Friday, May 30, 2008

Adventures With Wii Fit

I've been playing with this board for a week. I've done each of the four types of training activities. I'm actually quite fond of the balance games! But, it's not all fun and games!

For starters, you stand on the board and it takes your weight, body mass index and measures your balance. The first few days I did this, it told me I was unbalanced (breaking news, Wii: I already knew THAT!). Sometimes it tells you to step off the board, then step back on. It sometimes responds with "OK." But when it says, "Oh!" I wonder if it's "Oh, I wasn't expecting you to do that so fast!" Or is it "Oh, I didn't expect your big behind to actually get back on the board!"

There are all kinds of yoga poses you can do on the board, with the help of the trainer (male or female - you choose). If it requires me to stand on one leg, like the tree pose seen here, you can bet I'm gonna struggle like mad on my left leg! See how easy they make it look? Jerks. In theory, if I keep returning to the yoga activities, I should be able to do this - and any other one legged exercise - without problems. If you think you have good balance, you're probably not as balanced as you think. There's a little bar that will appear during these exercises. It has a red ball that you have to keep in the yellow zone. This determines your score - and shows you just how unbalanced you are.

The strength training exercises are, well, strenuous. The push ups have been the easiest activity there. Everything else that requires you to balance on one leg while doing it is kicking my butt. Don't let torso twists fool you! While you think, "I'm just twirling in slow motion! This isn't hard!" it's actually a serious ab workout. Wednesday, I had little shots of pain if I laughed or moved real fast at work. I assure, at no time during the strength workout was I smiling like this guy. Again, jerk. The balance bar also appears in these exercises, yet another reminder of how unstable I am.

I love the aerobics exercises. The hula hoop is fun! I know, I could have saved myself nearly $90 if I'd actually bought a real hula hoop, but then I wouldn't have people to throw more at me to see how many I can spin fast! It does make me a little uncomfortable to see the little Wii characters swiveling their hips in the background. There's also actual step aerobics here, too. And there's a "run." I was curious to find out how it knew I was running in place, since you don't stand on the board for that. I learned by swinging the remote quickly, I could easily pass my guide. When I did the actual running, that guide had to slow down a lot to keep up with me. I hate running. I'm not doing it in real life unless my life's on the line - and it had better not be some tiger or something fast coming after me because I'll just stop and let it get me.

The last category is a series of balance games. The soccer thing is fun - you head the ball and dodge the panda heads and soccer shoes coming at you. The ski games are fun, too. Some of the other balance games are more difficult, but I think they've helped me become more aware of how to settle my weight when I stand or sit. Did you know that being unbalanced can do damage to your back and pelvis? Straighten up!

The game charts your progress every time you play it, so that's kind of cool to see (or not, depending on whether your weight has gone up or down). The more you play, the more activities you unlock. You can also unlock more difficult levels of the activities you've already done. Overall, I like the game. I just hope my neighbors don't see me playing it! If they didn't already think it, they'll REALLY think I'm crazy!
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