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Work it! Work it! Cmon, get that fat moving!

February 27, 2010

Work it! Work it! … C’mon, get that fat moving!
By Heath Hooker

Are you a weekend-warrior type or does Wii Fit appeal to you? A look at what might help shed a few pounds

Welcome to February, 2010. Right now, you are either knee deep working your tail off to keep achieving your 2010 fitness resolution or you have given up completely. Of course, the popular resolution of any year is to lose weight and get active, but it seems with each year there is a new workout routine more popular than the last.

Sure, blame the weight gain on the holidays. Realistically, though, the pounds probably started to come on long before overindulging in year-end feasting. So what are you going to do to shed some tonnage? The two workout routines that come to mind as the most popular avenues to fitness are the so-called ‘weekend warrior’ regimen and Wii Fit routines.

The ads selling treadmills and gym equipment have been replaced with a little white balance board and a Nintendo Wii, and it is supposed to help you get fit! Yes, the aim of Nintendo's Wii Fit - among other fitness video games - is to get the user to lose weight, be fit and get more active. However, does this really work? Can a video game really help you lose weight and be more active?

The same question can be asked with the weekend warrior routine. The definition of a weekend warrior is a person who puts an entire week's worth of exercise into 2 weekend days usually to avoid going to work out during the weekdays because of work or other reasons.

Both workouts have been criticized. Apparently, a lot of folks believe the two popular routines aren't causing any benefits for their users. Two workout routines and questions of benefits surrounding them led us on a wondrous journey with our first stop an article written by Anne-Marie Millard, a personal fitness instructor. According to netdoctor.co.uk, Millard explains that weekend warrior routines may not be the best idea. She suggests a few workouts during the week as a way to really benefit from your weekend workouts. She explains you aren't benefiting as much as you should unless you are exercising more than during the week instead of just the weekend. Imagine that ...

On the other side of the spectrum are the "stay at home" workout peeps. In particular, we are talking about the Wii Fit fanatics of the exercise world and according to VGChartz, Wii Fit has sold almost 10 million units in the United States and 22 million worldwide. Firstly, that is a lot of people on the Wii Fit and something must be working for that many people to want to try it. So, we decided to investigate and see if we could find people who have had REAL success losing weight with the popular Wii title.

Two users and their stories really caught our attention. Joey Russell, one of the first members of wiifitroutine.com, started using Wii Fit regularly around August 2009 when he weighed 215 pounds. He did Wii Fit exercises for about 30-40 minutes every day for about five days every week. He did mix free weights with his exercises too, but he DID have success. As of January 2010, he has lost 27 pounds and has gone from a 36 waist to a 34 waist.

Another wiifitroutine.com user and Wii Fit exercise junkie, Walt Morrison, had an equally interesting story. After being laid off and having a broken Wii, he found a new job and a new hope with Wii Fit Plus. A week after starting his new job, he bought a new Wii and Wii Fit Plus. He weighed 296 pounds at the time. He used his Wii Fit about 4 days a week for 15-30 minutes each day. After 10 weeks of using Wii Fit and changing his diet, he lost 23 pounds. He continues to work out with Wii Fit and has now added free weights.

Obviously, typical workout routines are the safest route to go when looking to lose weight (and we would be remiss if we didn’t add the disclaimer that before starting any exercise routine, you should check with a doctor), but it appears that one solution alone is not going to help people achieve weight-loss goals; rather, a balanced program – blending the weekend warrior splurges with weekday programs, or Wii Fit with other tried-and-true methods – seems to produce the best overall results. The Wii Fit routine is obviously appealing, because you don’t get the judgmental stares at the gym, but it is a starting point, not a end-all program. And, of course, success is based on the individual’s commitment to starting and continuing on any program. One week won’t produce results, but the whole idea of getting up off the couch and doing any kind of exercise is a very good beginning point.

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