Weighty Matters

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Word of the Day – Wheeee!

on August 11, 2012

Okay, that should be Wiiiii, as in the Wii Fit Plus.  I’ve had mine for a few years but tonight was the first time I’ve used it.

I didn’t know when I bought the Fit Plus stuff for my Wii system that the weight limit on the balance board was “only” 330 pounds.  The inability to use that component sort of took the fun out of the whole thing for me.  I like the Sport stuff with tennis and bowling, but playing too much wears out my arm and doesn’t actually provide aerobic or strength training.   Besides which, those games are more fun in competition with other players, unless you’re playing a 6 year old or 10 year old who will usually clean your clock.  (At least that’s what happened the very first time I played against my friend’s kids.  You’ve never really been humiliated until a 6 year old trash talks you when she wins.)

A few months ago when I’d lost some weight, I brought out the Wii Fit components again, hoping for some leeway, but the balance board would have none of it.  While its cute little image on the screen didn’t exactly say, “Get off of me, you cow!  You’re too heavy.  You’ll crush my delicate electronics.  Owwww!  Owwww!  Owwwww!” that’s how I felt when its subtle message flashed on the screen and exclaimed its weight limit.

So, I put the equipment away and went about the business of losing weight and gradually adding in more activity and exercise.

Today I got up at still dark o’clock to drive the 2:45 hours to Ft. Lauderdale for a romance writers group meeting.  (The awesome Tami Hoag was the guest speaker!)  After lunch, I turned around and drove home.  I was exhausted  and needed a little chill out time after I played with and fed the dogs.  After about an hour, I started to fidget.  I’d last exercised Thursday when I did aerobics and dancing in the pool.  Tonight storms are threatening, so it wasn’t safe for me to go into the water or go for a walk.  I debated between my DVDs for Walk Away the Pounds Express or Valerie Bertinelli’s exercise routine.

Suddenly, the Wii whatziwhoosit that holds the disks caught my eye.  Hmmm.  I am well under the maximum weight limit so there really was no reason not to finally give it a shot.  Have any of you tried this system?   Once you input your height and age, you stand on the board and it weighs you, gives you your body mass index, and checks your balance.  This gives you a starting point.  You can then put in an initial goal.  I entered that I want to lose another 20 pounds in three months.  Actually I want to lose 20 pounds in two months, but the system “tactfully” informed me that experts recommend a more gradual weight loss.  I decided to conform to the machine for now, knowing that I can change my goal as I go along or just impress it with my more advanced progress.

With that taken care of, I set up my Mii (The little computer image that represents me.) and progressed to training mode.  I thought for my first foray into Wii fitness, I’d try the aerobic offerings.   First up, hula hooping.  For this, one stands on the balance board and circles the hips while watching one’s Mii hula hooping on the television.  I can’t spin a hula hoop around for love nor money in real life.  I don’t seen to get the motion right, but my little Mii looked like a pro.  The faster I moved my hips around, the higher the hoop spun on my her body.

Periodically, two other Miis who don’t look like me, throw another hula hoop which I’m supposed to help my Mii pick up by leaning and reaching.  Let’s just say that I need a little more practice coordinating that maneuver and leave it at that, okay?  I’ll get better, but without a pre-pubescent child around to demonstrate, I have to engage in a little trial and error.  At least my Mii doesn’t look at the worse for wear from getting virtually bonked in the head on the screen.

I did the hula hooping exercise several times and each time I managed to spin more times!  Improvement — yay!  The system keeps count of the number of minutes.  Each exercise has a “Mets” ranking.  Your weight times the Mets times minutes gives you an approximate number of calories burned.  Don’t worry about doing math while working out.  The system tracks that for you too.

After the hula hooping, I checked out the step exercises.  The balance board is your step and you follow the rhythm set by a stage full of Miis.  After following the routine of the basic step exercise — up, down, up, down, side side etc etc — and sometimes screwing up, I watched the system tally my performance.  Cheeky little bugger told me how many times I was perfect, how often I was “merely” Ok and how frequently I missed the steps.  Pffffft.  I did that for a few times until I at least got through the routine with no misses.  I can work on moving more “Oks” into the Perfect category and boosting my score.  Finally, I checked out the free step.  Allegedly you can do this for ten minutes while watching something else on TV and listening to the rhythm kept for you by the Wii system.  I have to figure that out with my configuration of Wii to television, etc.

When finished, I was up to 25 minutes of exercise and had worked up a sweat.  My heart beat had increased and I knew that I actually was getting some cardio benefit from hula hooping and stepping.  Aiming for 30 minutes, I checked out the Basic Run exercise.  I do not run.  I haven’t even tried to run in . . . oh hell, I don’t even remember how many years.  Since I wasn’t going to run any risk of someone other than my dogs seeing me, I figured I’d give it a shot for the two minute exercise.

For this exercise you run through what looks like a rural town or a big park.  You’re supposed to keep an even pace of running in place while on the television your Mii is eating up road as she runs around following another Mii.  The objective is to not pass the lead Mii.  If you speed up too much the system reminds you to slow down.  If you slow down too much it might tell you to shift ass and pick up your pace, but I don’t know for sure.  I never dropped my pace slow enough to incur a warning.

I actually surprised myself by jogging in place for the full two minutes.  I’m not ready to test myself with a ten minute run, but I was ridiculously pleased that I succeeded for that short amount of time.

To finish out my half hour I returned to the hula hoop, circling my hips like a champ while still getting bonked in the head by those extra hoops.  Oh well, it’s not like the system deducted points for lack of style.

When all was said and done, I felt pretty darned pleased with myself.  I would have high-fived myself, that is to say my Mii, but slapping a television screen just doesn’t bring the same satisfaction.  I’ll just have to be happy with being able to work out this way at all, knowing that I’ve added another tool to my exercise tool kit.  I have more things to investigate with my Wii — like the strength training or Yoga.  I’m also going to go online and see if there are some extra activities that I can add.

This system has some great benefits.  It provides a nice variety to keep me from getting bored and I can do it inside regardless of what the weather’s doing outside!

7 responses to “Word of the Day – Wheeee!

  1. Hope says:

    We haven’t used our wii fit in a couple of years. I should bust it out when I’m back on my feet.

  2. Marti91257 says:

    I like the game where they throw soccer balls (and shoes) at you, and you have to avoid them! The bubble game is fun too, but it’s hard! Have fun!!!!

  3. I’ll occasionally do the Wii Fit – I alternate between an advanced step routine and a 3 minute hula hoop. It still amazes me how HIGHLY aerobic the hula hoop is! I like it as a change of pace, but not as a everyday kind of thing – the pauses in between the exercises are just too long.

    Go you for finding another tool for your toolbox!

  4. Skye says:

    The Wii sounds like fun. It’s good to have exercise you can do inside and at home. I’m doing little bits of exercises at home and working up slowly. I think it’s terrific that you jogged in place for 2 minutes and worked out for 30 minutes straight with this thing. Good for you! Your endless creativity, drive, and attitude are really showing.

  5. Susanne says:

    Wow. It actually sounds fun. I never understood on how it works, but your description gives me a better understanding.

    And yah! on the meeting you attended. Sounds like a perfect day.


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