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Monday, May 19, 2008

Wii and Me

Let me start by saying that I work out with a real-life personal trainer three times a week and have been doing so for about one year. Several thousand dollars later, it’s fair to say I am in pretty good shape (at least for me). With that as background, I had no reservations about trying out Wii Fit, Nintendo’s new virtual exercise console, at a launch event Monday in New York City.

Perhaps, I should have been less confident.

I tried three games, starting with a balance game in which you stand on the board without shoes and use your body to direct virtual balls into virtual holes. Fairly simple, I thought. Not so much. My score: zero.

The Wii trainer who was assigned to me tried to make me feel better by saying it takes a while to get used to the feel of the board and just how sensitive it is to body movements.

Next we did some virtual yoga poses. I am happy to say, I did well. I followed the animation, and exhaled and inhaled on cue. I held the pose well as evidenced by a small red ball on the screen that did not move as long as I remained in my pose.

Feeling confident, I tried the hula hoop game, which seemed to be a favorite at the launch event. I spread my feet a bit wider on the balance board and circled my hips as my cartoon likeness did the same on the screen.

“Watch out, the characters in the background will throw hula hoops at your head and you must lean in to catch them,” the human trainer at my side said. Even with the warning, all the hoops hit me in my (fortunately virtual) head.

When my time ran out, I had twirled the hula hoop 52 times in 50 seconds. I thought that was great until the trainer told me a middle schooler who went right before me did it more than 200 times in the same time frame and even caught the errant hula hoops.

All in all, I liked Wii Fit. It’s fun, different, and challenging. I will likely purchase it if for no other reason than to beat that middle schooler’s hula-hoop record.

Denise Mann
WebMD Guest Blogger

Posted by: Valarie Basheda at 4:22 pm

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