it too–exercise and play. Who would have ever thought?
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