Wii Fit Review (Preliminary)

My brother got me Wii Fit as my latest combo-Christmas-birthday-anything else I missed present. I’ve had it for a few days now and so far it gets two thumbs up.

My brother found it because I had placed it on my Amazon Wish list account. I originally added it there with the intention of buying it myself for the following reasons: 1. I liked the concept of getting a little bit of exercise through a game interface and 2. I wanted to learn more yoga poses yet I wasn’t keen on my current choices of watching a DVD I’ve had for a long time on it, or
going to classes again. I figured my gaming brain would find an interactive (and “score” keeping) medium much more interesting than a dvd and obviously would be something I could do at my own time, pace and place when compared to going to live classes.

I was right about the above but I underestimated the fun of the Balance Games also included in Wii Fit. Now, before I get ahead of myself, I’ve had Wii Fit for all of 4 days. Which means I’ve done 3 “Wii Fit Tests”, 6 yoga poses, 1 strength training exercise, and 3 of the balance games. I’m still giving Wii Fit two thumbs up. There are obviously a lot more “exercises” and games for me to try but I’d buy a Wii Fit just based on what I’ve done so far (and extrapolating out that I’ll continue to like learning more yoga poses and combos).

When I first got the game I went through it following all directions (yes, even wearing the strap for the Wiimote). I took the first Wii Fit test and got a Wii Fit Age of 6 years over my actual age. I had a huge laugh about that because I’m an unusually active geek. I rockclimb regularly, backpack, go to a gym and do other physical activities. But even so, I did not do well at the Wii Fit test where you had to shift your weight between your two feet (both feet still kept on the board) and hit a certain target for at least 3 seconds (you have a visual guide which shows that you need to keep the pressure on the board so your indicators are between an ever narrowing blue rectangular area).

The next day I tried Wii Fit I tried to retake the test but it gave me a different set of tests to do (I hadn’t realized that’s the usual MO — you do a test each day which they pick for you). On that test I scored 5 years YOUNGER than my age. This soothed my bruised ego. It involved balance again but this time you had to move your center of balance to “hit” blue targets which increased in number and you had less time to hit them all. The secondary test involved just trying to stay as still as possible (not giving detail on this one or it’d be a spoiler).

Yoga. The first thing I tried out after the test was the yoga program. You pick a trainer, she or he shows you how to do a pose and then you do it. The nice part is that you have a visual indicator showing your center of balance so you get feedback on how you are doing. You also have a visual cue for your breathing and of course it tells you how long to hold each pose after which you get a star rating and points. The trainer talks you through it and gives you tips, not unlike how I’d expect a DVD to do it.

Strength training. I’ve only done one of these so far. I noticed lunges were included and of course push ups. The one I actually did (due to space limitations and out of consideration for my downstairs neighbor) was one where I just did some arm/body twisting. I don’t expect to gain much “strength” out of this particular exercise but I suppose it’s good in a “calisthenics” kind of way. As I mentioned before, I’m an active girl so I’ve already got a certain amount of strength going for me that twisting probably won’t improve. I’m sure the push ups and harder exercises will benefit me though.

Aerobics. The 3rd major set of exercises on Wii Fit are aerobic. I haven’t tried any of these yet, I still tend to get my aerobic exercise outside of the house. However I love Wii boxing in Wii Sports so I’m looking forward to trying out the Wii Fit boxing training exercise since it will also involve the lower half of your body.

Balance Games. I’ve tried three of these so far. I’ve tried the tight rope game (it’s a game you unlock once you get enough Wii Fit time accumulated). It’s OK. I suspect if you had people watching you do it, it would be more fun in a “party game” sort of way. I also tried the ski jump game. I like this one. With your knees bent, you lean forward at a certain angle to get your speed up but still stay centered. To jump you straighten your knees, but, even when airborne you need to keep your center of balance stable.

My favorite Balance Game (and my favorite thing on Wii Fit so far) is the slalom ski game. You use the board to control moving left and right and also to control your speed. My boyfriend and I have been battling it out for the number one spot, we seesawed back and forth but I’m currently in the top 3 positions with my best score at about 52 seconds (with a Professional rating). I announced, “I r the winnar!” in true geek fashion at the end of that run.

For the record, I’ve only been on two ski trips before in my life (got up to the intermediate slopes but that’s it) and I’ve been snowboarding a total of two days so I’m not the best judge of how good the game translates slalom skiing. But heck, it’s fun! I noticed that there’s a snowboard game to unlock so I’m looking forward to that too.

Preliminary Conclusion
. I’ve already said it. Two thumbs up from a reasonably physically active geek girl. Wii Fit doesn’t replace a hard core fitness routine but it can be a fun way for a usually inactive gamer to get more physical. Or for the usually physical person to have fun indoors with games. Hardcore folks of either type can look down their noses at Wii Fit but they’re just missing out on the fun.
Wii Fit. Picture of one of the Test Miis

3 Responses to “Wii Fit Review (Preliminary)”

  1. cmiper Says:

    Wait until you get into the Hula (and later the “Super Hula”) stuff, you’ll wonder if you dislocated a hip at some point earlier in your life and it never quite set right. That and the jogging, which is pretty easy until you get into the longer duration and timed (rather than distance) jogs. I have stayed clear of the yoga and strength ones so far, but have been having some great fun on the balance and aerobic ones.

  2. Fricka Says:

    That does sound intriguing! I’ll give the aerobic stuff a shot soon (hopefully I’ll have time before I leave on a business/pleasure trip this Friday).

    I like Hula Hoops, I even bought one as an adult just for fun (but then sold it a garage sale when I moved). “Super Hula” sounds funny.

  3. CRS Says:

    Awesome review! I was curious about getting one (I love my Wii) and now I’m even more curious :)

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