Wii Fit a month on

As I wrote previously, my first impressions of Wii Fit were good. A month and a half on and I’m still using it – at this point I’m fairly happy to say that it’s not just novelty value that I’m getting from it. Of course, one way or another I do spend an awful lot of my time doing exercise of some kind so I’m right in the target audience for something like like this. Using the very broad definition that it uses for exercise I’m having a slothful day if I only spend an hour “exercising”.

Mostly I’ve been playing some of the balance games and doing yoga poses. The games are silly party game style things – it’s a bit of a shame that the interface is set up for lengthy sessions with an individual Mii rather than allowing you to easily switch between them or set up competitions. The yoga I find relaxing – something physical and meditative to focus on – and it seems to be having a bit of a positive impact but it’s hard to say for sure with these things. The balance board works fairly well with both – with the games it’s the control method and with the yoga most of the poses use it to provide feedback on how stably you’re maintaining the pose. I’ve also been doing the body test daily; it’s fun if you’re in the mood for it and the feedback mechanism is useful.

The strength exercises are less successful. Most of this seems to be due to the difficulty in constructing things that do much for the upper body and can be monitored by the balance board (some things do try to use the remote but aren’t able to offer the same kind of detailed feedback that the balance board gives). The aerobics I can take or leave – it’s all fairly low intensity so good for a bit of a warm up. Again, the things that work best are those were there is an appropriate controller like the Dance Dance Revolution knockoff and rhythm boxing.

There does seem to be an odd variation in the difficulty levels of the activities it offers – much of it is targeted at people who are totally sedentary and don’t get much more challenging than that, making the inclusion of yoga poses like shoulder stands with no obvious differentiation strange. There’s also a tendency to praise you for things that aren’t actually being directly monitored (like form) which is annoying when you know you’ve actually done badly. There’s also rather a lot of prompts one has to click through every time, which get more than a bit wearing after a few iterations.

Overall, it’s a useful tool but I’m not sure it’ll appeal to people who don’t enjoy exercise.

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