When Nintendo first introduced the Wii Fit, they opened up a new era for video games, allowing the game systems to go beyond mere entertainment into the realm of home fitness.
Can you really lose weight with the Wii Fit board? Yes. But you won’t do it just by playing the game. The Wii Fit program, and the new Wii Fit Plus, offer cardio routines, balance games, coordination building activities and more. The program tracks your weight, estimates your BMI (body mass index), and tracks both calories and time. By watching what you eat, and using the Wii Fit to add 20-30 minutes of “exercise” to your daily routine, the Wii can make it fun and help you drop the pounds.
Other weight loss & fitness programs have become available for the Wii. Not all of them use the Wii Fit board. My Fitness Coach has been on the market for a few years and offers a variable aerobic routine. Pick your length and focus and it calculates a routine and walks you through it with encouragement and music to keep you going.
Jillian Michaels has introduced a fitness program which so far has been updated annually. The 2010 version offers a wider variety of exercises and is an improvement over the initial 2009 Fitness Ultimatum. While you don’t need the Wii Fit board, it is a nice addition and makes you work harder to meet Jillian’s expectations.
EA, the leading maker of sports games, teamed up with Nintendo to create the EA Active, certainly of the best fitness programs available for the Wii. EA Active tracks your movements and registers when you have “completed” the proper controller movement. You will not be able to cheat the program as easily as some. This program offers strength training using a resistance band, plus Wii Fit board activities, a strap for the thigh so the controller can track leg movement, and more. Like Jillian Michaels, EA Active recently introduced a new version with additional activities. Unlike many of the other programs, EA Active asks to input your eating habits and rates you based on other activities, eating, and more.
The Gold’s Gym Cardio Boxing is great for those who want a little more upper body workout. The program walks you through the punches and the controllers track your movements and timing. If you don’t punch correctly or time it properly, you don’t get credit and a “Miss” appears immediately on the screen. Choose your tunes, choose your background, gym or beach, or more, and team up with your choice of instructor. Punching your way to fitness works exceptionally well, incorporating the whole body. The program also provides