In an earlier post I talked about how the exercises you do on the Wii Fit are essentially training your internal neural net system to coordinate your balance – managing inputs from your balance organs (eyes, inner ear, kinesthetic sense) so that the outputs, from your muscles, keep you standing – and that you test the effectiveness of this training by using the Body Test. That said, it is usually a mistake to do additional training on the test sets. It’s like teaching to the test in elementary school. I make two exceptions to this rule.
First, is the Single Leg Balance Test. This exercise is so fundamental to the operation of your balance system that if you were to train only on this you would likely get as much benefit as you do from any of the other balance exercises. Plus, it’s a simple test, and you either can do it or you can’t. There are no tricks to learn. It’s not like the Prediction Test, where you can memorize the pattern of the barriers, so you are not learning some new technique to beat the test.
Second, is that I misuse the Peripheral Vision Test to make up for one of the failings of the Wii Fit. You see, while the ability to stand up straight is important, none of the regular exercises teach you to do this. They all base their scoring on how you are standing when the test starts. So if you happen to be leaning left when the Deep Breathing exercise starts, returning to an upright position as the test progesses will move your pipper to the right side of the yellow circle, and lower your score. This is, unfortunately, also true of some of the tests — the Stand Vewy Vewy Still test centers itself on how you were standing when the test started, for example. But there are some tests that are based on an absolute measure of standing straightedness, and therefore offer a chance to train yourself in what it feels like to do it. Periodically, I run the PVT, and just stand there, working on keeping the pipper inside the little circle. That gives me 33seconds of training. It also gives me a zero on the test, but that’s OK, since it only counts when officially given as part of a Body Test.
End Note: These days I mostly use a preset routine in My Wii Fit to go through my exercises. That’s OK, but it doesn’t let me track my progress. So I have decided to periodically do a standard run-through and post the results here. This time I ran 17 exercises, with an average score of 77.5 and a standard deviation of 17.2. Four of the scores got me into the top ten, and there was one new personal best.