Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Wii Fit, Part the First - Oh Noes! I's Tubby!!!
The biggest battle in my life for the last year-plus has been staying in shape. So much so that the problem is now getting back into shape. Bleh. Back in May I blathered about this and my "usual" cardio workout. Well, I haven't sat down and "de-conflicted and prioritized" family, work and fitness yet (hey, I said I was going to procrastinate).
But we did open and start up the Wii Fit last night! It's almost like sleeping at a Holiday Inn Express, except I didn't wake up to free cinnamon rolls. Which is good, cuz I've been supporting the industrial corn-based food chain by eating way too much crap like that lately.
Set up was fun and embarrassing at the same time. It involves updating your "Mii" with some vital data (height and DOB) and then standing on the whiz-bang "balance board" so it can judge your "level of fitness". It does this by determining your center of balance (as a test of posture) and then weighing you and spitting out your Body Mass Index (BMI).
After this, you get what I like to call "the first slap in the face". The program adjusts your "Mii" to conform with your BMI. In my case, my balding, moustached Mii's body grew to resemble a keg of beer. How appropriate. I've never been a fan of BMI. It's always told me I was almost or actually obese, even when I've been in great shape. But even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and as "great shape" (or even good shape for that matter) doesn't describe me well right now, BMI (and my keg-bodied little Mii) were enough to tell what I need to (okay...already) know.
But one slap is never enough. Then you go through a "balance test" - a series of exercises involving shifting your weight from one leg to the other in varying proportions and holding it for three seconds. Using this, your BMI and center of balance, the program gives you your "fitness age". When it's less than your actual age your Mii does the patented "thrill of victory" thingy. When it's over, it does the little "agony of defeat" thingy. I call the fitness age "the second slap in the face". Which means I have a 48 year-old, bald, moustached beer keg Mii that hangs it's head in sorrow.
Of note my two skinny daughters, aged 4.5 and 3, were given ages of 23 and 22 respectively. This was largely due to their not understanding the balance board/balance test, so I can't rejoice at them getting through adolescence in one piece just yet!
So overall, it told me what I already know...I'm overweight, my posture is bad and I'm out of shape. It was fun doing it though - it explains what it's doing every step of the way, which is good, especially if you're not familiar with fitness concepts (like an increasing number of gamers are). And not to be judgmental, but given the overwhelmingly sedentary nature of the country these days, BMI is probably all most people need to know when "starting out".
It was also the first time I'd ever really seen where my center of balance is, and was able to use a visual aid to determine my correct posture to even it out. (It feels weird...I really need to practice).
The exercises we did were fun as well, but more about that later...