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It was Christmas morning yesterday at the Page house…after much discussion, we purchased a Wii today along with Wii Fit and Rock band. These items are mine and Ed’s Christmas gifts to each other. We bought them now because a) Target had them on sale b) they were actually in stock and c) they are going to be harder to find the closer we get to Christmas.
Let me tell you a little bit about why we choose this gaming system and the two “games” and what we think of them so far.
THE Wii GAMING SYSTEM
I have wanted a Wii pretty much since they came out. Lindsay and I tried one out for a few minutes at Wal-Mart one day and although I had no idea what I was doing (it was a surfing game and it was HARD), I loved the concept and thought it would be a lot of fun.
I have never been very good at video games. Tetris is about the only game I can do well. I don’t like video games where you are basically just moving your thumbs really, really fast. From everything I read about the Wii, it sounded so much better and more fun because you were using your body, not just your fingers.
We went to a party on Friday night and our friend Jonathan watched the girls. He brought his Wii and the Wii Sport disc with him so that I could try it out. I was hooked in a manner of minutes. Lets just say I am now sore because I have bowled so much the past three days. I like tennis and boxing as well, but bowling is by far the game I am the best at so of course it was the one I wanted to play the most ( I am thisclose to breaking 200).
Do we like it?
As Hailey would say, “we don’t like it, we LOVE it!” I love that the console is very small and can easily travel to the grandparents houses so that we can play with them as well. With minimum instruction from Jonathan, we were able to start playing right away without having to read any manuals. If he had not of been here, I think we could have figured it out on our own without reading anything.
I love the customized “Miis”. You make your own character by personalizing face shape, skin and hair color, hairstyle, eye color and shape, and more…you can even change your height, weight, and shirt color. When you play a game, you are likely to see your family members’ Miis show up as well. At one point Hailey was my soccer coach and she thought that was too cool.
The best thing to me about the Wii is that you can be very active. Ed and I boxed against each other tonight and I was about to collapse by the time we were done. When my Mii got up after being knocked down, I begged her to stay down…silly girl got back up to fight another round. Hailey is all over the place when she is boxing – she is really a site to behold.
Although I have wanted a Wii for some time, the launch of Wii Fit made me even more excited to own one. There are so many cool things about Wii Fit.
To start out, you provide your birth date and height. You then step on the board and perform some simple tests. The program calculates your weight, your BMI, and your Wii Fit Age. You can then set a weight loss goal for yourself.
There are four categories of activities to choose from: strength training, aerobics, yoga, and balance activities. A very neat catch is that not all activities are available to you when you first start the program. As you exercise, you earn Wii fit points – these points “unlock” new activities in each category. I unlocked two new activities my first time exercising.
The only areas I have tried so far are balance games and aerobics. My favorite aerobic activities are hula hoop and running. In hula hoop, you are literally moving your body as if you were hula hooping. Then, they throw more hoops at you and you have to lean your head to catch them. Yeah, can’t do that yet! I have terrible balance! In the Basic Run, you are running around a little Wii town and there is a runner in front of you that you are to keep pace with. It helps you to keep a steady pace and not run too slow or too fast. I loved it!
Like I said, I have terrible balance. I am always running into door frames and I don’t stand or sit still very well. The Wii Fit made it very clear that this is an area I need to work on. There is a game where soccer balls are being kicked at you and you have to lean left or right to hit them with your head. There are other objects being thrown at you and you are suppossed to lean to avoid them. Somehow I do a better job of getting smacked in the face with the flying cleats than I do of hitting the balls with my head.
In “Table Tilt”, you are the table and you start off with one ball and one hole in the table. As you lean, the table leans. You have to move your body to make the ball fall down the hole. As you progress, you get more balls and more holes. Fun AND frustrating.
There are two ski games in this category as well: ski slalom and ski jump. Hailey and I both love the ski jump the best. You have to bend your knees as you are going down the slope and then you quickly stand up and hold your balance to complete the jump.
One of the new activities I unlocked is the tightrope. You walk in place to walk the rope…but you have to keep your center of gravity in place or you will fall off. To make it even harder, there are times that you have to “jump” over objects by bending your knees and then standing up quickly. I haven’t been able to do that yet and Hailey thinks it is funny that her dad was able to do it before me.
Your Wii Fit Bank keeps up with the time you spend on each exercise. You also get to put a stamp on your virtual calendar to indicate that you worked out that day. You can view charts that track your progress towards your goal. You can also password protect this information so that other users cannot see your weight, age, and BMI.
If you have fibromyalgia, this is a great exercise option for you. You can choose low-impact options, you can pace yourself, you can track your time and your progress, and you can switch activities frequently so that you are not overtaxing any one muscle group. Balance is an issue for a lot of people with FMS and these activities can help you become aware of your center of gravity and improve your balance in a fun and engaging way. Yoga is wonderful for FMS and is a great activity to begin and end your exercise routines so that you are working on lengthening and strengthening your muscles. I AM sore, but if you have FMS, you know that there is “good” pain and “bad” pain. This is a “good” pain because it means that I have done something GOOD for myself. I exercised and had fun without overdoing it and making it so that I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning.
I am very excited about this program and hope that I continue to look forward to exercising.
(As a side note to those of you who read my blog regularly, I still love the Ab Lounge and try to use it twice a day. I think it is a great complement to this program).
Rock Band for Wii
We have Jennifer and Billy to blame thank for our new obsession. After playing Rock Band at their house, we couldn’t stop thinking about it. It is a lot of fun and very addictive. The Rock Band set comes with the game, a guitar, a drum set, and a microphone. There are color-coded “frets” on the guitar and the drum rims are also color-coded. Colored rectangles move down the screen to tell you what “notes” to play. There are various play modes and skill levels.
Although I failed at my first attempt to play the drums at Jennifer and Billy’s house, I have gotten up to 97% correct on my favorite song with 144 correct notes in a row. There is just one spot that I can’t quite master yet. I took the tutorials for the guitar but it doesn’t really interest me. There isn’t a tutorial in the world that could make me a better singer. By default, I get to be the drummer of the house. That works out great since Ed loves the guitar and doesn’t care for the drums.
The girls love to “play” the guitar. Leah looks adorable with the guitar strapped around her neck! Hailey is doing so great with her reading that she can actually handle the singing pretty well on her own. If you know Hailey, you know that she is loving having a microphone!
We LOVE the Wii, Wii Fit, and Rock Band. We had a great time playing it as a family. I know we will get many hours of family bonding, friendly competition, exercise, fun and laughter out of these purchases. If you have been considering buying a Wii but have been on the fence, I say go for it! I don’t think you’ll regret it! There were 6 left at Target at North Hills when we were there yesterday.