Thursday, May 27

Artificial Intelligence Has No Tact

I swore it was supposed to rain all day although now that I'm done with my indoors-with-the-blinds-closed workout it appears the sun is shining and it is beautiful out.  It makes me wish that I had made another jaunt around the neighborhood today, but maybe I'll squeeze in a walk this afternoon between other projects.

In the meantime, I worked out 40 minutes with Wii Fit.  I used to work out with Wii Fit several times a week, but as the Wii balance board animation (we'll call him Fitzgerald) reminded me, it has been over a year since I used it regularly.

There are parts of this program that I think are really helpful. For example, Fitzgerald encourages you to weigh in at the beginning of your workout to track your progress (or lack thereof).  There is a wide variety of activities to keep you occupied and moving.  And I really like the "bank" that tracks how many minutes you have spent in cumulative exercises for the day.

There are other parts which, when you aren't already in great shape and aren't seeing a lot of quick progress on the scale, are less than enjoyable.  I hate that when I stand on the Wii balance board, Fitzgerald's cute little voice cries out, "Oh!" as if he weren't expecting this mass of weight to be placed up on his shoulders.  I really hate that when it weighs you, if you are over your suggested BMI, a snippet of music plays like the sound track of Mario dying at the gates of Koopa's Castle in a failed attempt at saving the princess, and then Fitzgerald chirps, "That's Obese!"  And generally speaking, I don't like the way that Fitzgerald is programmed to play devil's advocate with fitness tips like, "Hey fatso, how 'bout you lay off the whipped cream and opt-out of the frozen desserts section altogether?" Ok, Fitzgerald doesn't really say that, but he may remind you in a squeaky-clean voice that it helps to take in less calories than you burn in order to lose weight.

Another comically disturbing feature of Fitzgerald is that he keeps track of everyone who's supposed to be working out, and will ask you to nag them for him.  Upon starting my workout this morning, Fitzgerald says, "Good morning!  Hey, have you seen Mr. Kawaii?  He hasn't visited me in 419 days.  Is he sick? Perhaps you should remind him that regular exercise is important to maintain a healthy body."  I'm paraphrasing a little, but not a lot.  This game is imploring me to go to my husband and nag him to exercise, and remind him that Fitzgerald doesn't think that the "beer to mouth" action counts as a workout.  Honey, if you're out there... you've been warned.

Although Wii Fit can't be classified as anything other than a low-impact workout, as long as you stick with it until your "bank" reaches 30 to 40 minutes you can still break a sweat and find yourself in a bout of heavy breathing from the movement.  I like to alternate between the three "running" tracks, and the other aerobic exercises (like hula-hooping and rhythm boxing) to get my heart rate up for about 30 minutes, and then cool off with 10 minutes of balance exercises.

Although it's a far cry from the rambunctious jumps, squats and roundhouse kicks of many exercise DVDs (and Chuck Norris FanFic) Wii Fit is a great way to get moving if you aren't used to working out, have injuries that make working out difficult, or just want a light workout and the ability to track your progress.  As your fitness increases you will definitely want to supplement Wii Fit with something more robust to push your body to new heights, but overall Wii Fit is great for people of all ages & sizes.

Chuck Norris fact of the day: Chuck Norris does not lift weights; weights rise before Chuck Norris.


  1. LOL ~ I hate it when my wii fit says those things to me too, and now I will need to think of a name for her (yes, I selected the she-witch as my trainer...)


  2. Hmmm... might I suggest "Belladonna"?