It’s winter here in Switzerland and as the weather got colder and I prepared for wet and frozen conditions, I opted to stop my outdoor running. Instead, as of January 6th, I have taken up walking at least 5km, 5 days a week and using my Wii as a workout 4 days a week.
Last week, I completed my first 6 week challenge on the wii using EA Sports Active (more workouts). I was able to skip the beginners mode and went for the moderate mode. This is a personal trainer type game that has you going through a series of workouts, some focusing on your legs one day and others your upper body. It’s actually a bit challenging to use. You wear a leg strap that you have to place the wii nunchuck into in order to do some of the exercises. This reads your leg movements for the wii system. The nunchuck is connected to your wii remote by a cord. Obviously the wii remote reads your arm movement. The game also comes with a resistance band to help challenge you during your workouts.
I have a few complaints about this “game” in general, now that I have completed a 6 week challenge. Firstly, the original resistance band that this game came with has been long broken. Eventually it wears out, which can be extremely dangerous when it finally snaps during a workout. Since then, I have been through 2 resistance bands (not made by ea sports active). For now I am using a set of wrist weights that velcro onto my wrists. These don’t get in the way of my holding the remote and nunchuck, but they only weigh what they weigh. I can’t really challenge myself and increase my workout by much. Ideally, a set of hand weights would be much better. I can upgrade the weight as I get more comfortable, but I can’t hold hand weights and my remote and nunchuck at the same time, so that is a no go.
The other big complaint is the cord getting in the way. The cord that connects the nunchuck to the remote seems to get in the way a lot. Maybe it’s because I am a short person? Whenever I’m doing something like running, or jump strides, and I’m swinging my arms back and forth, the cord always snags into the back of my thigh strap, which usually causes the remote to fling out of my hand or the velcro strap comes undone just a bit. It’s really annoying.
Finally, I’m finding the sensors just fail to pick up my movements. EA Sports Active More Workouts also uses the Wii balance board for some of its activities. Every time I use the balance board in combination of the cardio boxing workout, its a big failure. For some reason, it never reads that I have lifted my leg for a kick. It’s extremely frustrating because the game now thinks I’m not actually doing what I’m being asked to do. I also run into a problem with the ab exercises. I have to make sure I don’t move very much when doing crunch and punches, because even the slightest movement makes the system think I am going too fast, when in reality I’m just getting into my crunch and then my punch. But if my arms move just slightly while holding the nunchuck and remote while I’m getting into my crunch, it thinks I’m moving quickly into my punch. Just frustrating.
For now, I have to use what I have. This week sees me starting a new 6 week challenge and this time, I will be upping the difficulties of my workouts to “advanced”. I have been thinking about getting an xbox the next time I am in the states because my understanding is the technology is so much better for workouts on that system. You don’t have to hold anything, this system scans your body and movements. I’ve also heard that the new xbox one can read your body thermals and can see what areas of your body you need to focus on in order to optimize your workout. Also helps to make sure you are completing the workouts correctly. Pretty cool stuff.
Now, it has to be said, I did an awful lot of complaining in regards to cords getting in the way of my workout, well it looks like EA Sports Active was listening, because the newest version of the game (which I didn’t know existed) has leg and arm sensors that you wear. So instead of using the combination wii remote and nunchuck, you just wear these sensors which also monitors your heart rate. So, it looks like my next trip to the states might save us a lot of money and I can just upgrade myself to the newer version of the “game”. This means I can also use hand weights if I choose to. The game still uses resistance bands. I’ll have to see if they’ve improved on the material that it is made from, because these things just seem to snap all the time. So, I guess I shall see once I have this new game, which won’t be until the summer time. By then, though, my plan is to get back to running using the couch to 5k podcast once more.
© Semi-Charmed Life