Wii Fitness for Dummies (aka, Fitness on the Wii), available from booksellers everywhere, as well as online discounters like Amazon.com, focuses on three of the top Wii fitness programs, Wii Fit Plus, EA Sports Active: Personal Trainer, and Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2010, as well as provides additional coverage of the entire Wii fitness phenomena and general exercise theory. As is always the case when writing a book, there is inevitably content that doesn't fit either due to subject matter, cost, or space constraints, which is where this regularly published bonus tips and content comes in. Each week, for an indeterminate number of weeks, Christina and I will be posting items that will both add to your enjoyment of the book and provide good fitness information in general.
This week, we're running the twelfth entry, which is a clearing house of Tips and Tricks:
Just as warming up is the key to exercise safety, so too is staying hydrated while you work out. Drink plenty of fluids; sports drinks and water are two great options. Remember, thirst is not a good indicator of your body’s state of hydration. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re probably already in a negative balance. Just as you gradually raised your core temperature with a good warm up and then exercise, it is equally important to gradually and consistently return your core temperature and heart rate to normal levels through a good cool down. Non-stressful activities like walking in place or light stretching will help to lower your blood pressure and remove lactic acid build up in your muscles, which can cause cramping. Other great cool down options are Wii Fit Plus’s Training Plus or Balance Game activities, which are described in Chapter 6.
Aerobic means with oxygen, and aerobic exercises are often referred to as cardio because of their cardiovascular benefits. These exercises train your heart to pump more blood with each contraction, decreasing your resting heart rate (less than 60 beats per minute is considered an indicator of good physical fitness), which reduces the wear and tear on the heart. Your lungs also take in more oxygen and your circulation increases to distribute the oxygen throughout your body to meet the new demands.
Yoga and strength training can work together synergistically to help you maximize your fitness goals, and techniques learned through one can help with the other. For example, yoga helps you learn how to breathe properly, which is essential during any exercise, and being able to balance yourself doing a one-legged yoga pose may help you perform lunges and vice versa. Because yoga and strength training can work synergistically, a relatively recent fitness trend has actually brought them together.
WII FIT PLUS TIPS
To boost your fitness levels, you can try to follow the 10,000 steps per day program; this will require walking about 5 miles daily (1 mile equals about 2,000 steps). If you give this a go, be sure to take it slow, increasing your steps by 50 to 100 daily until you reach the goal. You can use any of the running programs in Wii Fit Plus to help you achieve the 10,000 steps a day goal should you elect to try it. If you do, be sure to record your steps in Wii Fit Plus, even if you don’t engage in a workout that day. Turn to Chapter 1 for more on entering Steps.
BASIC BALANCE TEST
Do you tend to think mathematically? The percentages on the left and right of the vertical bars provide a numerical value for your weight shifts. If you think of the top of the vertical bars as representing 0 and the bottom of the bars as representing 100, you can assign rough values to the rectangular areas on each bar. Those values will indicate what percentage of bodyweight needs to be applied to each side to reach the rectangular area. For instance, if the rectangular area on the right were at the very top of the vertical bar and the one on the left at the very bottom, 100% of your weight would have to shift to the left side.
Keep your core solid by tightening your abs and keeping your shoulders straight back. Good posture will improve your balance, which in turn will increase your ability to keep still. Also, try to concentrate on a point at eye level ahead of you and keep your gaze there for the duration of the test, instead of looking directly at the screen. Balance is affected by visual stimuli, so if your eyes are tracking the grid or you follow it mentally, your body may make some subconscious adjustments to compensate for the perceived movements.
To add an activity to the Activity Log, press the Activity Log button. Press A when you see "You can record exercises and activities done outside Wii Fit Plus in your Activity Log," and then click on Yes when you see "Do you want to record and activity in your Activity Log?" You will then have to select an activity type, either Light, Normal, or Hard. If you are unsure how your activity ranks, you can click on Examples for each of these to get an idea. Once you make your selection, just click on the up and down arrows for hours and minutes as desired and press OK. You will then receive a summary of what was added, followed by the question "Would you like to add another activity?" Pick Yes or No, depending on what you'd like to do.
Before following any nutritional advice or starting any workout regime, it is always wise to consult with your physician. This is especially important if you are pregnant, have cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, or suffer from an orthopedic condition. Further, should you start to experience any fatigue, shortness of breath, chest tightness, dizziness, or any other discomfort, pain, or unusual symptoms while working out with Wii Fit Plus or any other fitness program, stop activity immediately and consult with your physician.