Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wii Not So Fit?

Chances are, unless you have no computer access, don't own a television, or live in a bubble, you've heard of the Wii Fit. It's recently picked up a storm of media amidst the widespread obesity epidemic, as well as video game consumers eager for the "fun" fitness it promises. Among the Wii Fit's games, of which there is a myriad to choose from, include boxing, tennis, bowling, yoga, snowboarding, and skiing. Oh - and running.

According to Nintendo's website, "Wii Fit is a combination of fitness and fun, designed for everyone, young and old. By playing Wii Fit a little every day, you, your friends, and your family can work towards personal goals of better health and fitness." Hm, I'm not so sure about that. Indeed, otherwise sedentary individuals may find it helps build a basic level of fitness, but for runners and other participants in more rigorous exercise, replacing such a workout routine with that of the Wii Fits would be quite detrimental to one's performance.

The "running" game requires the user to hold onto the Wii remote as they essentially hop in place, with the options of simultaneously watching TV, exploring the 12 virtual trails in the game with either your trainer or a dog, or accompanying a fellow gamer on a two-person run.

Perhaps it's the dedicated, hardcore runner in me, but after watching this YouTube video of the Wii's so-called "running," I feel calling it this almost makes a mockery of the sport. In fact, the movements of this game much more similarly mimic the motions of jump-roping.

Yet, the Wii Fit also presents itself as a very light cross-training possibility. If it's a rest or recovery day, playing a couple matches of tennis or boxing with a friend might be a viable option.

I suppose the plus to "running" on Wii's trail network is that it's just about impossible to get lost, mugged, stuck in sticky situations, caught in hazardous weather, or stopped by intersections and traffic lights. But then where's the fun in running?


  1. Hi Speedy!
    This is runnerextreme from RWOL. I wanted to post back to you there, but it's not letting me log in. :(

    Your comment that my words are well put together really made my day [weekend!]. I often feel so down because I have [do!]spent a lot of time studying and learning what I can about this field of my passion [fitness and nutrition], but having that playful aspect I feel like I discredit myself with how much I goof off. That and my biggest weakness being the way I RAMBLE. Basically I just feel like everything I say means nothing or is lost in rambles, so you saying my words had something too them made me not only feel good, but so glad that at least for some people I am able to share [and convey] what I am so enthusiastic about discovering!

    I'm glad to find your blog! Like I said to Cait [aren't we all cut out of the same block?] this is the exact kind of thing I dig on my own. Running souls think alike, I say. :)

  2. that guy hardly lifted his legs? it definitely did not look like running to me - more like the 'jogging in place' you do for a short break in a cardio class. i'd like to know what kind of pace it tells these people!

    i think some of the other workouts would be ok on the wii fit but this "running" would get old for anything longer than he did. (not to mention, how do you burn a calorie doing that?)

  3. Love your review on the Wii...I thought the same thing. I mean, I can see the point of the whole game for kids in hospitals or people in nursing homes to get them active when they otherwise might not be able to.

    BUT, for the average joe schmoe, it kind of saddens me that this is more entertaining and exciting for people then the *real thing.*

    Oh, and by the way, LOVE the blog...:) I found it through runnersworld. :)

    sarah (

  4. Good review of the Wii fit. The only time I felt like I was being challenged was when I was playing boxing. Then again, I was just trying to furiously punch out my opponent. It is kind of sad that this is what people are having to turn to for exercise. Nothing can ever replace the real thing! I also find that video games are a complete waste of time (Shh... don't tell my boyfriend I said that, lol).

  5. Hey! I just wanted to get back to you about your question. Sorry, I haven't had a chance to post an answer yet, but it's coming! To give you a bit of a preview...lactate is actually not an energy source for's more the end product of anaerobic respiration, or a byproduct of quick energy production. A more detailed explanation will follow. Thanks for asking your question.