A few years ago I had a dilemma. After years of embracing a gaming and roleplaying lifestyle I knew I needed to start seriously considering how to incorporate more exercise into my life. I wanted to improve my lifestyle, but my social anxiety was making it difficult. I wasn't comfortable with jogging in public, and failed to make myself join any sort of class. I've never been to a gym, and the mere thought of it terrified me. Still does, for that matter. It's an unpleasant loop -- the anxiety makes it hard to exercise, but the lack of exercise can make the anxiety worse.
I spend a lot of time working on overcoming my fears, and I do have some success. But in this case it didn't seem worth trusting my physical health to what can be a drawn out and haphazard process. I needed to find exercise I could achieve at home by myself. I considered whether to buy an exercise bike or other equipment, but was concerned about the space it would take up in my apartment. Then I walked past a billboard advertising Wii Fit, and had my solution.
I know using Wii Fit (and now Wii Fit Plus) can be a daggy thing to admit, both around people interested in fitness, and gamers. Particularly considering exercises like Wii-jogging, which for most people probably seems a bit pointless when they could just do regular jogging. But for someone like me it is the only jogging I've done in my life, and that increases its value significantly.
I've spent a fair bit of time standing up for Wii Fit for helping me with a problematic situation. I also have friends far fitter than I am, who can still get a respectable work-out out of the programme. That makes me feel a bit better. Like a lot of exercise equipment, the most likely issue is motivating yourself to use it, rather than the product itself being useless.
Not that Wii Fit doesn't have its problems. The virtual trainers say annoying, repetitive things you can't turn off, and some of the exercises are more gimmicky than useful. I really wish it would stop obsessing about weight. This has always been about health for me, not weight. I'm currently training for Oxfam Trailwalker in April, so I've been gaining a bit of muscle recently. That commitment has forced me to step outside my lounge room and go on long walks with my team, though Wii Fit does still play a role in training.
The main issue with writing about Wii Fit here, aside from mild embarrassment, is that I don't actually consider it to be a game. It is really more chore than enjoyment, for me personally. My Wii was purchased more as an exercise tool than a game console, and that remains its primary function. Thankfully, I have still had some fun gaming experiences on Wii, which are bound to come up in future posts.