Wii Workout: Day 7

Whoever said that you can’t get fit on a Wii Fit never tried the Expert level of Rhythm Boxing, or even Super Hula Hoops: 2 minutes into the 10-minute boxing session, the sweat is running down my back. You can get fit with this, and I’m on a mission to drop some weight and get fit over the summer while my travel schedule is light.

The Wii Fit journey started in late May, when we scored one for my mom for her 85th birthday and had a fun weekend at their place trying it out; a week ago when we returned from holidays, we picked up one for ourselves. After having to reset the first few days of results due to an error in setting the original date (the Wii does not shift the date of your results when you change the date on the device, making for some weirdnesses: get it right the first time), we’re now on day 7 of using the Wii Fit.

One big benefit is the daily body test: each day, you can check your weight and balance — the Wii uses balance as a measure of your fitness — and track your weight and BMI on a graph. That lets me see, for example, that I’ve dropped 2 pounds in the 7 days that I’ve been using it, which is very encouraging. My BMI indicates that I’m over the line from “normal” into “overweight”, and my goal is to get that back into the normal range, which is only 6 pounds away at this point, and further into the range to be close to the ideal BMI of 22.

The Wii Fit gradually unlocks the full range of exercises available as you accumulate time, and I have most activities unlocked (except for some of the strength exercises, which I’m not using yet); some activities also have basic, advanced and expert levels within them, so there’s even more variation that you might guess from the initial menus.

Although I do want to work on strength eventually, my morning workout current consists of about 30 minutes of aerobics — a combination of the advanced step class and rhythm boxing to get both the upper and lower body working — and 30 minutes of yoga once the muscles are warm from the aerobics. The yoga positions are really good, since most of them are done on the Wii balance board, and correct your position by noting when you’re off balance. It has a demo for each yoga position, telling you what muscles to contract and how to do the move, and an on-screen instructor does the pose with you. I’ve had pain in my left shoulder for several months now, and the yoga is helping it a lot.

There’s also balance games, which are fun and do help improve your balance and therefore build up some of your core muscles, but not really a workout: I use these mostly when I want to take a break from my desk.

The real advantage for me is the ability to do all this in my living room: although there’s a gym in our condo building, I rarely use it since even the minimal hassle of going down there seems too much, and takes me away from my phone in case of a client call if I’m working out during business hours. Also, the Wii is just a lot more fun.

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