Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wii Fit Plus - Review

After having such great success (and fun) with the Wii Fit, I was SO excited to learn that they were finally creating an upgrade to this program. We have been playing with the Wii Fit Plus for over a week now, and can't imagine going back to life without it. Now right on the package, it states that the original Wii Fit game & Balance Board are required to operate this. My only guess is that this is an upgrade, (the program even said it was updating our software for 10 minutes when we first popped it in) rather than a new game. So it won't save you money over the initial game-price, but bear with me... this one is definitely worth considering.

The greatest feature, in my opinion, is the ability to customize workout "routines" using the yoga & strength-training (NOT the aerobics however - much to my dismay!) exercises. Let me tell you, 45 minutes of nonstop exercise WITHOUT stopping & hunting for my next exercise is MUCH MUCH harder on the body! I'm loving that it actually only takes 45 minutes now, rather than the hour or so that my strength-routines were taking before. In a busy day, those extra 15 minutes could be the difference between actually DOING my exercises, or not having the time. There are also twelve pre-programmed routines ranging from 7-15 minutes, with such names as "overindulged," "warm up," and "posture" designed to target specific issues. While the kids are working on "posture," I'm planning to check out "overindulged" before our Christmas cookies give me need. ;)

Another handy feature is that the fit-meter now doubles as a calorimeter, letting you see how many calories are burned in an individual exercise AND as a daily total. You can also track your waistline, calories consumed, and steps-taken (if you wear a pedometer) on the Wii now too. Since I track all these using an online program this isn't something I needed, but it's still nice that it's all in one program! The kids are enjoying the ability to weigh & track a pets' weight now as well. They love the daily "tips" designed specifically for dogs & read them faithfully to Spirit, who would much rather be guarding the yard against squirrels. I can see this being good as our dog gets older... and for now, the kids love that in the running/biking exercises they get to run alongside their own dog. You can also track a baby's weight now... but of course I haven't had need to try that function. ;)

There are three new yoga & strength-training exercises, and they are TOUGH! Despite my body falling apart, I'm still fairly flexible & have decent balance... but I can only manage ONE of these exercises - the spine extension, without falling flat on my face. These are definitely not beginner poses, but they WILL stretch your body!

For the kids... and myself as well, the best part is that there are 15 new "Training Plus" games. These are not like the original "balance" games that were fun but didn't really do much for you physically, these are WORK... while still remaining fun. You can bicycle around an island, (quite reminiscent of the original island-jog) march in a rhythm parade, (a more taxing-but-fun version of advanced-step) ride a segway around chasing gophers, (this will make your calves ACHE!) or try a skateboarding obstacle course that my son swears is better than the original snowboarding routine. I love that these new games are as "fun" as the balance games so the kids WANT to do them, but are as physically taxing as the strength & aerobic exercises so I can let the kids play them without feeling as if they're cheating on their exercise.

Is the game worth it? Absolutely. Would I recommend it? In a heartbeat. It's even more physically challenging, has some really helpful features, and my kids are fighting to exercise each morning... rather than waiting 'til I insist each day. This is one $20 very well spent!

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