Wii Fitness: Does It Work?
Wii fitness games and workouts have become one of the most popular ways to exercise in the last few years, but are they just a fun craze or do they actually help you to get fit? In this article we look at the pros and cons of Wii fitness training.
The Wii Fit works by monitoring your exercise through a plastic balance board that should be used with bare feet for best grip. Sensors in the board pick up how well you are doing, and the results are displayed on your TV screen.
Advantages Of Wii Fitness
Probably the number one advantage of Wii fitness workouts over other forms of exercise is the motivation factor. It's fun, and that makes all the difference to whether a person can stick to their workout schedule or not.
The only problem with it being so fun is that you have to make sure you do not exercise too much! This can be an issue with everything that is done on the Wii. Be sure to warm up before you start and cool down at the end, and do not let the fun tempt you into going too long or too far.
You get to pick your own exercise style, and that's another advantage of Wii fitness workouts. The main choices are aerobic, strength and yoga exercises. You can concentrate on one of these or, better, do them on different days. Warming up is particularly important for the strength training Wii fitness exercises in order to avoid injury.
As well as general workouts, it is possible to use Wii Fit and its balance board to monitor and improve posture, balance and fitness in older people and in those who are recovering from injuries. Therefore it is sometimes used as a form of physical therapy.
Disadvantages Of Wii Fitness
Most of the disadvantages of Wii fitness training would apply to any form of exercise that you do at home. For example, you have to be self motivating because there is nobody there to notice if you skip some of the exercises, unlike at the gym where everybody is motivated by competitiveness.
Many of these disadvantages can be overcome by having a buddy exercise with you, but since you cannot currently hook up two balance boards to the Wii at the same time, only one person can be monitored. That wouldn't stop two of you exercising together, however. There are also online forums where you can set up routines and have virtual workout buddies, keeping track of each other's progress, much like you might do in an online weight loss community.
When you are starting out with the Wii Fit, you may find that it takes a while to navigate between exercises so there is a lot of downtime. Also, there may not be much cohesion to the workout. However, this depends on what program you are using. You may need to do more or less planning, but once you are familiar with the structure and the Wii fitness system has your records, you can work through things more quickly.