This isn’t an entry on how Homebrew Channel will let you reset your weight to svelte, it’s a brief discussion of how to get more out of Wii Fit than Nintendo intended.
I know that it’s possible to do exercises that don’t involve WF. Things like, you know, going for a walk. I can even put those hours, well, minutes, into the chart as generic Activity Log exercise time. But suppose I want to actually have my time measured according to the type of exercise, the way WF does for the built-ins? I mean, that’s the whole purpose of having different categories and tracking your time — we could each do our own exercising without any computer support at all, but where’s the fun in that? Turns out, you can subvert some of the exercises so that you can do your own and still get credit.
This is the easiest. If you have an exercise that requires timing, particularly arm movement, you can use the Tricep Extender. TX doesn’t actually track the movement of the controller, or score you on how well you do. If you switch the controller for a water bottle, it doesn’t care. If you switch the exercise from TX to Biceps Curl, it doesn’t care. In fact, you could switch to a rowing machine and it wouldn’t care, and you’d get credit for your two minutes of strength exercises. If count isn’t important, and you just want to track time, consider going over to Yoga for Spinal Twist.
The trick here is to see what your exercise requires in the way of foot placement, and pick the WF exercise that best matches it. Anything that requires both feet in place can be done on the Deep Breathing or Half Moon exercises. Single foot exercises — foot forward or back — can be done using Warrior pose. The key is that your exercise has to have some similarity to one of the WF yoga poses. Of course, doing this will mess up your scores, because you might do well at Half Moon, and be terrible at Balance On Both Knees, or your exercise might require horizontal steadiness, but be dynamic in the vertical plane. Scoring is a topic for a different blog.
There is one Yoga exercise that doesn’t track your balance: Spinal Tap Twist. This exercise is one that no sane person wants to engage in anyway. My wife threw her shoulder out doing it, and the few times I have tried it, it felt like my sternum was going to pop out of my chest, a la Alien. But it doesn’t track the controller, and it’s a 30-seconds-on-each-side task.
The game side of WF, aerobics and balance, is harder, because they are geared for specific step patterns. You can change the music in the step exercise, as long as it has the same beat, but you still have to step on and off, and kick, when they want you to, because if you don’t, they will stop to give you some instructions. Running in place is different, instead of just stamping your feet, you can try other movement style aerobics, as long as they move the controller, and as long as the sensor bar can see them. For example, you could set the WF up in front of your treadmill and get some real running exercise. You might also try it with an exercise bike, or one of those air strider rigs. I haven’t tried either of those, but they should work as long as the exercise moves the controller briskly enough. Alternatively, you could sit on the couch, and just wave your controller at the screen.
The balance games are, as far as I can tell, impossible to…game. They are geared to elicit movement patterns on the board in reaction to what’s on the screen. They are measuring dynamic balance, not static balance, the way Yoga is. It might be possible to do something like set a 2×4 on edge on the centerline of the WF board, but you’d have to do that in the Yoga section, not here, and there’s a good chance you’ll break your neck. I’ll let you know if I think of something.