14 days ago I announced that I had swapped my 360 for my friend’s Wii and that I was going to try out the Wii Fit. My goal was to work out for 14 straight days. If I did, regardless of the results, I was going to buy myself a Wii and try like heck to keep it up.
2 weeks later and I’m proud to say that I haven’t missed a single workout. This may have been the first two week stretch of my life that I actually exercised every single day. Even when I was training for the marathon I took days off to rest. However, I stayed true to my goal and put in about 45 minutes per day, every day.
There were some days that it definitely wasn’t easy. Taking the Wii Fit to Iowa City to visit family was an adventure. I’ve been enjoying doing the exercises, but doing the Hula Hoop game with 5 relatives watching you is certainly a humbling experience.
But enough jabber. The big question on everybody’s mind is, can you get results? Can you actually lose weight playing video games? The answer is an emphatic YES. Check out the graph below:
I can’t believe I’m broadcasting to the world how fat I really am, but hey, it’s all part of the healing process. I thought about blurring the numbers on the left side, but let’s face facts, it’s pretty darn obvious that I’m seriously overweight right now! And the whole point of doing this is to actually take some action to remedy that!
See that big spike? That corresponds to the homemade Meatloaf and Macaroni and Cheese dinner we had in Iowa. Seeing all my results go up in smoke was incredibly depressing, but that was one heckuva good dinner! Despite that, a few days later I’d gotten it worked off. While I can’t say that I’ve been dieting, I’ve just been trying to eat a little better. One slice of pizza and some salad where normally I’d eat 2 or 3 slices of pizza. Bringing hundred calorie packs of chips and pudding to work, so even if I buy myself something from the cafeteria, it’s not out of control. This past weekend, I went to two BBQ’s, went out to dinner with the wife and went out drinking with friends one night. Despite all that, I gained one pound and lost it the next day.
I know people are going to attribute the weight loss to water weight, and maybe it is. Who cares? It feels great to see that graph pointing downward, I feel fantastic that I’ve worked out every single day and I’m actually doing something good for myself. I’m sure the weight loss is going to slow down and I’m going to have to fight for every pound. Suffice to say, I’m ready to.
So long as I’ve spent over 10 hours working out on the Wii Fit now (averaging about 45 minutes a day), I figured I’d do a mini around the world regarding what I like and what I don’t about it.
Like any workout, you get out of it what you put into it. People have said to me, “Yeah, but can’t you just shake the controller and get credit for running? Or just tap the board to get credit for situps without actually doing them?” YES, you can. And let’s face it, who are you cheating? Can’t you also go to the gym, chat with friends for an hour and leave and tell people that you spent an hour working out in the gym? Sure… But the only person you’re cheating is yourself. I bust my butt doing these exercises and I’ve really felt like I’m getting a good workout.
While there’s a wide variety of exercises and activities, I’m kinda bummed because I think I’ve unlocked everything now. Part of game mentality is that you have to keep working to keep unlocking bigger and better things. In this respect, Wii Fit peeks too early. Would be nice if there were continually new things to unlock, or downloadable exercises.
However, the ones that are there will definitely get you sweating and your heartbeat racing. 10 minutes on the hula hoop and you’re going to definitely be feeling it. Rhythm boxing is a blast and a great warmup. While you won’t get any new patterns after a while, it does mix up the order of them so every workout is different.
A few tips for the Step Aerobics and Running. With the step aerobics, once you’ve mastered the advanced class, you’ll unlock “Free Step”. This means you can watch your favorite sitcom while you keep stepping. Your Wiimote will announce how many steps you’ve done and how long you have to go. WAY cool. However, I just didn’t feel like I was getting a workout at their pace, even when you set it to the fastest pace available. Then I read somewhere that you can silence the ‘beat’ and just step at your own pace! So it will still announce how many you’ve done, it just won’t give you a beat to follow. Do that and then really take it up a notch. I hold two hand weights and get those steps per minute jacked way up there. I think my record is about 3250 steps in half an hour.
Similarly, when you unlock the free run, you can get creative with it. Free run asks you how long you want to run for, and then all it measures essentially, is how many times the controller goes up and down. But you don’t necessarily have to be running. I’ve used these time periods to do jumping jacks, and intend to use the time to do stairs the next time Aiden is out of the house. I’m sure you could come up with any number of other exercises as well.
Strength exercises and Yoga are fantastic when you pair them up, as the Wii suggests. I always follow their suggestions for related exercises and that works out pretty well. The situp challenge can be brutal, but I’m now up to 100 situps every session. Pushups are lagging a bit farther behind, but they’re improving steadily too. Honestly, if you really do the exercises the way they are meant to be done, you’ll get a heck of a workout.
Now that the first 14 days are behind me, I’m going to try my best to keep it up. If I falter, feel free to hold me to it! Who knows, at NECC maybe I won’t look quite so much like a Weeble Wobble! Regardless, I’m feeling pretty darn good. Even if I don’t lose another pound, I’m finally doing something to improve my overall health. Can’t go wrong with that!
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