Wii Fit

With all the talk of video games corrupting the minds and bodies of youngsters it’s nice to see Nintendo taking a completely different direction to video gaming in the form of their ‘Wii’ console which I previewed last year just before it was released in the UK.The unique selling point behind this console is that rather than relying on the conventional video games controller, the Wii interacts through various movements that the user makes in real life.

The basic package comes with a ‘Wii remote’ and ‘nunchuck’ – these are held in either hand then your hand movements get translated in to on screen actions.In the mini games supplied with the console these actions are used to simulate playing a game of tennis, ten pin bowling, golf or cricket.

The combination of movement and cute characters lead to an experience that is a lot more innocent and physically involving than usually seen.I’m not the kind of person who tries to pin the problems of our society of computer games and videos, however it is refreshing to see that the majority of titles for this console are physically involving, non violent and not to mention sociable games that encourage the entire family to play together.

Just recently whilst shopping we decided to treat ourselves to a new game called ‘Wii Fit’ which through the use of a supplied ‘balance board’adds a whole new twist to the way that you use your console.Although not cheap at £69.99, the board allows the game to detect your actual weight along with monitoring how you are standing or moving at any given point in time.By using these readings along with some user supplied information such as height it is able to determine your BMI (Body Mass Index) and put you though your paces with various training exercises.Your performance and weight will be monitored as you use the board so that over time you can work on improving your BMI and Wii Fitness Age.

The activities that Wii Fit will have you performing fall in to four categories; Aerobic Exercise, Muscle Conditioning, Yoga Poses and Balance Games.The activities within these categories include but are not limited to the following – Snowboarding, Step Aerobics, Tightrope Walking, Push Ups, Boxing, Jogging, Ski Jumping, Lunges and soccer headers.The difficulty of these activities increase as and when the game feels you are ready.

In the gym themed exercises a virtual personal trainer talks you through the exercise and comments on your performance; for example, when performing a yoga pose due to the way the balance board works they will be able to tell if you are shaky or shifting your balance incorrectly.Rather embarrassingly I am yet to come anywhere close to beating my trainer at the push-up challenge he presented to me at the beginning of the week.

The Wii Fit board should never be advised as a substitute to the gym and to pitch a computer game as the best way to a healthy lifestyle would be severely misleading.Even if nothing else, it’s worth bearing in mind that there is no way you could do any form of resistance training as you would if weightlifting or on a rowing machine.WiiFit in my eyes however is perfect for encouraging a healthy lifestyle especially I would hope in the younger generation.



About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.