Will the Wii Get You Fit or Make You Flop?

The Wii, with its various fitness options, is supposed to be able to help you get fitter and lose weight. The Wii Fit, balance board, and a variety of games and applications are designed to help you improve your cardiovascular health and muscle tone, and supposedly they can help you improve your fitness levels, stamina, and body shape. But how effective are all these gadgets in day to day life? And can they genuinely offer sufficient exercise levels to help you get, and stay, in shape?

Image from Amazon.co.uk

The Wii Fit, with associated balance board, is the most well-known fitness application on the Wii. It offers a variety of exercises including Yoga, strength training, and aerobic exercises. At the same time, the Wii balance board allows you to weigh yourself and will calculate your BMI and your balance levels. Additionally, the price tag on the balance board with Wii Fit game has come down significantly in recent months, leaving it at around 65 or 70 pounds. As a downside, people have found the weighing function inaccurate and the exercises somewhat samey.

EA Sports Active and its descendants come with a thigh-strap for your nunchuck as well as a resistance strap that can be swapped out if you purchase additional straps in places such as eBay. It works both with and without the balance board, and the calories burned are displayed on the screen throughout your exercise regimen. You can enter your height and weight and scale them back manually as you lose weight or link in the balance board’s functionality. The exercises in these games are not all fun, but are generally very effective and each daily workout has a different combination of strength training and cardiovascular exercise. If you will stick with the regimen despite the boring quality of some of the individual parts, you’ll see a lot of results.

Image from Amazon.co.uk

Dance Dance Revolution is perhaps not a game you’d consider to be an exercise programme. You can purchase the dance mat for under a tenner or bundled with a game for around thirty or forty pounds. The idea is to dance to the music, touching the up, down, left or right pads on the mat in time with the signs on your screen. As you play at higher levels throughout the game you will need to be able to dance faster and faster, but even at the lowest level you can work up quite the sweat. This game offers no toning exercises, but in terms of a cardiovascular workout it is unparalleled as the fun aspect of the game keeps you interested and has you working as hard as you can expect to. Additionally, the rising levels of increasing difficulty allow you to stay challenged and up your fitness levels as you lose weight and develop more stamina.

The Wii actually offers a wide variety of fitness games, all of which have up- and downsides. Surprisingly enough, this console can actually help you lose weight and increase physical fitness and toning if you purchase the right games and dedicate yourself to playing them.