I put this question to a few people:
The general consensus was that the Wii Fit can be fun, can work for some people if they persevere with it but is a costly piece of equipment at around £150 as opposed to a pair of good trainers at £60.
For those unfamiliar with Nintendo’s Wii Fit it is a package that consists of a CD of interactive exercises and games with a pressure sensitive balance board.
It offers four different types of exercise – yoga, muscle workouts, aerobic and balance.
The yoga improves flexibility and in time may improve body tone but not much good for losing weight. The muscle workouts are similar to a gym workout but there are limitations. For the aerobic exercises, such as running on the spot, it is difficult to raise the heart rate (without wearing the carpet out!). You can actually cheat by waving the controller around…so not a lot of cardiovascular fitness going on here. The balance games can be fun and improve coordination and reflexes, if done correctly & regularly.
A quote from one of our runners:
“We use Wii Fit sometimes to have fun with the kids, but not really for fitness reasons. I think it is a healthier way to spend time in the living room rather then just watching TV or playing some other games where we just press buttons. I could not imagine using it as a replacement for other sports like running, swimming or yoga.”
It would be good for people who are too self conscious to join an exercise group or have very low fitness, it is used successfully for rehabilitation and working with the elderly (groups such as falls prevention for improving balance)
However, on the downside it can be very boring, the technical equipment may cause anxiety, the ‘unsupervised’ exercise may cause injuries, it can be very lonely and difficult to self motivate.
To sum up the Wii Fit can be a good place to start for those with limited levels of fitness but don’t expect to get to the Olympics by using it!