On Memorial Day we went over to a good friend's house. There were a lot of kids there and eventually we congregated around the Nintendo Wii. They've had the Wii for a while but they had recently gotten the Wii Fit, which is a balance board and scale that is meant to be stood on. Sensors detect how evenly you are bearing your weight both left to right and front to back.
We played with the Wii Fit and had a blast. So much so that we shelled out the dough to get the Wii console and the balance board on eBay.
I had been reluctant to just get a Wii. Sure that's exercise and my arms were tired after playing baseball with it, but those games were exercising a very limited muscle group. It didn't seem like that kind of exercise would be worth the money.
Not so with the Wii Fit. The yoga and strength training exercises kick my butt! They're tough. I'm really sore afterwards! They're tough for my friend who's in way better shape than I am. Yes, it's a video game — and not a cheap one — but it's a video game that I'm hoping that will keep my interest long enough for me to see some deflabbification.
Here are a few specific reasons why I think it will:
- I'm very competitive at video games. I'm not competitive at team sports, and never really was, but man, get me in front of a video game, and you're my worst enemy. That, and I get pretty frustrated when I've done better before at a particular exercise or balance game. I'll try several more times until I've given it a good shot at beating my high score. Meanwhile, I'm exercising, which is the whole point, right?
- It's graduated. They make you ease into things pretty slowly by unlocking easy activities first. The game encourages you not to overdo your workout.
- No additional work to record progress. It keeps track of how much, how often, as well as how much you weigh.
- It covers a lot of territory. Stretching, balance, strength training, aerobic workout — it's all there.
- There's a neat reward system. The more you use it, the more games you get. Each exercise gives you “fit credits” that drop into a futuristic piggy bank — which I respond to well, considering I also write on personal finance.
- It will be a long time before I beat these games. Some games you can finish, or you get good enough at them that they're no longer a challenge. This will be challenging for me for a long time.
- The games are fun. Frustrating at times, but it's almost always because I don't have good enough control over my body's movements to do well. Overall they're a blast to play.
Here are a few things I need to watch out for, though:
- I'm very competitive at video games. I have to watch that I don't break the thing. I'm serious!
- It is possible to cheat the system. But isn't that possible with just about anything? I've used it honestly so far and need to continue doing so. I'm only fooling myself if I cheat.
- I may lose interest. At this point I just need to take it for the exercise it is and keep at it. Hopefully this will be easier if I've developed the habit of exercising by then. I don't see it getting old within the next couple of months. And hopefully I'll be down around ten pounds.
Anyway, this is going to be a fairly big part of my exercise program. I'll keep you posted.