Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wii Fit, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...


I am seriously enamored with our Wii Fit. Seriously. If it died tomorrow, I'd be depressed. Why? Well, let me try to explain.

1. I can exercise inside. A) I have young children who can't be left alone, and one or more of whom usually need supervision with their schooling most of the daylight hours, anyway. And B) although, I could get out and walk/jog/run, it is not at all culturally common and would make me seem even weirder than I currently come across.

2. I weigh in every day. For me, this is a good thing. It means I immediately see the consequences/rewards for what I am eating. And it makes me think twice. It's also incredibly encouraging to see my weight going down (which it has 10+ lbs. since I working out on our Wii Fit). And it keeps track of and charts my progress for me, including having me set goals and noting whether or not I meet them (I'm shooting for -1 lb. every two weeks and make it more often than not).

3. There are a variety of activities I can choose from, including Yoga, aerobics, balance games, and strength exercises. Okay, so I often choose the same thing day after day (lately, 20 mins. of step aerobics and 10 mins. of rhythm boxing), but I could choose something different (like 30 minutes of free steps while listening to a sermon file).

4. It gives me feedback as to how well/poorly I'm executing the task at hand. Is my balance perfect on my yoga move? Am I exerting the right amount of force on my strength exercise? Am I keeping perfectly with the rhythm and using the correct foot at the correct time on an aerobic routine? This, to me, is one of the huge benefits to Wii Fit over a DVD or even a class. If you care about your score (which I do...just a little; see #13), there's no room for slacking of for a rep or two or wobbling too much.

5. It gripes at me when I miss a day. And really lets me have it, if I miss more than one day. I know, it's just a computer/game, but I am motivated by that.

6. It adds up my time and keeps track of that, as well, so I can piece together a workout totaling an amount of time I have as a goal or a time slot I happen to have that day.

7. I can ramp up the intensity with weights. We purchased a 3 lb. wrist/ankle set (so, 1.5 lb. each) to wear on our wrists while we're working out (dh does yoga, strength and runs**). When we got used to those, we moved them to our ankles and bought a 2k (a little over 4 lbs.) set to wear on our wrists. When we got used to those, we bought a 3k set for our wrists and moved the 2k set to our ankles. I was planning to buy another 3k set (the heaviest we've found) for our ankles soon, but now that I'm pregnant, I'm thinking I may stick with what we have until afterwards. It's amazing how heavy and awkward the weights feel when we first start using them compared to how they feel once our muscles adjust. And rewarding to think about the muscles we're building up. I've noticed that someone got smart and started bundling weights and a "Wii Fit yoga mat" together. Smart, but neither are any better than what you can buy for yourself at Target.

8. My kids have a fun indoor option for exercise. Although MS goes to Taekwondo three times a week, and they have bikes that they can ride downstairs in the common area, I want them to learn lots of different ways to incorporate exercise into their lives, so that whatever their life circumstances in the future, they will have an option to draw on.

9. With their weigh-ins, the kids are getting a healthy understanding for what a normal weight is (it tells you, based on your height and age, what is underweight, normal, overweight and obese). This is not something I have had a grid for most of my life. I think it would have helped me a lot to know where I fell on the curve at various points. And not just when I've been overweight. There was a whole season in my life when I thought I was overweight, and I wasn't. I didn't notice when I became overweight, because I thought I already was, if that makes sense. Obviously, I'd like for my kids to avoid that "little" pitfall.

10. My kids see me exercising. They were seeing that some the past couple of years (as opposed to hardly at all before that), but it is much more often and consistent now. I shoot for 4-5 days a week and make it most weeks.

11. My kids tangibly see and know that I am overweight (okay, so my goal at this point is "overweight" :-l but I'm almost there!). I know, this is a strange thing to be grateful for. But I want my kids to know that my weight, at this point, is not normal. And that I'm not happy with that (although not obsessed with it, in spite of how this post might be coming across :-). And that I'm doing a lot to fix that. I saw this, to an extent, growing up, but I still think I needed a stronger message that overweight=bad (for health reasons, if nothing else).

12. They're developing more and more game/exercise options for the Wii Fit, so we can hopefully continue to challenge ourselves as we master the basic options included with the unit. One, in particular, we're pretty sure we're going to get while we're in the States.

13. I can be better than ML at things. He's smarter than me. He knows more than me. His Arabic grammar and vocabulary are far and above better than mine. But, by golly, who's the entire top ten list for Advanced Aerobics? Yeah, you know who.

I know I've come across like a commercial. I don't mean everybody has to go out and buy a Wii Fit (and the necessary prerequisite Wii system), especially given that the Wii Fits in particular are scarce right now. I was just thinking today, though, about how blessed I feel to have it (we pre-ordered on Amazon early enough to actually get one [they ran out of pre-orders, even]). So, I thought I'd share.

* I know. I missed yesterday. I don't even really have a good excuse this time. I mean, it was the finale of the season of NCIS we were watching, and it went longer than I thought it was going to, and I was really tired. But a good excuse? No, I don't have one. Hopefully, I'll squeeze in an extra post here in the next few days to make up for it.

**Yes, you can run with the Wii Fit. It doesn't use the balance board. You put the remote in your pocket/hold it in your hand. It's one of the kids' favorite things to do. You run past other Mii's along a path that winds through different types of scenery. You're following a trainer that acts like a pace runner. We've discovered, though, that if a dog runs past (yes, that happens, too), and you speed up and run past your trainer, you get to follow the dog and go on an entirely different path. They've had fun following different dogs (there are several on each length run) and seeing the different scenery.


Tressa said...

VERY insightful. We would love to own one for our Wii. Seems like theres LOTS of benefits of having one! Maybe we'll get one for Christmas?

Grateful for Grace said...

Oh, this sounds totally great!!

Missus Wookie said...

Well as a Wii & Wii Fit are sitting under my desk waiting to be wrapped I'm grateful for your list and chasing a dog sounds like something my dd would love :)

And I so get the wanting your kids to know that you are overweight and that this is not good... :sigh:

mideastmom said...

Glad I inspired you guys. :-) I actually thought of both of you as I was writing, since I knew you had Wii's (how *does* one punctuate that after all?). I wish you luck, if you decide to get one.

mideastmom said...

Oops, W, yours came in after I posted. So glad to confirm your purchase! :-)

And it's motivating, I tell you. I think you could really get addicted to it yourself. In a good way.

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