I am 7 days into a 30-day Challenge using the new “game” for Wii from EA Sports: Active. We have the Wii Fit (and this games takes advantage of the balance board that comes with Fit) and you can work up a sweat using it, but Wii Fit seems more focused on balance and Yoga stretching. It is also not as structured when it comes to putting you through a workout. So we mostly use it for the games, which the kids enjoy. EA Active, however, is not a game. It’s a little animated personal trainer in a box.
It comes with a leg strap, which holds your Wii nunchuk to moderate your lower body movements, and a resistance band, which is used a many of the exercises and makes it much more likely you’ll feel these exercises the next day. I found the band to be a little too easy to use and am using a stronger band we already had. I’m thinking of ways to velcro the Wii remote and nunchuck to my hands so I can use dumbbells instead.
A typical preset workout lasts about 30 minutes, involves a warm up, such as running in place; upper and lower body resistance exercises, such as alternating side lunges, side jumps, biceps curls and shoulder presses; and intermixes some game play like tennis, inline skating, or jump shots. It calculates the calories you burn and keeps track of your progress.
The downside is you are tied to the motion-sensing Wii remote and nunchuk. The onscreen trainer is concerned about your form doing the exercises, but can only tell you’re doing them right if you’re holding the remotes properly, and it can be a little tricky sometimes to hold the remotes AND hold the straps of the resistance band. If you’re doing the exercise right, but not holding the remotes like the TV wants you to, the onscreen trainer can get a little preachy.
For the casual fitness user, EA Active provides an adequate workout and some nice variety, and for someone that has trouble getting motivated to get off the couch, it can be a fun way to get you moving.