I was over at a friend’s house the other night, and noticed that they had purchased the Wii Fit exercise program.
I’m naturally a bit of a skeptic, so I tend to think that the exercise benefits you would get from working out with a video game would be minimal, but I was willing to look into it further.
I asked my friends for their opinion, and asked how much they liked it. They said that Wii Fit was a lot of fun, and that certain parts of the game did give you a decent workout. But they said that Wii Fit probably would only have a great effect when used in combination with other external exercise programs.
Wii Fit offers up more than 40 different exercises and activities that are supposed to help those who play it not only get into shape but actually have fun while getting into shape. Fat chance, you say? Well, to spice things up a bit, Nintendo has packaged “Wii Fit” with the Wii Balance Board, which is essentially what you’d get if a bathroom scale and a video game controller shacked up and had a baby together.
The Fit comes with a balance board which helps you to interact with the game. It takes your weight, is involved in the “40 different exercises” and probably helps justify charging an arm and a leg for the game.
The game will walk you through various exercises in Wii Fit program – anything from yoga led by an instructor to running around a track and strength exercises like pushups and squats. Probably one of the more popular ones you’ve seen is the hula hoop exercise game.
While acknowledging that the game does seem to give you some good benefits in the way of getting you up off the couch, and getting you moving, the reviewer on MSNBC wasn’t convinced that the Wii Fit was in and of itself the answer:
I’m not convinced that much of the experience was compelling enough to make me more inclined to work out than I was before. After all, if I thought real-world gyms were skull-crushingly boring environments, they seem downright titillating when compared to the sterile digital gym you’ll find yourself working out in during a round of “Wii Fit” yoga. Meanwhile, the jogging mini-game — which had me jogging in place in my living room as I watched my Mii run through tranquil animated scenery – was so tedious I nearly jammed my fist in the garbage disposal just to liven things up a bit.
Don’t get me wrong, the way I figure it, anything that gets people (and by “people,” I mean “me”) up off their couches and moving is probably a good thing. And “Wii Fit” does a really nice job making both a bit of exercise and a bit of gaming accessible to even those folks who’ve never executed a half-moon pose or laid hands on a gaming controller in their life.
Do you have the fit? If so, what is your opinion?