Sunday, August 15, 2010
Review: Wii Fit
I've been waiting to talk about my Wii Fit until I had it for a little while. It's easy to get excited about something on the first day or two, but now I've had it for two-and-a-half weeks. I've used it every day, even though a few days were just for the body test (and the stamp on the calendar!).
I bought the current Wii Fit package which comes with the balance board and the Wii Fit Plus software (that includes both regular Wii Fit and the additional games and features with Plus on the one CD). I have a cover over my balance board (pictured), which I'm really glad I bought.
So far, I really like it! When you first turn it on, it has you set up a profile where you enter information manually as well as let the balance board get information from you. I am the type that loves tracking and records, so this appeals to me. The program suggests that you do a "Body Test" each day. This includes taking your weight, calculating BMI and optionally checking your balance and some other things like reaction times, memory, peripheral vision, etc.. Whether the tests are good judges of such things is debatable, but I have found the balance portion the most insightful. It shows if you're putting more weight on one foot than another, for instance. After the few tests, it gives you a "Wii Fit Age" based on your age and your scores on the quick tests. That part is pretty silly, but whatever. My "age" has fluctuated from early 20s to late 40s depending on the tests.
Then there are many games and exercises that are supposed to help in a variety of ways. First I'll talk about the yoga/strength exercises. Here you get to choose between a male or female trainer and then pick whatever exercises you want to do. He will show you how to do them and keep giving instruction each time. I think the best part about these is that the balance board is used to judge your weight distribution and steadiness throughout each move, which is insight you wouldn't get otherwise. It rates you after each exercise based on those factors. I've found some of these exercises to be overly easy (or too few reps), some are right at my level, and some are pretty impossible. An experienced yoga-er (or yogi, as Scrabble taught me) would probably be kind of frustrated with the slow pace and lack of difficulty, but I am pretty satisfied.
You can set up routines where you pick all the exercises you want to do (and you can pick them in multiples to increase reps), and then it strings them together with fewer pauses (it doesn't give you a "grade"). This is nice, though I wish it would put together a longer routine for me where I can just delete the exercises I don't like. (There are pre-made routines but they are not quite what I'm looking for.)
The other activities with Wii Fit (Plus) are games to help balance (juggling, tight rope, ski jump, skateboarding), coordination/rhythm (Rhythm Kung Fu, step, boxing), or just get your heart rate up (jogging, cycling). Many games serve several purposes. Most don't give you an incredible cardio workout, but it depends on how much you put into them. The important thing is that they are better than just sitting down, which is what you'd do with most video games and other indoor entertainment.
I've purchased a few other Wii exercise games to help keep things new and fun for me, since I find I grow bored quickly in certain areas (visually, for instance). I'll review those later on.
Some complaints: the scale isn't all that accurate, there's too much transition time between exercises in a routine, the trainer sometimes says nonsensical words of encouragement or criticism about your exercises, there doesn't seem to be a way to skip a yoga/strength exercise in a routine without stopping the whole routine.
Overall opinion of Wii Fit: I'm really glad to have it, especially in Oregon where soon it'll be dark and rainy most of the time when I'm at home. More and more exercise games are being created to use the balance board, so even when I get sick of the Wii Fit games, I can still make good use of the balance board.
Favorite games on Wii Fit (Plus): Ski Jump, Hula Hoop, Rhythm Kung-Fu, Rhythm Parade, Basic Run Plus.
I have some favorite yoga and strength exercises, but I can't remember their names. I rock at Warrior, though!
I know Wii Fit has been out for awhile now, but before I got mine I hadn't really talked to anyone about theirs. Do you have one? How do you like it?