Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oh Wii Fit, how I love thee...

As you all know, I have been struggling with a plateau in my weight loss for a little bit.  While I saw a big weight loss number for my New Year's Weigh-In, I believe that number was not accurate (not sure how!) because I saw a 7 pound weight gain by my next weigh in.  I'm sorry, but that's just not really possible in my mind unless for some reason the previous weigh in wasn't right.  I followed my diet (although, like I do after I see a big loss I did get a big complacent... although not enough to warrant a seven pound gain!), and I ran during the time between weigh-ins, so I must admit to myself and others that I most likely just simply didn't hit my goal of 40 pounds by New Year's.

So, after I accepted this bit of disappointing news I decided that I needed to step my workouts up a notch.  I have been running multiple times a week and I've changed my course to be more challenging but I still was neglecting strength training.  Every where I turn I read about how strength training can stimulate weight loss because muscle burns more calories than fat does.  When you lose weight, you are actually losing lean muscle mass as well, so strength training is a must!  Enter my Wii Fit...

Isn't she cute?
You guys have probably heard me talk about it before...  I can't afford a gym right now.  I have had my Wii Fit for almost a year and have never truly used it with any consistency.  That's about to change.  I've decided that in addition to my running, I will be doing my Wii Fit at least 3-4 times per week as well.

Meet Maia, my Mii!  When you use the Wii Fit, they adjust your avatar to fit where you are on the BMI scale.  Since I am still in the obese category, my Mii is quite thick around the middle.  With the original game that the Wii Fit board comes with, you are given the options to perform multiple times of exercises.  You can do yoga (which I don't do because it's only individual poses one at a time and a friend of mine who is a yoga instructor got made because the game doesn't show variations to the poses), strengthening exercises, aerobic exercises, balance games and something they call "training plus" which are essentially just games that burn calories.

Yesterday, I started off with my hula hooping.  Hula hooping falls into the aerobic category.  I enjoy it because it works the abs, hips/thighs and also your calves.  I was surprised by the calves getting worked so much, but alas my calves are ALWAYS sore after I hula hoop for ten minutes. What I like about this particular exercise is that it is a game.  It counts how many spins you achieve each time, and I'm always trying to beat my previous score.  In order to do that, I have to work harder!  I am constantly pushing myself with this exercise.

I hate her.
Next up, I did some strengthening exercises.  Right now I'm focusing on my core/abs.  I'm still not incredibly happy with them and I realize how much work they need.  When you do strengthening on the Wii, they give you a "trainer."  They are there to help you follow along and give you guidance and tips as you do the exercises.  To ensure that you are doing the exercises properly, the Wii Fit board keeps track of your balance and where you stand on the board.  There is a little diagram and they show you where you should keep your balance, or where you need to attempt to shift your weight, etc.  It's hard to explain...  Basically it's to make sure you aren't cheating the exercises, and then because they are tracking it, they give you a score at the end of each exercise.  Remember, it is a game!  Again, gives you something to strive to better and beat for the next time.

Next I do step aerobics for 30 minutes.  The great thing about it is that you can watch regular TV while you are doing it.  Because the act of just stepping up on the board (which is about three inches off the ground...) doesn't get my heart rate up that much anymore, I add in my free weights and keep my arms moving.  By the end, my arms are like jello!!

To kind of wind down my work out but to still burn calories supposedly, I do a few of the balance games and "training plus" games.  My favorites are the Ski Jump (balance game) and the Snow ball fight (training plus).  Honestly, I don't know how these games burn the calories, but I just find them fun.  If they do burn the calories that the game says they do, then great!  If not, eh... oh well.  I've caught my breath and cooled down.

So, there you have my work out with my Wii Fit.  Is it as effective as going to a gym and working out in a weight room?  I'm assuming not.  Will it suffice for right now?  YUP!!  I have a few other games that I will be trying out in addition to this one.  So, hopefully I can add those to my Wii Fit repertoire.  Anyway, I'm just doing whatever I can to beat this plateau and get back on track.

If you have any tips on what you do at home to stay healthy when you can't get to the gym (or if you like me and can't afford one), let me know!  I'm definitely on the look out for new things!

Tomorrow is my next weigh day.  Pray this idea of mine has worked!!


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