This entire category was appropriately named. The trainer is ditched and along with it hint of getting healthy disappears and is replaced by old-fashioned video gaming. There was a slight learning curve so we added our scores for two rounds of attempts. I hand picked the soccer and dominated thanks to my JV high school career. Balls are fired at you and a simple lean to the left or right will let your Mii make contact with the ball (while avoiding other projectiles).Sadly I grew up in Florida and had little chance in the Slalom Skiing and Ski Jump. Final Score, Behnken 4, Zarda 1.
Behnken | Zarda
Soccer Heading: 75 | 156
Slalom Skiing: 2:23 | 3:10 (lower is better)
Ski Jump: 319 | 249 (higher is better)
Wii Fit starts by telling you that it will “help you achieve your fitness goals”. Assessing the technology depends a lot on your interpretation of the word “help”. There’s no doubt that spending time on board is better than spending time on the couch. There’s also no doubt that it’s not enough by itself to get you to the lofty goals it allows you to set.
“I like it. I think it’s a good for people to do. There’s nothing negative about it but if someone is trying to make it there only form of exercise, I think it’s not going to cut it,” said Behnken. “They’d have to spend six or seven hours with it a day to get big benefits.”
Too much time is spent clicking through menus and not enough exercises keep your heart consistently pumping. The ‘unopened’ exercises might have a few hidden gems but what we saw was limited.
“They need longer duration steady state cardio,” said Behnken. “You have to maintain an elevated heart rate for twenty minutes to get benefits. For getting a little better balance or strengthening your core and muscles, it’s not bad. But if you want to build ten pounds of muscle or lose twenty pounds of fat, it’s not going to help you.”
The ability to create or select an actual ‘workout’ that consisted of a series of exercises would be a big step. Exercising for 30 minutes straight without navigating menus seems like a simple software addition that would go a long way.
It would also be a big mistake for anyone to put much credence in the scoring or analysis provided by the system (despite the score of our competition). The reliance on BMI is dangerous and the board’s ability to truly quantify how well you’re doing an exercise is lacking significantly. Behnken noted it’s better to listen to the trainer than worry about your score. Not surprisingly the exercises labeled ‘games’ provide the best feedback on performance but don’t necessarily correlate with burning calories and building muscles.
Despite the limitations Behnken could see himself incorporating the system as an occasional entertaining quasi-fitness break for his clients. Behnken sees the elderly population as the best suited to use Wii Fit as their lone exercise device. Those significantly overweight are unfortunately the least appropriate to depend on the gadget. Kids under ten won’t understand or follow the trainer, but the balance games will keep their attention until the specific ski, snowboard and skateboard games are released later this year. There’s no timeline for a next generation board of software update. That should given Nintendo plenty of opportunity to incorporate our suggested changes [next page]. Until then anyone hoping to slim down a few inches should consider Behnken’s suggestions on supplementing the workout.
As for me, twenty pounds seems a bit ambitious, so I’m setting a goal of five. And, for the first time in a long time Duck Hunt, Mario Brothers and my special quarter might get the full summer off.single page
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