First impressions – Wii Fit (streetdate broken!!!)

I have been using my faithful Tunturi T60 treadmill for months and had to take a break in any exercise due to a 3 week vacation. The T60 is probably one of the best treadmills you can buy for home-use. I lacked however alternative exercise and was surprised to find the Wii Fit in Toys ‘r us over the weekend (that specific store seems to consistently break the release date, since the Wii Fit was only supposed to come out on the 5th of May and to be released in the US on the 9th):

Besides the fact that it was a (not so) tough decision between GTA4 (which everyone has and many people seem to have problems when running in high-def) and one of three units available on display. The UK arrival of the Nintendo Wii Fit saw the unit sold out within a few hours. If you find someone who’s got one, buy it straight away, as any new allocations will go in minutes. Don’t wait for discounts (why would anyone give them?) but despite the demand, do not be ripped off either.

The Wii Fit uses a pressure-sensitive balance board (about twice the size of bathroom scales), which the user can stand on and control game play by changing position and redistributing his or her weight. It automatically and wirelessly connects to the Wii console, and is sensitive to the slightest movements. One minute you may be attempting yoga poses such as the “sun salutation”, the next you might be slaloming down a virtual mountain or trying simultaneously to keep up three digital hula hoops. It even turns itself off.

Like when anyone starts a new exercise program, I went all out when I started. And like most, my goal wasn’t to be fit, per se, but to drop a few extra pounds. Wii Fit is divided up into several sections: Aerobic Exercise, Muscle Conditioning, Yoga and Balance Games.

The Wii Fit can sense how you’re standing and moving by measuring your balance point – and the better you do, the more exercises and games you will unlock. The supplied mini-games involving ski jumps, football headers and tightrope walking are great fun, albeit basic, and provide a muscular workout.

Wii Fit comes bundled with the Wii Balance Board, an accessory developed exclusively for the Wii console that will have a far-reaching impact for all who use it. It’s innovative, exciting and most of all fun and simple for all to use. It is a pressure sensitive, wireless balance board that goes on the floor – so someone can stand on it in front of the TV. It senses weight and shift in balance in any direction and therefore by standing on the Wii Balance Board during activities allows players to follow along to movements ensuring they have full control of the on-screen activities. This allows personal improvement goals to be set to effectively help you and your family to train and stay fit.

Increasing your awareness of the importance that fitness has on everyday life and keeping yourself and family motivated should be easier with Wii Fit. The programme allows up to 8 people to track progress and monitor performance. Once you insert the Wii Fit Disc into a Wii console, a new channel – Wii Fit Channel can be added to your Wii Menu system. Once the Wii Fit Channel is added it enables users to not have to insert the Wii Fit Disc into a Wii console in order for the Wii Balance Board to scale your weight to calculate your BMI, measure the center of your bodily balance and conduct a balance test in order to calculate your Wii Fit Age. It also allows you to monitor how long you did which category of exercise for in one day, all in the comfort of your own home and without the need to keep inserting the Wii Fit Disk into your Wii console each time.

There are 4 training categories including Aerobic Exercises, Muscle Workouts, Yoga and Balance Games that will help you and your family to develop bodily balance control ability, burn fat in the body, help tone and condition muscles, as well as help increase aerobic stamina. Discover over 40 different activities within these training categories such as Hula Hoop, Ski Jump, Press-up Challenge, Rhythm Boxing, Rowing Squat, Lunge and classic Yoga poses such as Half Moon, Tree and Crocodile Twist. With all this on offer and much more, Wii Fit along with the Wii Balance Board introduces an accessible and intuitive programme for all the family to enjoy.

Through Wii Fit’s training programme, helpful tutorials and encouragements from your on-screen fitness trainer, who will change his or her verbal instructions depending on how you actually perform, and the included Wii Fit Channel, you will continue to have endless fun whilst having the satisfaction of knowing you are aiding yourself, and your family, on towards a path of a healthier lifestyle.

While I considered myself reasonable fit (by running on a treadmill for 2-3 hours a week, you would assume that), I must say that some of the exercises left my muscles aching the following morning. Working out has just become so much more fun.