I am certain by now, we all have seen mention of the Nintendo Wii Fit ? Why so much excitement ? Wii Fit sells itself as an all-in-one home fitness solution that will get the whole family exercising on a regular basis, no matter how lazy or unmotivated. The menu options include strength training, balance games, yoga and aerobics…yes the concept is intriguing. But as with anything so convenient and “fun” the question is: How does it work and Does it actually work?

How it works
At the center of “Wii Fit” is its Wii Balance Board, a wireless platform that senses shifts in weight and movement. To play most of the game, one stands on the board and makes appropriate motions, such as rotating hips to move a Hula-Hoop or pushing off the board to take off from a ski jump.

To begin, the game administers a short balance test. The series of activities, combined with height, birth date and weight, formulates a body mass index score as well as a “Wii Fitness Age,” which is a suggested body age assigned based on the compiled results.

Then, a male or female personal trained is selected, and fitness goals are set. “Wii Fit” allows the player to select from 40 arcade-like minigames (some of which become unlocked during game play) that are grouped into four categories: yoga, muscle workouts, aerobic exercise and balance games.

Strike a half-moon and warrior and yoga poses; do some step aerobics; then round out a 30-minute workout with some downhill slalom skiing — all in the middle of the living room.

Does it actually work?

Some feedback from individuals that have taken the “step”:

Wii Review By a Former Geek “If you need a little help getting into shape for the first time or back to your former glory, Wii Fit is the coolest, most interactive and kind way to ease your bloated body back into activity. And for serious athletes, it’s a fun supplemental tool for measuring weight over time, and for improving balance on your days off. It’s real exercise, but mild compared to what you’d get with free weights or running or swimming.”

At Geek Sugar “I’m absolutely hooked on my Wii Fit, and I’m not ashamed to say it. Although I have yet to get a kick-butt aerobic workout like I do at my gym during cardio kickboxing, I’m finding myself to be more flexible than ever — plus, I think I even stand up straighter!”

Jonathan M. Gitlin “Can you survive by Wii Fit alone? For a true workout, probably not. But, I’ve been on the couch (as it were) for about a year following an injury, and for getting back into the swing of things, being able to hit the Wii for 30 minutes before work is proving to be a good start to the day.”

From my perspective, the overall consensus seems to be that “something is better than nothing.”

If you need motivation and the Wii can be part of moving forward…go for it! However It seems that most would recommend the Wii as an addition to a normal work out routine instead of a substitution. Remember that with any program it is about having fun and achieving your goals at the same time!