(*Note - I scored my level of knowledge a little lower since I've had it one day...even though I spent hours playing!;)
Like many others apparently, I dashed to the store yesterday to pick up my wii Fit. Thankfully, I had pre-ordered my copy so I wasn't one of the 40 people that had been turned away just by noon! I got home and immediately hooked it up, with my son and husband as my audience.
It was very easy to use right out of the box. It even came with the 4 AA batteries the balance board needs. Included in the box was the board, leg extensions, the batteries, and the game itself - along with an instruction manual for the board (pretty much unnecessary). The game and the board walk you through everything, from synching the board with the wii system, to getting your first body measurements.
The board is very sensitive - if it's being used on carpet, the leg extensions must be used or the board will register what it feels on the underneath, giving false readings. Otherwise, it seems to be fairly accurate. It gives weight, and reads BMI (Body Mass Index) and sets up a user profile for anyone who will be using the board - multiple people can use the same board and the game will save each person's profile. It will ask you to create a goal and a time-frame to complete that goal in. You can adjust your goal every two weeks.
Once all of that is done, it's time to play!! As you do each activity, you 'bank' points - the more points you get, the more activities are unlocked. The activities are broken down into these categories: yoga, weight training, aerobic, and balance. When you begin, you will choose a coach - you can choose male or female - there doesn't seem to be any appreciable difference between the two.
The yoga is very straightforward - it's more of a "serious" exercise. You use the balance section quite a bit on this, with feedback on how well you managed to maintain your center of balance on the board during the moves.
The weight training is similar to the yoga, and uses your own body weight with the balance board to do the exercises. With this, as with the yoga, the coach is highly involved with explaining and demonstrating the movement to be done. Then he/she will offer tips to improve after the movement is complete.
The more fun activities center in the aerobic and the balance sections. The aerobic section includes running games and, the most fun, the hula hoop game. The activity I have used most in this section is the hula hoop, and it's a blast. You stand on the balance board and swirl your hips in a circle, while on the screen, your mii actually uses a hula hoop. The point is to make as many circles with the hoop as you can. Periodically, two people at the end of the screen will toss another hoop at you. Lean over, snag the hoop out of the air, and get back to twirling!!
The balance games are fun as well - two of the games that are already unlocked are skiing games. One is a jump and another is a slalom run. In both, the screen shows you how you're doing with your center of balance on the board as you play. Another balance game is soccer - and my 6-year-old son was laughing so hysterically at my attempts that he could barely stay on the couch. You stand on the board while soccer balls are kicked at you. You need to hit the balls back with your head - but watch out for the shoes and the panda balls! If you get hit with those (I did - frequently), then you lose points and it looks very painful! This is why my son was laughing so hard. This morning, I am sore. Not painful-did-too-much sore, but just have an all-over ache.
I certainly got a workout! Of course, like anything else, what you get out of it will depend on what you put into it. But the good thing about the wii Fit is that it is ENJOYABLE to play, which will keep me coming back over and over again! Plus, as you complete each activity, you are ranked. You are given between 1-4 stars, depending on how well you complete the objectives of the activity and then you are ranked between all of the players who have used the game! It certainly gives a reason to work harder if there is someone you want to score higher than or if you want a better star score! Incentive is there, particularly if you are as stubborn as I am;)
I highly recommend this game - it's well worth the money. Not only for the health factor, but the overall enjoyment! And I can show my children that exercise does not have to be a chore, but can be fun for the whole family. Plus, we live in a state where it rains A LOT, and this will give us many more options for rainy day activity. The wii Fit is certainly one of the better purchases we have ever made.