Summertime is right around the corner, and everyone wants to get in shape to look better, feel better, and get healthy in 2010. Not all of us are gym rats though, so what can the rest of us do to increase our fitness levels? If you need an indoor, low-impact workout, are a diehard gamer, or just need a distraction from your mundane workouts, the Nintendo Wii may be for you! Check out these fitness games for the Nintendo Wii console.
Wii Fit/Wii Fit Plus
The Wii Fit with balance board is an excellent way to get started on the Wii. All of the exercises are low impact and low intensity (with the exception of the Hula Hooping and Step Aerobics, which will have you sweating!), but the addictive games will improve your overall endurance, balance, and mood. There are several areas to explore (strength training, aerobics, etc.) and even though these games are deceptively simple, the fun graphics and competition will keep you occupied for months. With the Wii Fit Plus you can even make profiles for other family members (including pets), enjoy additional training games like Kung Fu, and have the ability to customize your workout routines.
Advanced: This is the only game in the list that requires the Wii Fit balance board. Add the Wii Fit Plus upgrade to take the fun up a notch.
Samba de Amigo
The navigation for this over-looked game is a bit choppy, but the game play is fun for the whole family. It requires a tremendous amount of silly arm waving and will tone your arms in record time, especially if you use an over-sized set of maracas. The better you get at furious arm movements, the more of a workout you’ll get as you advance through the levels of beginner, normal, hard, and ridiculous!
Advanced: Wear wrist weights while you shake your maracas and feel the burn!
Dance Dance Revolution
After a year-long stint in Japan I was left with an insatiable appetite for udon noodles and a serious addiction to Dance Dance Revolution. The new workout mode on the Wii version seals the deal with gimmicks and hand gestures that are pure cardio insanity! I love that this game allows endless customization options so you can truly choose your difficulty level, and that music tracks must be earned so there is plenty of game play and calorie burning. Pick up a game mat, enter your workout goals, and get to stepping!
Advanced: Additional weights (ankle, wrist, or a weighted vest) can really intensify this game. Attach rug tape to the bottom of the mat to keep it from slipping, and buy the wireless mat if you have children or pets.
My Fitness Coach
This game may not be the best option for true cardio beginners; you will be a tired sweaty mess at the end of one of these workouts. At the same time, this game is the closest thing to having a personal trainer pushing you out of your comfort zone every evening. Attentive, considerate, and extremely motivating, Eva, your virtual trainer will ask you questions throughout your session and adjust the workout intensity based on your answers. You can choose your workout music genre, workout location, the length of your workout, and your available fitness equipment for workout bliss.
Advanced: Have your favorite equipment handy to spice up your workouts; my favorites are the stability ball, hand weights, and the aerobic step.
New fitness games are being released constantly as the demand for them continues to grow. Keep on the lookout for more ways to share this technology with your family, and keep on moving!