I always liked the idea of using video games for exercise. Think of Dance Dance Revolution and Wii boxing (sorry, bowling doesn't qualify as a workout on the Wii). I haven't turned on the Wii though since buying the Wii Fit balance board the first day it came out, only to step on it for my weight and it told me to get off. Literally. The freakin' board told me to step off. When I didn't step off, the game turned itself off. SERIOUSLY. I was furious. Damn furious. But I didn't return the stupid thing, thinking “one day, I'll lose weight enough to be able to use this.”
I should have returned the damn thing because marketing something as a fitness product that is going to make you feel worse about yourself when using it is a bad thing. Bad.
With this awful experience in my mind, I was very hesitant to purchase EA Sports Active, this game that incorporates a personal trainer and walks you through exercises. Or, you can customize your workout- all kind of stuff like tennis, boxing, running, inline skating, etc. It's a serious program, unlike the wobbly Mii's that are in the normal Wii Sports package.As you can see in the picture, it comes with a resistance band and a strap, which wraps around your thigh. I thought FOR SURE that the strap wouldn't fit my thigh that is about as big as an elephant's leg. I'd be mad all over again that a fitness program wasn't designed for fat people.
Went to brother-in-law's and saw his wife had it. What do you know, the leg strap fit (albeit barely). Hubs and I tried it together for 5 minutes and were pouring sweat. We went out and bought it that same night.
There is a 30 day challenge you can start off with, and that's what I opted for. 20 minutes of various exercises using various parts of the body. DAYUM. Sweat. Everywhere. Can't. Breathe.
I really enjoyed myself. There is such a variety of exercises using the leg strap (to record leg movements like lunges, running, etc) and the included resistance band (upright rows, curls, etc). It went by very quickly and I feel it was a good total body workout.
2 knocks though– You enter your weight when creating your profile (helps track calories and keep track of progress). The slider only goes up to 300 pounds. The game can also be frustrating, because if the wiimotes aren't in the exact correct spot, it doesn't think you're doing the exercise properly, or it doesn't register you doing it at all. Steep learning curve to figure out which way the wiimotes need to face to show you're moved up or down. Maybe after several sessions this will get better. I hope so. It's frustrating to listen to a virtual trainer fuss at you for not squatting low enough when your ass is literally just off the ground.
For these minor issues, I rate EA Sports Active a 4 out of 5.