Hello all.. I am going to try and show you how exercising can be fun as well as beneficial to your health. Today’s topic is the Wii. We all know it well. Host to many amazing innovations in gaming with their crazy controllers and add on controllers through the years. There was wheel that revolutionized Mario Kart and a gun holder you could put your regular controller in to help with FPS games. There was also an awesome board they introduced to help make the interactive experience come to life. The Wii Board helped bridge the gap between gaming and exercise I feel and even made getting into shape fun. These are my experiences with this idea and how it might be helpful for you too.

As the Wii gained popularity through the years they began to change their target audience to the senior generation by promoting exercise and better hand-eye coordination through their Wii Play games. Eventually they moved onto women with the Wii Fit. Oh the Wii Fit! That little on screen board is my workout friend, although some would say it does yell at you if you fluctuate your weight too much. Basically the idea behind the Wii Fit was to help promote balance and help you get in shape through prolonged low impact exercises. Each time you turn it on you were greeted by the little Wii Board and you could weigh yourself or play mini games and it would keep track of how long you would work out. The best thing is you could set up goals for yourself and it would track your daily progress, as long as you would use it that is.

I found the Wii Fit to be very fun and beneficial to helping me get off my lazy ass and actually getting fit enough to have energy and want to do more intense workouts. I definitely say that is a gem worth your time if you are just starting out. The games are fun and range from step aerobics to hula hoop. I really gravitated to this originally because it helped me with Yoga. The board gives you a chance to hold your position and measure how much weight you are putting on each leg to give you a more accurate idea of how to improve your stances. There are even balance games that make you forget that you are even working out. The on screen people are motivational and there are some pretty fun tips. The more time you log the more games you can unlock and it is definitely going to keep your interest for a while. Like anything though it will get old and you will have unlocked all the games and it might be time for something new.

So, you are more balanced then you were before and you are still looking to workout at home and inside then you can upgrade to the Wii Fit Plus, which has more games and fun. This one actually steps it up a notch and gives you a chance to go even further then before. There are new options to help you keep track of your fitness, like tracking how many calories you are burning and instead of choosing specifically which workouts you want to do there are actually predetermined routines to help you have a consistent flowing workout. The mini games are still way fun and help you gain better hand-eye coordination and balance. I guarantee that as you unlock the rest of these games you not only will be having fun, but you will be getting healthy and more in shape.

If these still aren’t intense enough for you or maybe you made it through those games and you want more then I would say you can step up to the EA Sports Active. This takes the gaming we have been having fun with through aerobics and balance and steps it up even more by adding more of an exercise element to it. You are able to start a plan called the 30 day challenge,

where you can basically spend 30 or so minutes 4 to 5 times a week going through what the game picks for you to do. I actually went through and did this challenge on the most difficult setting there is and after every work out I was sweating and actually felt like I went to the real gym. It is still fun but it definitely takes it up a notch. The sensitivity for some of the workouts are more intense and you are doing more strength training. There are easy modes and easier workouts if you want to create your own routine to follow but I will say that if you want to have a personal trainer in your home I would go for this awesome exercise experience. It also adds a couple of elements to make your workout more intense. You now have a leg strap that you place the nunchuck in when you are doing jogging exercise or squats and you also have a resistance band to help you simulate lifting weights, which you can always simulate further if you make the band smaller.

There was an extension to the EA Sports Active that adds 30 new exercises and 6 new activities to go through. I think what I liked most about this is it is an add on so you can incorporate your old exercises with the new ones. Another thing that is cool is you can keep a daily diary to help you stay in shape through exercise but also keep track of your diet as well. It really helps stress how health is an overall experience that isn’t just about working out, but also about how you eat and treat your body by making sure you get enough rest. The reason this is my favorite is because you can basically create a virtual you that mimics your every move while you make it, like a cyber mirror.

There are plenty of exercise games that have come out since these such as The Biggest Loser, Gold’s Gym Cardio and even kids workout games like Active Life-Extreme Challenge. This console has spawned an entire workout community that would never have existed and even some of the people who were used to using workout tapes have switched to this when their favorite video trainers have gone to the Wii, like Jillian Michaels. Classically I feel like our generation hasn’t been one to be workout obsessed but I think that this gives us all a chance to get a little more in shape without killing ourselves and also while having fun. When I started using the games I mentioned I had not been an active person for many years and this jumpstarted me to wanting to be more healthy but in a more moderate sense. I feel now that as time goes on the games we play are going to promote exercise more discreetly and we will be getting off the couch to get more involved in our games. I can’t wait to get and review the Playstation Move and Xbobx Kinetic because they are totally getting on board with this idea. So, thanks Wii for paving the way!

(Now if only they could get me a DDR in my house I would be set.. haha)

This is what Grandma’s Boy was trying to convey.. and I am jealous of it..


Jess Del Pino

(the nerdy 1/2 of Hooked On Veg..

a funny health podcast and soon

to be all around get healthy website)

Follow us on twitter and facebook

Subscribe on iTunes or RSS to our podcast

Thanks for reading.. see you all next time,

same bat time same bat channel…