Thursday, October 30, 2008


So, I need to get more exercise. Lots and lots and lots. And I'm really having a problem with this. One part is a time thing... this is my seriously insanely busy part of the year... but that's a short-term issue. The biggest problem is that the kind of exercise that works best for me is a little difficult for me to be doing right now. I just don't exercise well at home. I know, if I were a better person, I would buy a treadmill or something, and I would do the billion exercise DVDs that I own. But I'm not. A treadmill would become an expensive clothes rack, and the DVDs are just getting dusty. I am terrible at self-motivated exercise. Put me in the gym, and I'm happy as a clam, because I'm there to work out, and I don't get distracted. Put me on a racquetball court, and I'm really, really happy. Leave me at home with a DVD, and I'll sit on the couch curled up with a book. I know, no self discipline. I should be able to do something that bores me out of my skull and makes me miserable for a lousy half hour a day, right?

I can't go to the gym right now, and I'm having a hard time fitting in racquetball. And it sounds like an excuse, but it's all about Michael. He can't do these things, not yet. And every time I leave the house, it's a slap in the face for him... it reminds him that he still can't drive, that he still can't walk really, that he is stuck in the house and I am flitting around like a butterfly (ha!). He doesn't say this, but I see it very clearly. And so he says, go to the gym, but I can't. Not yet. Not until he can come with me. Work is not negotiable, but this kind of thing is.

So I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. Can't do the exercise I want, too... lazy or unmotivated or intolerant of boredom or whatever... to just DO the things that I could do at home. So this week, in a "let's do something even if it's stupid" move, I bought a Wii Fit balance board. We had a Wii anyway (also gathering dust, I might add), so it wasn't a huge investment. And I've done this the last couple of days, and I have to report that this thing is really kind of fun.

So, here is a report based only on a couple of days of use.

1. This is the big one for me. It's interactive. Every exercise requires some kind of paying attention... focusing on where your balance is, that kind of thing. So you have to pay attention, and there's something that gives you some kind of feedback on whether you're doing well or not. Those DVD fitness instructors never notice if you sit down and drink tea instead of following along! I really like this part, and I suspect that this is what might make this work for me.
2. There are "rewards." Do a certain amount of whatever, and you unlock new games/exercises. I like rewards.
3. If you are way out of shape, like me, even the fairly simple exercises really are a workout of sorts. I am sore. A little anyway.
4. There are a variety of things to do, and some of them are pretty fun. The basic step thing is fun. The balance games would probably be fun if I had any sense of balance. And there are four different areas... balance games, yoga, strength training, and aerobics. Some of these would clearly not be very challenging if you were already in great shape, but just about everyone needs to work on balance.

1. What I said above about difficulty level. But I'm a long way from there.
2. Response time is pretty good, but there are a lot of screens you have to flip through. Makes it take about 25 minutes to do 14 minutes of actual workout time. Haven't found a good way to streamline this yet, if there is one.
3. I get the impression from other reviewers that there isn't really a great workout disc for the Wii Fit yet. Like all startup Wii programs (like Wii Sports, for example), there's a lot of good stuff here but some clear limits. As far a I know, the only other disc for this is by Jillian Michaels, and it does not seem to be getting good reviews, in part due to poor response time.

All in all... definitely worth it at the moment. Let's see where I'm at with it in a few weeks.

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