Wii Fit vs. The Gym: Can One Replace the Other? 

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There are four categories: aerobics, balance, strength training and yoga. Since Linus finds my balance abilities questionable, I decide I'll start there for the day. First game, "Soccer Heading," my Paige-a-like avatar stands in a goal while a soccer team kicks balls and other objects at me and I have to lean into them. I get the hang of this pretty quickly, and learn that the balance board requires a light touch-in only three games I move from amateur to pro, though my virtual teammates throwing shoes at me has my ego is about as bruised as my avatar's forehead. More balance games: "slalom skiing" and "ski jumping" leave much to be desired as I start to realize how to manipulate the balance board, but "table tilt" proves to be a real challenge at it requires me to lean in four directions instead of just two. Realize that I am indeed merely "leaning", wonder if one can lean their way to better bod.

Day 3: I'm not exactly feeling the burn from my day of leaning so I decide I'm up for a new challenge. Hula Hoop sounds weird and fun, I am actually standing on the balance board moving my hips and mimicking the motion of Hula Hooping, something I'm not great at in real life but my avatar is killing it! And I'm actually feeling a bit of a burn in my core! Eventually I have three hoops around me and I am racking up the points, and I just may be perspiring a bit! Soon though, I become aware of how I must look, arms up, hips swiveling around, clapping at my avatar, flushed and sweating, shouting things like "you're my bitch, hoop!" I am overcome with shame and gratitude that my roommates are not home. I turn off the game and fix a cocktail.

Day 4: After my embarrassing over-excitement regarding my Hula-hooping skills I decide I should partake in a more relaxed activity: yoga sounds perfect. I name my yoga instructor Jade Dreamcatcher. My mom got me really into yoga when I was in high school and I've been known to hold "bird of paradise" for over a minute so I feel like Jade is going to get schooled. Not so much. We start basic, Warrior pose, keeping one foot on the balance board and one of the ground does not a correct stance make, but once I stop congratulating myself on pointing out Jade's poor instruction I realize she is saying my balance is "poor," ugh, what do you know, Jade?! Tree pose should be simple enough, stand on one leg with your other foot placed on the side of your knee, hands at heart; but I wobble and fail. I am so frustrated and loosing my zen at this point, I bid Jade "namaste" and get the hell out of there.

Day 5: Seeing the Wii balance board on the floor of my living room is starting to piss me off. It is a constant reminder that I am an unbalanced failure with three more days before I can go back to the gym and actually exercise. I'm beginning to believe all that "serotonin level" business about people who get proper exercise. Craving aerobic activity I decide today would be a good time to try out a "Basic Run," which doesn't require the balance board, thank God. To do this I simply have to run in place while holding the Wii magic controller. This isn't so bad! The scenery in Wii world is a lot more pleasant than Prospect Heights, instead of jogging past the creepy men that sleep on the benches outside my house, I'm "jogging" in a peaceful village I imagine is in Sweden: there are waterfalls, and spherical people walking shiny puppies. I soon realize that the stomping of my running in place is not great for my neighbors so I begin to tiptoe, still shaking my Wii controller to simulate jogging; then I stop moving my feet, but continue to shake the controller; then I move my feet into the kitchen and get a Christmas cookie while moving the controller. When I get back in front of the TV my running mates are congratulating me and calling me a "Calorie Burner" as I sit on the couch with my tree-shaped treat. This isn't working.

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