Earnest Parenting.com logo

Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Thanks to the generosity of a friend who was willing to wait for hours at the store the other night, we’re now the proud owners of our very own Wii Fit.

You know what? This thing is amazing! It took the boys and I about 5 minutes apiece to get set up on the system and start playing. The unit asked for my height and age, then calculated my weight (and I am SO not telling you that number) and did a balance test. I was informed of my BMI (Body Mass Index) and given my very own Wii Fit Age. According to the Wii I’m 42, which is 4 years older than my actual age. I hope to have that lowered by the end of summer.

My first goal is to lose weight, which will drop my BMI to a number I’ve chosen. I entered some numbers in and was quickly informed that my goals were a bit ambitious. [Sigh. I changed them.] I’m now set with a goal of losing a couple of pounds a week for two months. Progress checks are made every two weeks and goals can be adjusted if necessary.

The feedback given to users is great. Every day that you use the Wii Fit is marked on a calendar, and charts and graphs of your effort and progress are easily displayed. There’s even an area where you can log in activity done on your own. I plan to log any time I spend walking or doing my exercise videos. Each player is also shown how many minutes they’ve spent exercising and new games and/or moves are earned after enough time has been spent using the machine.

There are 4 main training areas: Yoga, Strength Training, Aerobic, and Balance Games. I started out with a balance game where you try to get a ball to drop through a hole in a virtual board. Next I tried skiing. There’s a ski jump game and a slalom course. In both of them you navigate by adjusting your weight on the board. I didn’t do so well at the soccer game where you try to get the character to hit balls with the head, but we did laugh pretty hard when shoes came flying and “hit” me.

In the Aerobics training, I had a ball with the hula game and was out of breath after 4 rounds. There’s also a step program where you follow the footprints on the screen and get scored on timing and accuracy. I didn’t try going for the run around the island, but the boys had a good time racing each other.

On to strength training. I tried out a few of the exercises there with my personal trainer (users may choose between a male or female guide) and I’ll definitely have to go back and work on my strength. For one thing I discovered my left leg is weaker than the right. In the Yoga area, I was again led in some stretches by my trainer. Oh my goodness that’s harder than it looks!

Honestly, I wasn’t completely sure the Wii Fit would offer any kind of physical challenge before we bought it. I was wrong.

There’s quite a bit of challenge for me, an individual who’s been doing moderate exercise for a while now. I can see where older folks could really benefit from the balance and strength activities. All of the boys had a lot to learn from the games they played today. TechnoBoy got frustrated by the step aerobic game, but with encouragement he tried again. I know he’ll get huge benefits from the improved coordination and timing skills he’s working on. Each of the areas had 4 or 5 games or training moves available to start. More games and challenges are earned, and the difficulty level can be adjusted from beginner on up as you progress.

I mentioned in the title of this post that the Wii Fit can be a family builder. That’s true. We had a lot of laughs today with the games, and after the boys went to bed tonight I tried out all of the areas and (ahem) did my best to beat their scores in as many games as I could. Sadly I wasn’t able to top them as much as I wanted, but there’s always tomorrow. They’re going to have to work to stay ahead of me and Hubby, who also tried out several areas while I was at the store. I can see a lot of fun competitions ahead.

Earnest Parenting: help for families who want to be fit.