Just after the new year, I started on a new fitness regime. Bored to tears with the gym (I can’t be the only person who sets out hoping it’s burnt down?), I decided the way ahead was to use Wii Fit Plus on our new Wii machine at home, combined with some cycle rides outside.
If you don’t know what the Wii fit is, it’s basically a video game from Nintendo. And it’s really quite ingenious – the perfect balance of barely moving while standing in front of the TV (you can even watch TV if you do the Free Step).
You can do some really exciting exercises on it, like leaning from side to side, and sticking your leg out; then you can add a challenge like rolling a ball into the hole, or catching hula hoops while gyrating your hips in circles.
That’s not all: you can also get the whole family involved with, say, a snowball fight, skateboarding, or taking a swing from the driving range. There’s really no better way to bring your children in from the garden and back in front of the TV.
It’s all based on the white, not-very-high step that you stand on and off, called the balance board. For the longest time, video consoles concentrated on being fun and entertaining. Nintendo changed all that by putting pressure sensors inside the board to control what you see on the screen.
And THAT is why the damn thing has got me hooked.
Not only can I weigh myself every time I turn the board on (and see a progress graph), but it’s also worked out, via some initial balance tests, what my Wii fit age is (don’t ask!) – and I’m determined to bring both these figures down.
Plus, succeeding at the low-intensity exercises gives you harder versions of them and accumulates time in the Fitpiggy – Wii Fit’s piggy bank which unlocks new mini-games the more you play.
I should also add that it’s very rude, yelping ouch in a pip-squeak voice when I stand on the board, and putting weight on the slender Mii character I selected to represent me – but it, somehow, all conspires to make me come back for more.
Except that pleasing sense of progress and achievement is eluding me.
I’ve gained TWO pounds.