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May 19, 2008

Wii Fit Will Get You Moving

By Eve Sullivan, TMCnet Editor

Nintendo’s newest product, “Wii Fit,” is for those who spend too much time sitting around playing games, watching TV, or doing anything but exercising.
Wii Fit acts like a cross between a personal trainer and a video game and offers more than 40 different exercises and activities that are supposed to help people not only get in shape, but have fun doing it.
Nintendo is looking to bring exercise into the home, making people more aware of their bodies and starting to create a comfortable, fun environment to get healthy. Personal trainer Robert Dothard says making exercise available and enjoyable in the home means reaching an audience who often feel embarrassed in a traditional gym.

“I had a real difficult time training people in front of what I called ‘God and everybody’ – with the whole gym looking,” he said. “If someone is not in good shape you know and they are in the public gym and they’re not performing well, it’s an uncomfortable feeling.”
Wii Fit will be available this week and retails at $90. That includes a balance board, which is used to calculate your Body Mass Index, weight and measure shifts in your balance at the beginning of each session.
After connecting the board, users then choose different workouts from the categories of strength training, aerobics, yoga and balance. Each area features different short workouts ranging from a minute to upwards of 10 minutes, including push-ups and side planks, skiing, jogging and seeing how many times you can spin Hula Hoops.
As your trainer guides you through downward-facing dog and sun salutation, you perform the yoga poses from atop the balance board as it keeps track of where your center of balance is, showing you if you’re shifting too far in one direction.
In the strength-building department, you can do torso twists, push-ups and rowing squats, earning points based on how well you execute the moves.
There are a multitude of video-gamey activities that allegedly help you work on your aerobic stamina and your balance. In these mini-games, you import your Mii avatar into various colorfully animated settings not unlike what you might have seen in "Wii Sports."
To get your cardio pumping, there’s a hula hooping mini-game that requires you to swivel your hips atop the Balance Board at high speeds. There’s also a step class that has you stepping on and off the board to the beat of a song.
Eve Sullivan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Eve’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
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