By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer
I’ve been using the Wii Fit on and off for the past year. I like the exercises overall. They combine video games with a little “Mii” avatar you design yourself. The Wii Fit consists of a Balance Board which monitors your balance and weight, and a DVD of the Fit program. The Wii itself comes with the Wii Controller and Nunkucks which you use in some of the games.
Now Wii Fit Plus is out and I have to say it is an improvement over the original Wii. Wii Fit Plus includes all the same exercises, yoga, strength training, aerobic activities and balance games. PLUS it includes a set of about 20 new games and adds about 3 new exercises to the yoga, strength training and aerobic activities.
The strength training activities are well done. You get a “personal trainer” avatar that demos each exercise and counts out each set with you. The trainer offers encouragement and tips with each set you do. As you progress through the program increasing levels of difficulty are unlocked.
The yoga poses are great and the balance board gives you a good indication of where your balance is off and how you need to move your body to be in better balance. While this does not substitute for live instructor as far as having someone watch you and correct subtle deficiencies in your form, the Balance Board does tell you when you are putting too much pressure on one leg over another or when you are leaning too far to one side.
The balance games are fun and silly. In one you are dressed as a penguin and you have to balance on an ice berg and jump up to eat fish as they fly overhead. Sounds silly, right? Well, it is, but it’s also fun. It really works your legs and teaches you to balance as you slide across the iceberg.
The Wii Fit also keeps track of your workouts. Wii uses a timer to let you know how many minutes of each workout you complete. Some exercises take 1 minute, others like the stepping routine may take 5-6 minutes. Put em all together and you can design your own 30-60 minute workout. It also has a “locker room” in this new version of the game along with a program to let you customize your fitness routines and monitor your progress.
If you are a marathon runner or a serious athlete, you may think Wii Fit will be too easy for you. The aerobic portion may be. But since Wii does such a good job of monitoring your posture and balance, even the most serious athlete can benefit from the feedback Wii Fit provides. PLUS, even serious athletes need to have fun and the Balance games are a nice break in your running routine.
Some of the new games I like are the Snowball fight where you throw snowballs at friend Miis and they fight back. The Rhythm Kung Fu game which is a step game that incorporates “Kung Fu” moves with a nice rhythm music background. The Island Cycling game is a game where you “bicycle” around the “island,” a course with flags you must ride by for points. You bicycle by stepping on the Balance Board. (This gives you a great calf workout!) The Bird’s Eye Bulls Eye is a fun “arm flapping” exercise. You squat and flap your arms up and down to control your “bird” as he/she flies over the sea and drops down on posts that have bulls eyes painted on them. A great exercise for computer users. If you feel silly doing this game then you aren’t flapping your arms fast enough!
Overall, Wii Fit Plus is a great indoor fitness game for those of you that say you don’t have time to workout. You can use Wii Fit in as little as 10 minutes and get some movement in your day. (Although ideally you want to get 30 minutes of exercise a day!
Check out some of the new games here.
Suggestions for Improvements for The Wii Fit Plus here.
Buy your Wii Fit Plus here at Amazon for $19.99 (Wii sold separately.)
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