Being a woman over thirty and trying to squeeze into a pair of jeans that you swore fit you just the other day can be debilitating. Trying on clothes in an attempt to find something that doesn’t make you look like a floating tent gets frustrating. So in your frustration you make up your mind, you are going to lose the weight. You are going to wear that sexy pair of jeans next winter if you have to live on half a rice cake and water twice a day for the rest of your life. You plan your morning and evening work out, and for the first week you are energized and feel that much closer to your goal. Suddenly the running gets boring; you can’t get up early enough or go out late enough to beat the searing summer heat. You think to yourself, I wanna get out there and do it, but there has go to be a better way. Like a professional psychic, Nintendo has answered the call with the WII Fit.
Introduced in May of 2008, the Wii fit brought, literally, a new platform that offers a pressure sensitive balance board allowing you to measure your b.m.i. (body mass index), engage in step aerobics and yoga, and track your daily progress-letting you know how long it’s been since you worked out. At it’s debut, the Wii fit complete with board, sold 70 million copies. Currently it is in the top five of games sold. These numbers have given game makers a whole new way to increase the percentage of women who purchase games with titles such as Your Shape, Walk It Out, and Daisy Fuentes Pilates, fitness and gaming is being revolutionized. But how good is it? Is a downward facing dog on a board, or a boxing match with a big headed trainer on wii sports as good as a run on the treadmill, or hitting the gym and knocking out ten sets of leg lifts on the weight machine?
I talked to a friend of mine, who has been a personal trainer since 1999, and has had his own fitness studio-Energy Personal Training located in Mesa Arizona- about his take on the Wii fit. His advice, anything that gets you moving is always good. Of course something is always better than nothing. According to the ACSM(American College of Sports Medicine) effective weight loss and avoiding regain requires two to three hundred minutes of exercise per week minimum, and reduce your caloric intake by 500-1000. That’s based on a five day week, or 40-60 minutes per day. Wow, suddenly the realization of my fifteen minute walk the other day has hit me like a ton of bricks, and so has that piece of cake I had the other day. So, you can get a decent work out maybe doing forty minutes of yoga, or push ups or aerobic with the Wii fit. An article written by James Priless in the October issue of Best Life begs to differ. He says if you want to really work it out, you would be better off with boxing or the dance dance revolution.
So, do we really need the wii fit to propel us into ultimate fitness? Perhaps not. It doesn’t create motivation to do something you wouldn’t normally do. If you don’t have the discipline to get up and get going a cool board is only a fad and won’t be enough to keep you going. Past fitness statistics have shown sixty percent of adult women do not do the necessary amount of activity, and twenty-five percent are not active at all. Ultimately, whether you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle or lose weight, the wii fit is a fun option that perhaps can make something tedious more interesting. The key is consistency, so if you’re utilizing the wii fit board or not, a routine is critical. The attitude can’t be following the latest work out trend, but establishing a new lifestyle. The effectiveness of the wii fit can never be measured because it’s not the tool, but how we use the tool. The wii fit, as well as the wii provides great family involvement that perhaps other things have not in the past. So if it gets your family moving, enjoy.