One of the latest world-wide crazes is the Nintendo Wii console, and in particular the fitness and sports component the Wii Fit program, a series of 48 fitness training-related games and activities using the Wii Balance Board accessory™ on which the player stands or otherwise interacts with, following on-screen and spoken directions. It is the technological home fitness system. The activities provide a core workout, emphasizing controlled movements rather than overexertion. Buy your own Wii Fit.
Training on Wii Fit is divided into the following four categories:
- Yoga - working on balance and flexibility with Yoga poses and activities.
- Strength Training - muscle-toning strength based exercises.
- Aerobics - interactive Aerobic exercises to get your heart pumping.
- Balance Games - fun, balanced-based games.
The strength training exercises include the following:
- Single Leg Extension
- Torso Twists
- Push Ups
- Side Plank
- Jack Knife
Although there are 48 different sub games and activities, some exercises are not available until being unlocked by building up credits in the 'Fit Bank', a record of the time spent on Wii Fit activities. At certain stages, exercises such as yoga poses, push-ups and balance games, are unlocked. Also being the best at an activity or playing an activity a certain number of times unlocks more rigorous versions of that activity.
The unit also keeps track of all your activities in an Activity log. Wii Fit allows a player to keep track of activities outside of the game too, which are then added on to the player's activity log, but not included in the daily exercise time. These are divided into three categories; light, medium and heavy.
Will You Get Fitter?
Although the activities of the Wii Fit program involve physical exertion that will result in some fitness gains over time, particularly if the starting point is low, it may not be as effective as a well structured progressively loaded fitness program. The Fit Bank and Activity Log will aid in motivating the player to perform more exercise, though it is difficult to increase the workload appropriately when your fitness levels get much higher. Supplemental exercise is essential to make serious gains in fitness.
There is no doubt that you can use this game to improve your fitness. Beware, this game can be addictive, and there are reports of the medical condition Wii-itis, a repetitive strain injury from overuse. However, using Wii Fit is definitely better than regular computer games. It would be better, though, to actually turn it off and get outside, join up with a friend and do the exercises the traditional way. You will get some fresh air too.
Monitor Fitness Changes
To monitor your improvements in fitness after following the Wii Fitness program, there is an additional Wii Fit ‘Body Test’ series of tests, a simple set of activities used to measure selected body parameters. For more about this see the Wii ‘Body Test’ for Fitness Testing.
The information on this page has been sourced from personal experiences, the official Nintendo website and the Wikipedia article on the Wii Fit module.
- Buy your own Wii Fit.
- Fitness testing using the Wii ‘Body Test’
- Strength Training Programs
- Other Fitness Equipment