Nintendo Wii Fit
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Sherree and I borrowed a Nintendo Wii Fit from my brother. We had a lot of fun with it, and so for Christmas my parents gave us our own!
The balance board is the heart of Wii Fit, and basically another type of controller, like the Wiimote and nunchuk. The balance board is sensitive to your weight and how it shifts when you lean in different directions. The result is the same great kind of interactivity that the Wiimote affords with some games!
The Wii Fit disc is focused on exercise and fitness. It encourages you to use it daily and do a “body test” which calculates your weight and BMI, as well as do two random balance control tests. After completing your body test you are rewarded with a “Wii Fit Age.” Lastly, stamp your calendar for the day to show that you completed the body test, and start training.
Training is broken down into four sections: yoga, strength, aerobic, and balance games. The yoga, strength and aerobic exercises are basically what you’d expect: Nintendo tries to make exercise a little more fun. The more training you do, the more exercises you unlock. The balance board keeps you on task by making sure you’re balanced correctly or that your weight is shifting in the right way while doing the task. For example, while hula-hooping, shifting your weight in large round circles is the most effective way to earn a high score; small circles just don’t cut it. I had never tried it before, but I’m surprised by how much I enjoy doing yoga.
The balance games are what I was most interested in when I first read about the Wii Fit. They all require a lot of body control and balance to do well. Some of the games (such as heading soccer balls) place additional value on agility and others (such as the table tilt) place a lot of value on finesse. Disappointingly, the last balance game to unlock is Lotus Focus, a game where you simply have to stay still for three minutes — fairly easy and very unexciting.
Be sure to try the “ultimate balance test” — on the main training page, click the balance board running on the treadmill.
I like having a silicone skin on the balance board. My feet don’t slip nearly as much as without it.
I suppose the real test is whether or not the Wii Fit works. Well, it gets me to do a little more exercise, and I feel my muscles stretching from all the yoga, and I feel like I have better balance and body control than before using it. And that’s all good!