Last Thursday Brian and I picked up the latest fitness/gaming craze, Nintendo’s Wii Fit. Thanks to our pre-order, we had no trouble securing our copy, but I hear that otherwise, it can be pretty tough.
We didn’t really have the time (or the courage) to start until Saturday morning. After our morning coffee we started up with the surprisingly functional physical training gaming.
My first daily test went ok, though you could tell there was a bit of rust to shake off. After selecting my Mii and inputting my birth year, I stepped on the Wii Balance Board and found that my BMI was at about 20. The game noted that this was in the normal range, while people with an average BMI of 22 were least likely to get sick. Read More...
After I had completed this basic assessment followed the balance test. As the board asked me to stand still arms relaxed and breathing calmly, I found that my centre of balance was slightly to the right and back. Meaning I put more pressure on my right heal. Now conscious of this unbalance, the game taught me that to centre myself better, it is important to slightly bend the knees, flex my abdominal muscles and hold my heads straight as if a thread was pulling it up to the sky.
Finally, the last step of was a short balance test which required me to shift the weight from the left and right, and heal and balls of my feet. The goal is to make the indicator showing the pressure in your feet reach the appropriate zones on the screen for at least three seconds, for five levels.
Though I felt I had done pretty well (even if I had missed the last level by seconds) I was told that my Wii Fit age was 35. At 23, this means I was off by 12 years. Even though I consider myself generally fit, there appears to be much work to be done to centre myself and feel younger.
Finally, the last step involved setting me a goal for the short to medium term. I decided to try and increase my weight, in order to bring myself closer to a BMI of 22 in a month. Hopefully this will be achieved through muscle gain, but I have a feeling that will in fact be the case.
After a few more days of training, so far, I have managed to slightly increase my BMI, to almost 21. I have tried my hand (and feet I should say!) at some yoga training, doing most of the exercises relatively well, thanks to already being familiar with them. The game constantly measures your balance while you complete these exercises too, which I found very helpful.
I have also tried a couple of the balance games, which are meant to improve your balance-consciousness. The first and most challenging so far for me has been the mini-soccer game. You need to use your balance to hit soccer ball with your Mii’s head, while avoiding other flying objects. The more balls hit in a row, the more they are worth in points. It really works on your speed and your agility. I would not have thought that swinging from left to right would have been so testing.
There are two other types of games, which I need to explore further: aerobics and strength training. So far, in the first category, I have only tried the hoola hoop mini-game. It has you standing on the balance board, swinging your hips and feet as you would expect. But as you advance, other miis throw more hoops at you, which you need to lean in the right direction to catch. The more hoops you have circling you, the faster your points rise. Again, this challenge surprised me by leading me to actually break to sweat.
In the second category, I have tried the lunges and the press up/side stand. The first was right up my alley and went well, but the second was also quite demanding and definitely game me a work out.
So overall, after my first few days of Wii Fit training, I am pleasantly surprised. Though Brian and I were joking that, since our BMI were in the normal range we had essentially already won at Wii Fit. But really, we both found we had some work to do to improve our general fitness and centre of balance. Also, I feel the game is already having a positive effect in my daily life. I find myself consciously thinking about my centre, and in turn have better posture more often.
Check in soon to see how the rest of our training unfolds!