One of these things is not like the other.
Wii Fit Plus is okay. It’s fun. It’s not the world’s toughest workout, not by a long way, but it’s not a total waste of time from a fitness perspective either. I like it more than I’d expected to, even if it keeps telling me off for my inability to balance.
- It’s designed to be a) fun (to a given value of fun) and b) competitive, if you care about scoreboards and beating your own records. Which I do, so, pro.
- For all its cutesiness, it actually is fun a lot of the time.
- Although it’s mostly pretty low-intensity, some of the exercises can still require a fair bit of exertion (I’m looking banefully in your direction, Super Hula Hoop), and some of the stretches and yoga are surprisingly tricky. One minute you’re relaxing away on the skiing game, which mostly tests your ability at swaying gently from side to side, and the next minute it’s all ‘now do a set of pushups with your hands on the balance board followed by standing on one leg with the other foot pressed to your knee’, and you rue having underestimated it.
- The balance board really comes into its own with activities like yoga and muscle stretches.
- It’s hard to get any significant length of exercise going. It does allow you to do a sequence of several different ones strung together, but by ‘several’ I mean, like, ‘three’, and they’re all just a few minutes long. Compared to the amount of time you need to spend pressing ‘A’ to advance to the next screen of whatever it’s telling you this time, that’s not fantastic.
- It is really quite judgy, which to be honest is not what I’m looking for from a games console. Not a massive con, I’ll concede, but just because I got a low score on your test does not mean I fall over things a lot thank you very much *hrmph*.
So I got EA Sports Active 2 a few days after Christmas, and oh dear Lord. EASA2 is what happens to cute friendly little Wii Fit if you feed it after midnight. I ache in muscles I didn’t know existed. It hurts to sneeze. Damn.
- Serious, real, flopping-on-the-floor-in-a-puddle-of-sweat workouts.
- It has a massive variety of exercises, some of which are sport-type things (the Mountain Biking is basically jump squats and running on the spot, but it shows you whizzing round a hilly course and doing funky wheel spins in the air), so there’s a lot of variety.
- It’s much less balance-obsessed than WiiFit (although it does use the balance board for some exercises if you have one), focussing more on reps and heart rate.
- Speaking of which, it comes with a heart-rate monitor built into one of its motion sensors, and displays your heart rate on screen throughout your workouts.
- It has structured workouts, either individually or as 3-week/9-week plans, as well as allowing you to pick your own.
- Less irritatingly cutesy.
- Graphs! <3
- The sensors don’t always track your movement brilliantly, which can get annoying.
- Also annoying: whatever the hell is up with the leg sensor, which turned itself off twice last night, pausing the entire workout both times while I switched the batteries round and shouted at it.
- Also also annoying: the balance board and remote need to be active even when they’re not being used, or it’ll interrupt the workout. I’m getting into the habit of just tapping both of them in between exercises, which works all right, but it’s a fiddly thing to have to remember.
- “Here’s a resistance band! And here are some handles! Your first exercise is to learn how to join these things together yourself, in the absence of any instructions! GO.”
- Not kidding about it hurting to sneeze now. Ouch.