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Fii-tness Test: Is the Wii Fit for You? 

step it up on the wii Fit. When the Nintendo Wii hit the market, the first thing people noticed was that it required users to

click to enlarge step it up on the wii Fit.
  • step it up on the wii Fit.
step it up on the wii Fit. When the Nintendo Wii hit the market, the first thing people noticed was that it required users to move their bodies while playing. Nintendo has decided to take advantage of this feature - and the fact that most Americans don't get enough exercise - by creating a video game with elements of a workout video. The Wii Fit offers up to 40 different exercises and mini games that are supposed to help players not only get into shape, but actually have fun while working off the love handles. Nintendo has packaged the game with a balance board, which is a cross between a weight scale and a video game controller. The board is a fancy looking step board that connects to the Wii wireless and can sense weight and movement, which creates lots of possibilities.. In a sense, the game presents a realistic looking personal trainer who walks you through a bunch of yoga exercises while also testing your strength. You perform the yoga, standing on the balance board as it keeps track of your center of balance and lets you know if you are shifting your weight too much to one side or the other. This helps you perform the exercises correctly and allows you to get the most out of each movement. In the strength-building part, you can do push ups, twists, squats and earn points based on how well you perform each movement.

 
The game also includes mini games with different activities to beef up your aerobic tolerance. In the mini games you import your Mii avatar into different and playful settings, much like you would for the Wii sports games. Wii Fit is similar to the "Brain Age" games. But instead of working your brain, it works your body. The game puts you through a battery of tests that assess your "fitness age." In other words, the worse you do in the tests, the older and more out of shape you are. The more exercise you do, the better your body balance and fitness "age. " The one thing that's a bit confusing is how you're rated. The first few times you're given a fitness age it might correspond to a person who is 10 to 15 years older than you. The next few times the game might say you have the fit body of an 18 year old. It's bad enough if you have to deal with a bi-polar trainer in real life, but please don't put this in a video game.

 
Does this game have the ability to provide long-term fitness benefits? It's great that we get immediate feedback from the game, but it might not be enough to compel people to work out more than they did before. It seems more often than not workout videos end up in the dollar bin or as summer garage sale fodder. The gaming aspect of Wii Fit is a great opening for future games, if they can just balance the fun and the exercising. Nintendo did this with Wii sports where gamers get exercise without noticing because they are having so much fun. Still, anything to get our butts off the couch is a good thing and Nintendo deserves kudos for its effort.

Wii Fit
Rated- E for Everyone. Platform- Nintendo Wii. Publisher- Nintendo. Retail $89.99 (includes game and balance board)

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