Available now for the Nintendo Wii
Nintendo is hoping to end gym memberships forever with their newest creation, Wii Fit for the Nintendo Wii. With videogames being blamed for health problems and kids being overweight, this new idea from the creator of Mario & Link, Shigeru Miyamoto, will hopefully change that bad view and open parents to the idea that videogames can help kids lose a few pounds.
Wii fit comes with a balance board; a flat, white board with four balance points that measure your weight and centre of balance. The Wii Fit system uses the board in conjunction with different exercise modes to help you lose weight, strengthen your muscles and perfect your balance. There are four game modes: yoga, muscle workouts, balance games and aerobic exercises, and each of these modes have different activities or games you can play to help your body get fit in a different way.
Before you can jump into the activities though, you have to go through the BMI test (Body Mass Index) to determine whether you are at a healthy weight. This is determined by your age, sex, weight and height. Once you figured out, you can set a health goal to lose weight or build muscle by a certain date and the Wii Fit system will help you track your progress.
Several activities in each game mode are unlocked from the beginning for you to perform and you can unlock more activities by earning time points from each activity you do. More time you spend on each activity the more time points you get. Each activity gives you a score when you complete it, so you can see how well you did and compare to other people using the system if you like.
For the Yoga and Muscle activities, you can choose a male or female trainer to tell you what to do for each exercise. The trainers perform each exercise once step by step for you to see from the front or back, and then you go through the steps with them. The balance board also knows if you’re doing the moves correctly, based on your pressure points on the board. I found that these exercises really work, if you do them at the right speed and the right way - the trainer even helps to keep you going during each set.
Balance and Aerobic games use your Mii characters and tend to be more fun, even if they still make you break a sweat. The aerobic games range from spinning and catching hula-hoops or using the board as a stepping board. You can even put the Wiimote in your pocket and jog on the spot as you go for a run through a park, as other Miis in your system are passing by. It’s quite funny having your celebrity Miis like Darth Vader or Zelda running by you in the park.
The balance games range from tilting your head and body to block soccer balls or tilting back and forth to ski down a hill. These games are extremely hard until you get use to your center of balance and the sensitivity of the balance board.
While the Wii Fit system definitely makes you sweat, I’m not sure if I would recommend it as the next home gym system to everyone I know. Sure it has tons of great exercise activities that are proven to help people lose weight and build muscle, but I can’t see any one who goes to the gym on a regular basis finding this to be the perfect solution to all their fitness needs.
For the average gamer geek who’s managed to put on a few pounds thanks to hours spent running through Azeroth instead of their local park, I would suggest picking up Wii Fit as a way keep fit on a day to day basis. Plus with the prospect of some many games coming out that will use the Will Fit board as a controller, it’s not such a bad item to have in the house.
Rating: 8 out of 10