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Review: Wii Fit

by Nick Haywood on 2 May 2008, 11:07

Tags: WiiFit, Nintendo (TYO:7974), Wii

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qamyq

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The HEXUS.lard-boy gets fit...

Ok, so I’m a lard-boy. I admit it. Since working for HEXUS my working life has changed dramatically. I spend most of the day sitting at a desk whereas I used to be on my feet all the time in a hot, sweaty kitchen. I now eat regularly instead of just when I was hungry or remembered and I’m far less active than I used to be.

But seeing the weight pile on, I did make a few half-hearted attempts to keep the pounds off. I eat properly (probably too much for my low calorie expenditure) and I walk or ride as often as time allows. But I’m not getting any younger and, even though I’ve always been chunky, I know that I should do something or it’ll just get worse.

But I find going to a gym a chore… even when I had a gym buddy, it was still a pain in the bum to find a couple of spare nights a week to go and do a workout. Add to that the feeling of intimidation of working out next to some bronzed, toned and rippling muscled gym addict who’s lifting twice the weight I am and running twice as fast for twice as long on the treadmill… it’s off-putting.

So this is where Wii Fit might be just the answer. You see, I’ve always suffered from the view that pounding along on a treadmill or cranking the wheels of an exercise bike is ultimately pointless… I’ve not been able to get past that mental hurdle of having to expend all that energy and actually not get anywhere… it’s just the mindset I’ve fallen into. I don’t mind going for a ride and knackering myself out… and least I’ve been somewhere and seen something other than TMF on the gym’s TVs.

So how does Wii Fit offer a more satisfying fitness experience? Well for a start it tracks your progress for you… not just your weight and your Body Mass Index (BMI) but also your performance in the variety of exercises and mini-games all designed to help you tone up, improve your posture and lose weight (in conjunction with a sensible diet regime too).

Now I’m ready to have an argument here on the best way to lose weight and tone up as there’s plenty of different opinions. But one thing that is pretty much undeniable is that if your calorie intake exceeds your calorie expenditure you’ll gain weight. But going by weight alone is no good as muscle weighs more than fat… so if you start working out, you might see a weight increase, which can easily be interpreted the wrong way.

Using the BMI as a guide is also possibly misleading as it all it does is divide your weight by your height and compares you to a scale divided into a number of ranges from underweight through to obese. Whilst using the BMI as a guide to what weight you should be is better than just weighing yourself, it’s still flawed in that the BMI is a very general index. People have different body types too, such as slender or heavy set… and here’s where the more useful Body Fat Percentage would come in… except Wii Fit doesn’t use that.

So what I’m basically saying is that Wii Fit should be used as a very rough guide as to how ‘fat’ you are and in no way should be used as a definitive source of your fitness. But as a rough guide, using your BMI and tracking your results to keep you motivated, Wii Fit could possibly be a better investment than the Ab-Burner-Crunch-Super-Extra-Fat-Killer thingie that you see on the late night shopping channels…