As you may be aware from previous blogposts this year I am really trying to get both myself and my children nice and fit. With all the bad weather and time constraints one of the main ways we have been doing this is by using the Wii to have fun exercise sessions. Obviously with children aged 7 and 3 they have different capabilities and require varying amounts of input so we have experimented with a few different games (thank heavens for Christmas and birthday money!).
We had 2 of the original fitness games Wii Fit for me and Family Fitness Trainer more for the children. In the past I've found the Wii Fit great for a regular workout and for charting my progress. Unfortunately I'm having issues with the balance board which is preventing me using it at the minute (must get around to sorting it out!).
Family Fitness Trainer uses a mat that is plugged into the Wii. It is fairly simple to operate but requires some level of co-ordination - which my 4 year old sometimes finds tricky. My children do enjoy competing against each other and earning points and high scores. I have to admit that being competitive myself I enjoy staying top of the high score table for Mole Stomper.
On the recommendation of my Rosemary Conley instructor I bought Just Dance 2 in January. This can be used either just as a fun way to exercise with friends or family OR you can set yourself a daily Sweat challenge to complete 1, 3 or 5 dance routines to earn points. What I like about this is that its easy to squeeze in a 15 minute session including warm up. My children love choosing the silliest songs such as Monster Mash or Walk Like an Egyptian.
My daughter had previously had High School Musical 3 Dance but found it quite hard to follow the directions on the screen to copy the moves. It maybe as she gets older she finds this easier. This year she bought Dance Juniors which is much simpler to use and we enjoyed a couple of sessions, though she doesn't ask to play it often.
Her little brother got Nickelodeon Fit, this uses characters such as Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go and the Backyardigans to get the kids moving. So far we have just used it with the remote and it seems very simple to use. Even my 4 year old is rapidly getting the hang of selecting activities. He loves getting medals, ribbons and high scores. Both children keep asking to play it. "Look how slim I'm getting mummy" my son keeps saying!
I have also added the Personal Fitness Instructor to my Wii arsenal (a great eBay bargain!). This actually tracks all sorts of vital statistics and each time you use it a different exercise area is chosen by your instructor (yoga, cardio, lower body, flexibility etc.). So if you were just using this there would be plenty of variety. If like me you are using other things then you can get workout credit for them within the game.
Altogether we are finding that the Wii is a great tool in the family fitness arsenal. Yes you do have to pick and choose your games based upon the ages and abilities of your family.