Wii Fit, Day 7

My wife and I purchased a notebook computer from Best Buy in Feb. 2009. (No, the title of this post wasn’t a typo or an incorrect paste; this is relevant.) One year, 3 months, and 10 (yes, ten) phone calls to Reward Zone support later, I finally received the long overdue Reward Zone certificates last month (May). Since I am currently unemployed and since most items of interest at Best Buy cost significantly more than the total value of the certificates, I had decided to watch sale bills until something inexpensive struck my fancy.

I had also been eyeing Wii Fit for a few months, but the $90 price point delayed the purchase. (You can probably guess where this is going.) After confirming that Wii Fit was not on sale at any reseller, either online or B&M (brick and mortar), my wife and I decided to purchase the exergaming megahit.

We brought the Wii Fit bundle, complete with Balance Board, home last Friday. I read the manual and set up the Balance Board later the same night; my wife and I started our Wii Fit journey the next day.

It has now been 7 days since we set up our profiles and weighed in for our first Body Test and I can honestly say that I have no regrets about purchasing the Wii Fit bundle. In the week since starting a Wii Fit regimen, I’ve worked out at my apartment complex’s fitness room twice and earned at least 20 minutes of “Fit Credits” (Wii Fit’s in-game pseudo-currency based on time spent on activities) every day. (Wii Fit includes an Activity Log where users can enter information on exercise apart from Wii Fit, such as running, walking, or cycling.)

Understanding that I likely sound like an advertisement at this point, I wanted to clarify a few points:

First and foremost: Wii Fit was not designed to constitute a full workout regimen. News articles highlighting users accrediting significant weight loss and health improvements to Wii Fit have helped spread the misconception that Wii Fit is meant to take the place of regular exercise. I understood that before the purchase; I was looking for a stepping stone to help motivate me to start exercising like I knew I should. Wii Fit did the trick.

Second: I have not yet lost any weight since purchasing Wii Fit. On the other hand, I haven’t gained any weight, either. It’s possible (though unlikely) that I am gaining muscle at the same rate that I’m losing fat. The more probable explanation is that I’ve simply yet to see the results of my exercise (both in conjunction with Wii Fit and at my apartment complex’s fitness room). I understand that losing weight and gaining muscle takes time. I’m not in any rush.

Third: Though journalists have reported on Wii Fit in the context of losing weight, the exergame also focuses on balance and posture. Having suffered back pain of varying degrees since high school, my first concern is my overall physical health. Physical appearance is a distant second. (It’s not that I’m not concerned with my physical appearance; it’s just that back pain is awful and I want to take whatever reasonable steps I can to eliminate it.)

Okay, so that third point was another plus, but I felt it was important to share it.

After using Wii Fit for a week, it’s clear that the team behind Wii Fit was more concerned with overall health than losing weight. When a user sets his or her fitness goals on the first day, Wii Fit warns against losing weight too quickly. (On a related note: Helping the user set health-related goals and track his or her progress are two of the most important features of Wii Fit.)

Again, the purpose of Wii Fit is to supplement, not replace, regular exercise and help the user pay more attention to his or her body–and it does indeed serve that purpose well.

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