Nintendo’s Wii Fit along with its Balance Board was a very popular piece of software, aiming to be a gym in a box complete with a personal trainer and calendar which would keep track of your targets and hopefully motivate you to stay fit at home. To be honest, my balance board is now gathering dust so now it’s time to see if EA Sports Active can get me jumping up and down in front of my TV again.
In the box you get the software, a leg strap which you use to holster your nunchuck during some exercises and a piece of smelly elastic which you tie to two handles to use for resistance exercises. It’s also compatible with the Wii Balance Board to add some extra features into some of the exercises.
When you load up the game you give it your usual stats and then you’re away. You can get straight into separate exercises which tone muscle groups and help with cardio, or you can access the calendar which gives you a 30 day routine which varies day to day to keep you motivated and keep you trim.
Where Wii Fit had some exercises and yoga and lots of mini games that got you fit whilst you had fun, EA Sports Active takes things a little more seriously. Basically, it makes you do the sort of exercises you’d do in an aerobics class and the personal trainer does a good job of keeping you motivated and also gives you advice as it keeps track of what the nunchuck strapped to you leg is doing (which, incidentally, can slide down your thigh if you’re wearing loose-fitting clothing, best to wear short shorts and strap it round your skin). You jog and walk around a running track to warm up and cool down, then do squats, lunges, bicep curls, rowing, boxing, tennis etc to work you upper and lower body.
I prefer this to Wii Fit, however, the game is slightly unbalanced. The resistance band is too stretchy and won’t really work your arms unless you’re very weak, however the lower body and leg workouts are absolute killers. My bottom hurt for two days after first trying the game out!
However, no pain, no gain, as they say. If you’re serious about toning some muscles alone or with a friend if you buy an extra leg band and resistance band, this is probably the best way to go, We’ll see what Wii Fit Plus has to offer in a few months. EA Sports Active gets a very good 7 out of 10.