We’re heading into summer and that means it’s time to start shaping up for bikini season! If you’re a busy girl, it can be hard to find time for the gym (and honestly, many people loathe going there), which might explain why using the Nintendo Wii console as a fitness tool has become so popular. With the introduction of the Wii Fit balance board and many fitness games, it’s easier than ever to plan an exercise routine in the privacy of your home, without expensive and bulky gym equipment.
Which games are worth the workout?
Wii Fit Plus: The Wii Fit Plus package that comes with the Wii balance board ($120) is a popular, if not pricey, option to jumpstart your Wii workout. The game is a series of muscle, yoga, and balance exercises that you can combine to create your own unique workouts. You begin the game by learning your body stats (such as BMI) and setting fitness goals for yourself, before delving into the individual or group games that will get your body moving and your heart pumping.
Pros: You can make your own routines or use pre-made routines that are designed to target areas of your body; you can see how much work it takes to burn off the calories from a long list of foods (good motivation to stay away from those cupcakes!); the look of the game is clean and pleasing
Cons: Wii Fit Plus largely relies on BMI in tracking your health, which doesn’t take into account important factors like age and muscle mass; the balance board is slow to respond sometimes
EA Sports Active: If you don’t want to bust your budget with that balance board purchase, opt for EA Sports Active ($45), a great fitness game that doesn’t require use of the board. EA Sports Active comes with a Wii Nunchuk-holding thigh band and a resistance band, both of which aid your workout in a series of varied, challenging, and fun exercises the game offers.
Pros: Lots of variety keeps you entertained and helps your workouts feel fresh, no matter how long you use it; the exercises are actually challenging and push you to work as hard as you would in the gym; the thigh band senses your movements and works better at tracking them than the balance board
Cons: Some exercises are better enhanced with the balance board, so you may miss out without it
So, what’s the verdict? EA Sports Active is a great choice to optimize the use of your Wii for at-home fitness. With a reasonable price, a wide variety of games, challenging exercises, and great motivational tools, it’s a sure bet to kick start your fitness. You’ll be beach ready before you know it!
— By Ali Straka, University of Missouri