Do you remember the excitement of setting up the Wii Balance Board in front of your TV, fighting with your sibling over who gets to go first? I do. I used to come home after school, excited to cycle around the island or do some Yoga in Wii Fit Plus. The game made exercise fun and playful. My brother and I used to compete on who would burn the most calories in a day – the winner would get more ice cream. My mum loved that she found a way to get us exercising every day, without us having to play football in the muddy garden.
Today, we’re basically doing the same thing. We can’t really leave the house, so we’re looking for ways to work out inside. Whether you subscribed to a workout plan, or trying to at least go for a walk, the good intention is there. With your bed ever so nearby, the uni work you still have to complete at home and the full snack cupboard in the kitchen, it’s hard to actually get yourself to exercise – or maybe that’s just me.
I prefer social sports like cheerleading; I enjoy being with a team, pushing each other to exercise and get better. Even the gym is a social activity, because you have the sense of community, that you’re all in it together. At home, one can feel alienated and lonely. Even with some equipment like bands, dumbbells and workout mats, I couldn’t find myself actually working out that much. Since lockdown, I got quite out of shape, and even just walking up three flights of stairs was getting me out of breath – I had to care a little more for my fitness, but how would I make this fun?
This is when I got the old Wii and the Balance Board from the basement and plugged it in. Couldn’t be worse than not working out at all. Standing on the Balance Board and turning on those comforting games is like a safety blanket wrapped around me. I really got into it again – playing it at least twice a day – but I was soon craving new exercises and challenges.
A friend suggested getting Ring Fit Adventure, which is like a modernised version of Wii Fit for the Nintendo Switch. The game comes with a ring and a leg strap. At first it feels a little weird using those gadgets when playing, but I got used to it. The game itself is a lot more fun than Wii Fit: You’re the hero in an adventure game, and to move on to the next level, you have to work your way through an obstacle course. You smash boxes and collect coins, all while jogging on the spot. It’s a little bit like playing the newest Mario adventure, but way more active. Every level is just a few minutes long, so you can easily take it as a break after a study session, instead of getting another snack out of boredom (which I used to be guilty of!).
If you have a Balance Board at home, why not turn on that Wii and get some exercise in? Or invest some money and buy Ring Fit Adventure? Both are fun, easy to play and don’t need much time or space; and if you get sucked into the game, you don’t have to feel bad about playing a game all day instead of working on your assignments – just tell yourself you’ve been keeping your physique in shape! Don’t come and blame me for sore muscles though…