Tuesday, September 6, 2011

ExerBeat for Wii Fit by Namco Bandai

I haven’t written in a while because I’ve been extremely fatigued. My goal for this summer was to make over my bedroom, but my fatigue has made this impossible. I hadn’t even celebrated my 26th birthday in July because I was never feeling well enough. In fact, I opened my presents on Sunday night – September 4!

Though I haven’t had a chance to use all of my presents yet, I was able to test out the gift that I wanted the most – ExerBeat by Namco Bandai.

According to my Rheumatologist, the only proven treatment for Fibromyalgia is frequent aerobic exercise, and that I can start very slowly at 5 minutes aerobics per day. It was my 2011 New Year’s Resolution to make daily aerobics my top priority, and with my Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus I became very close to reaching my goal. I felt that I was really improving, that my pain was more manageable, and that my energy had improved. Of course, I did incorporate other activities into my aerobics such as taking a trip to the mall as an opportunity to walk around some afternoon, or going on walks outside in the summer. However, Wii Fit made it possible for me to complete some aerobic exercise when stores were closed or when the weather was either too hot or too cold to go on walks. This is why I made it a priority when making my birthday list to ask for another exercise game for the Nintendo Wii.

Since I only had 2 opportunities since opening the gift to test out the game, I cannot give an in-depth review here today, but I can say that I am very happy with it. If I can write a better review at a later date, I certainly will.

Users of Wii Fit or Wii Fit Plus will probably find ExerBeat easy to adjust to, as there are many similarities. For example:

1. With Wii Fit’s instructions appear on the screen in a speech bubble spoken from an avatar of the Wii Balance Board. Similarly, ExerBeat’s instructions appear in a speech bubble spoken from a music note by the name of Rhythm. Rhythm recommends a short tutorial. I watched this the night I got it and would recommend it.

2. With both Wii Fit and ExerBeat, activities are presented in a similar layout and not all activities are available to users from the beginning. With both games only certain activities in each category are available and the rest must be earned or “unlocked” by completing the activities that are already available. I like this feature of both games because it gives users a sense of achievement, rewarding them for their completion of various exercises.

3. Both Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus, and ExerBeat incorporate humourous and creative exercises into their menus. My favourite Wii Fit game is Penguin Slide, in which my avatar or Mii is dressed in a penguin costume, standing on an iceberg and surrounded by an audience of penguins who seem to be cheering me on as I try to catch as many fish as possible. Similarly, there are funny and creative games on ExerBeat that involve twirling pizzas and fending off pirates!

4. Both Wii Fit Plus and ExerBeat measure the approximate amount of calories burned and measure the intensity of the exercises in METS. They also both have charts or graphs to measure how much time users spend working out each day, the option to set personal goals, and a calendar that can be stamped so that users can keep track of their progress.

5. The Wii Fit and ExerBeat menus are very similarly organized. The Training menu of Wii Fit lists activities in the following categories:

Yoga -------------------------(15 activities)
Strength Training ----------(15 activities)
Aerobics ---------------------(9 activities)
Balance Games -------------(9 activities)

Wii Fit Plus provides 15 additional activities, as well as 3 additional Yoga activities and 3 additional Strength Training Activities.

Similarly, the Exercise menu of ExerBeat lists activities in the following categories:

. Dance Exercise
. Martial Arts
. Body Conditioning
. Party Fitness

Unlike Wii Fit however, the first 3 categories branch out into further, more specific categories from which you must choose:

. Dance Exercise ---------> Aerobics / Hip Hop / Latin Dance

. Martial Arts ------------> Boxercising / Karate / Karate Forms

. Body Conditioning ----> Stretching / Yoga and Pilates

This means that, while Wii Fit might provide 15 different activities each in Yoga and Strength Training, ExerBeat provides about 15 activities in all 8 sub-categories! So if I am correct, this is the breakdown of what Exerbeat offers:

. Dance Exercise

- Aerobics ----------> 20 activities
- Hip Hop ----------> 20 activities
- Latin Dance ------> 20 activities

. Martial Arts

- Boxercising ------> 20 activities
- Karate ------------> 20 activities
- Karate Forms ----> 10 activities

. Body Conditioning

- Yoga / Pilates ----> 10 yoga, 10 pilates = 20 activities
- Stretching --------> 10 activities

. Party Fitness ------> 5 activities

Now, I must stress that I am not criticising Wii Fit or Wii Fit Plus for lack of variety. I intend to use both Wii Fit Plus and ExerBeat together. I am simply praising ExerBeat for its variety for my particular needs, and for my Fibromyalgia, variety of aerobic exercise is a major need! I also think that my familiarity with Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus has allowed me to begin using ExerBeat without much difficulty. For example, I am somewhat used to having to follow certain visual cues with the Wii Remote in order for the game to register the accuracy of my movements.

I hope to use ExerBeat to complete some aerobic exercise a little bit every day, and hopefully build stamina little by little, and decrease pain and fatigue in the long run. I’ll write about any progress I make whether with the Wii game or without, and as usual I welcome any comments or recommendations for similar games.

1 comment:

  1. Hi --

    I am sorry to hear about your Fibromyalgia, but your doctor, as usual, is wrong about the aerobics-only method for eliminating it. With a few exceptions, and I mean VERY FEW, doctors are totally ignorant when it comes to healing. They actually end up doing more harm than good because all they seem to know how to do is prescribe drugs which you have to take the rest of your life. Then you have to take drugs to manage the side effects of the drugs you started taking first -- the medical/Big Pharma industries at their finest.

    I recommend a book by Majid Ali, MD, called "The Canary and Chronic Fatigue." In it, you will find the dietary solutions to help you recover from Fibromyalgia and the companion Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which usually accompanies it. I stuck with the absolute strictest form of this program (I call it the "VEGAN FROM HELL" Diet) for four months. At the end of those four months, I reintroduced certain foods which had tended to make me ill but for which I had ignored all the symptoms -- habit? Addiction? Probably a little of both. Anyway, I no longer eat chocolate, peanuts, cream cheese, or walnuts; no longer drink any coffee (decaf or full), any cola, or black tea with caffeine (and even limit decaf of same); and watch my intake of wheat if I start to feel sluggish. It worked. Please try it! You CAN feel better, Lilly!