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Product Review - Nintendo Wii Fit

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

By

Updated July 07, 2010

Nintendo Wii Fit
Nintendo USA

The Bottom Line

The Wii Fit makes fitness fun for the whole family, with addictive balance games, energetic aerobics, and simple strength and aerobics tutorials. But it can't and shouldn't take the place of other, more vigorous physical activity.
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Pros

  • Fun and easy to use
  • Makes video gaming a more active pastime
  • Records and reports weight and BMI
  • Both kids and adults can use and enjoy it
  • 40+ activities to try

Cons

  • Not a substitute for more strenuous exercise
  • No way to flow exercises or activities together
  • Strong emphasis on competition, scoring, and ranking

Description

  • Step on the wireless balance board (included) to play games and track data. You need a Wii console and remote to play.
  • Activities include strength training, yoga, aerobics, and balance games.
  • Tracks weight, BMI, favorite games, time used, and performance data for multiple users.
  • Appropriate for kids ages 5 and up as well as adults (most activities are too challenging for preschoolers).

Guide Review - Product Review - Nintendo Wii Fit

Since its May 2008 debut, Nintendo's Wii Fit has generated big buzz for its innovative design and limited availability. Some users have claimed significant weight loss success. Skeptics say the game requires little real physical effort and is just as likely to be abandoned as other fitness fads. Me? I'm firmly in the middle here. The Wii Fit is a game—a fun one!—that encourages fitness, but not a substitute for unplugged play.

Using the Wii Fit, you create a profile (using the same Mii avatars that you use in other Wii games) and use it to set a weight loss goal, track progress, and determine your Wii Fit Age. Your Wii Fit Age is based on your real age, BMI, and performance on simple balance and coordination tests.

There are four kinds of activities on the Wii Fit. Within each category are several games or exercises. Many are "locked" until you reach a certain number of minutes of play. Each player must unlock her own activities.

  • Aerobics: includes hula hooping, running, step aerobics, and rhythm boxing
  • Balance games: walk a virtual tightrope, sample snowboarding, and more; you'll be amazed at the sensitivity of the board
  • Strength training: includes push-ups, lunges, and the like
  • Yoga: lets you practice over a dozen poses, but you can't link them together into a smooth routine

My husband, 6-year-old child and I all use and enjoy the Wii Fit. I love that the addicting quality of video games can be harnessed for good, and that we can gain some measure of activity while we play. But I wish there were a way to turn off the high score trackers to de-emphasize the more competitive aspects of the game. (These are especially discouraging for my daughter, who can't perform as well as adults or older kids can.)

There is also a lot of click-through required in between each activity. That's not a big deal when you're switching from one balance game to another, but it's frustrating if you want to do several different yoga poses in a row, or play as a group; it takes several steps and screens to switch from one player to another.

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