When the Wii Fit, the Nintendo video game, told me my ‘fit age’ was 41 – a decade older than I actually am – I took it personally. After all, I run 32km a week and weight train twice a week. As I stood on its wireless balance board, Wii Fit gauged my BMI and had me perform stability tests. Though I was slightly underweight, my balance scores were apparently pathetic enough to age me. So I tackled Wii’s fitness games for a week. Here’s what I learned.

Balance

The Routine

Four initial exercises; five advanced available.

Best For

Improving posture and overall body alignment.

Pros

Heading soccer balls, walking on a side and lean forward slightly. My balance scores shot up after a half hour of practice.

Cons

While the games kept me entertained for a week, I imagine I’d soon be sick of them and the post-workout evaluations by the virtual trainer who has a revolving script of tiresome one-liners.

Yoga

The Routine

Four poses initially. Master these, and 11 more are ‘unlocked.’

Best For

Stretching slackers.

Pros

My tight hamstrings could certainly benefit from yoga, if I had the time and courage. With the Wii, I was able to confidently work on my poses in private. And because the four-pose routine lasted only 10 minutes, I did it five days a week.

Cons

My den isn’t exactly Zen, so it was easy to get distracted. And I have to think doing Warrior I with one leg elevated on the board would appall yoga traditionalists. After a week, I was bored with the same poses – and you do them one at a time, without the flow of a normal yoga routine.

Cardio

The Routine

Choose from nine workouts, lasting up to 30 minutes.

Best For

Cross-training.

Pros

Of the games (jogging, dancing, step aerobics, etc.), boxing was my favorite. I burned some calories – and some steam.

Cons

Running in place in front of my TV was torture. I could never stand it long enough to get in any semblance of a legit training run.

Strength

The Routine

Five initial exercises; 10 advanced available.

Best For

Starting a strength-training routine.

Pros

This category has the best variety of activities, ranging from push-ups to lunges.

Cons

Wii sends you back to the main menu after doing only one set when I could’ve easily banged out two or three sets. And it’s a far cry from a living, breathing trainer. The Wii gives you the basics, but it’s not customized to your individual needs – especially if you have injury issues.

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Comments

  1. Elijah luv says:

    We’re looking into getting a Wii Fit so we can play snowboarding games and things like that, but what’s the balance board?