It’s gotten to the point now where we are just about spoiled for choice when it comes to fitness titles for the Wii. Once Wii Fit and the balance board hit shelves, the fitness possibilities started popping up everywhere. Right now there must be around 15 to choose from, and more are on the way. Now there’s Wii Fit Plus, with several upgrades to the original, and it’s getting difficult to figure out what might be right for you.
Each product hypes its own best features and priorities, and if you’re after something very specific, you can probably figure out what you want without too much trouble. Knowing where to turn if you’re looking more generally is a bit trickier. If you want something pretty serious, and want a general workout with a lot of options, EA Sports Active is still probably your best bet. But, in my opinion, Wii Fit is still the winner when it comes to losing track of the fact that you’re doing some exercise.
The sell of Wii Fit generally is not that you can give up your gym membership. The real plus to the thing is that you have a lot of weird games that you do a few minutes at a time, and you get a bit of exercise along the way. There are bonuses in the way of things like yoga positions, and doing step routines, which are pretty much as valuable as you think they are. Doing the yoga is actually pretty cool, and offers a lot of stretching, relaxation, etc., but you’re either going to do yoga or not, and Wii Fit probably isn’t the deciding factor. That being said, practicing yoga through video games can help to spark a passion for this discipline that might not have emerged otherwise. For instance, a friend of mine who first discovered yoga through the Wii Fit is currently in the process of signing up for yoga teacher training in goa. Ultimately, as long as you are getting some exercise in a way that you enjoy, that is all that matters.
Of course, there are some strength exercises, some of which are fine enough, others are a pain to do, and it’s certainly a positive note for the overall score of Wii Fit, but the strength exercises are more or less in the same boat as the yoga. If you were going to pick up a dumbbell, you’d have done it already.
The beauty of Wii Fit, and now Wii Fit Plus, is that there are so many things you can do that are just goofy games, that almost completely distract from the fact that you are exercising. This is coupled with the fact that core exercises can be deceptive. You play around with ski jumping, take part in some Tennis Lessons and hula hooping, and who knows what else, and you’re surprised to find that your abs are killing you.
It isn’t hard for you to commit to doing a few minutes a day, because it’s just playing a game. It’s a lot like actually riding a bike vs. convincing yourself to get on the bicycle exercise machine.
Now the sneakiness comes in, because at some point you think to yourself, “Why not throw in a yoga today, or a strength exercise?”
No one’s going to get any argument from me when it comes to whether or not Wii Fit is suitable replacement for any number of other exercises, or even how good for you the workouts are, or much of anything else really. I’m not a fitness expert. But, I can tell you this, it’s a hell of an option compared to doing nothing, and if time and money are concerns, this is especially worth investigating.
As far as what you get new with Wii Fit Plus, there are several things really. New activities, of course, but you also now routines. Some selections are built in which will target certain results you’re looking for, but you can also put together your own set of exercises. You’ve also got the ability to track your calories burned, and see equivalent foods for same. Cute, and possibly a motivational boost.
As for new activities –
Perfect 10 – Basically an excuse to swing your hips in different directions as fast as you can.
Obstacle Course – Not much exercise here really, but its rather fun. Walk in place and jump in order to get around obstacles.
Bird’s-Eye Bulls-Eye – Put on your chicken suit and flap your arms to fly. Lean forward or back to control where you’re going, and try to land on targets. One of the deceptive games, your arms will get tired by the end.
Driving Range – Manage your balance and weight shift to hit golf balls in different situations.
Skateboard Arena – Basically riding a skateboard, and or skiing turned sideways, but with a lot of jumps and things to do. It’s more work than you think if you keep it up for a while.
Snowball Fight – Lean back and forth to pop out from your cover, and whiz snowballs at Miis coming to get you. Another good example of how just moving can add up. Put together with some of the others, this will get your core muscles working.
Rhythm Kung Fu – A kind of aerobic challenge, this one is a spin on step class where you have to follow the actions of your instructor.
Island Cycling – Ride a bike around an island, sort of. It’s more fun that it sounds.
Segway Circuit – Ride a Segway around and perform various tasks like popping balloons. A light exercise, this one will also play with your core muscles after a bit.
Tilt City – A kind of expanded version of the game where you tilt a board in order to get a ball to go where you want it. Silly fun, but it actually does something.
Rhythm Parade – March and move your arms to the right beat. Do it well enough and you’ll have a huge parade of followers. This one, sorry, is really goofy.
Big Top Juggling – One of my favorites, this one has you balancing on a ball and attempting to juggle. Lean left and right to keep your balance, and move your arms to juggle. It’s complicated, and the constant shifting of your weight adds up without you having any idea you’re doing any work.
Table Tilt Plus – More or less the same as Tilt City in general concept.
Balance Bubble Plus – Another leaning game, and one from the original Wii Fit with some additions.
Basic Run Plus – One of the stranger concepts of the original now has a bit more added to it. Run in place on the floor and watch yourself do it on TV. Certainly something with physical benefits, but a bit odd really.
The other parts of Wii Fit get some additions with Plus as well. There are more strength exercises, and a few more yoga positions, etc.
As an add-on, this is a really easy purchase. You don’t lose anything, and you have a lot more to explore. If you didn’t shell out for Wii Fit yet, you have all the more reason to check it out. It’s well worth it.
There are a thousand ways to get exercise, but you aren’t going to keep doing any of them unless you think the thing in itself is fun. For those that are really serious about getting in shape, Wii Fit Plus may be a bit of laugh, but for countless others it’s something fun that you’ll actually do. The new routines and the various ways of keeping track of your progress are nice bonuses, and only add to the value.
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