Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Time to Get Fit?

For Christmas, I put Wii Active:  More Workouts on my wish-list.  If you check my earlier post about Wii Active, you will know how much I love their fitness platform.  Santa brought me More Workouts and it is even better than its predecessor.

More Workouts is a perfect accompaniment to any person's workout routine.  I usually use exercise DVDs or outdoor walking to supplement my Wii training.  It's hard to believe that a video game platform could make me sweat.  Wii Active is the only video game that kicks my butt every time.

Why do I like More Workouts?  It still uses the resistant band training but has added new strength and aerobic exercises.  The game also added a warm up and cool down session to each workout.  Unfortunately, that is the game's weakest link.  I am not an exercise specialist but I would have liked more upper body stretches along with the hamstring extensions.

Kudos to EA Sports for needed changes within the game.  I can now select dominant hand preferences for the sport activities like squash.  The overall game requires right hand holding of the Wii remote but I won't quibble with that.  More Workouts in addition allows calendar changes for the six week challenge.  I failed the thirty day challenge with Wii Active because of an illness.  Now I won't have that with More Workouts.

Another feature that I love about More Workouts is the multiplayer function.  Ben, Natalie or Tim can now join me in water skiing or running an obstacle course.  I believe that companionship is beneficial to a successful fitness program.  Time seems to pass faster while exercising with another person.

I could go on further about More Workouts but I wanted to save space for Wii Fit Plus.  Ben got a copy for Christmas.  I was skeptical playing this fitness game because of the disappointing prior game.  This new game doesn't make me sweat as much but has some nice features.  Nintendo must have paid attention to complaints from users.

I like the fact that Fit Plus incorporates the Wii board in almost all of its exercises.  More Workouts only uses the board in select activities.  Fit Plus does a Body Test every session which use to be laborious in the earlier version.  Nintendo now gives the user the option of doing a quick test to gauge weight.  More Workouts also uses the Wii board to measure weight but only does it weekly.  I'm not sure which game does a better job with weight measurement.  I might side with Fit Plus because the game gives you the option of setting the weight of your clothes you are wearing.

Fit Plus has a chart that tracks the user's progress.  I was able to log in my waist size and the steps I took from my pedometer's measurement.  Since my weight is in the low 140's now, I have a BMI around 24.  Fit Plus suggested to a set a new goal with a BMI of 23 or 22.  Whether or not that is realistic is another story.  The CDC sets the normal healthy weight at a BMI from 18.5 up to less than 25.   Losing another ten pounds would be harder to do and  I'll have to let you know what happens.

Under the setting My Fit Plus, the game offers a calorie goal for the day.   The user selects a food item which lists the calories needed to burn for eating that treat.  The game keeps track of all the calories burned from your activities on Fit Plus.  Another function of My Fit Plus is customizing your workout.  Under Lifestyle, Youth, Health and Form, the games allows the user to choose his or her type of workout.  Separate workouts can be combined into one routine.  Nice feature, Nintendo!

The other advantage to Fit Plus is its multiplayer mode.  So far my kids favorite shared activity is snowball fights.  Fit Plus uses the Wii board and remote to simulating snowball fights.  The activity is done with each player taking his or her turn by hitting as many Miis with snowballs while evading theirs.  More Workouts is different because it has simultaneous activities that players can view side by side.  Fit Plus can't do that because of the one Wii board.

Overall I am pleased with both More Workouts and Fit Plus.  Both games have improved and added flexibility to their platforms.  I only hope this has inspired you to try them and get fit.

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