Elaine Bartz would never lie to her doctor. Since the 62-year-old grandmother bought a Nintendo Wii Fit system to help fight her arthritis, that hasn’t been a consideration.
Elaine Bartz would never lie to her doctor.
Since the 62-year-old grandmother bought a Nintendo Wii Fit system to help fight her arthritis, that hasn’t been a consideration.
“Every time I go to the doctor, she would ask me if I’d been exercising, because I do have high cholesterol, too,” Bartz said. “I would say, ‘Uh, no, I’m not.' Now, when I go to her, I can say I am exercising daily.”
Bartz sets the Wii Fit board in her living room where she can concentrate in private on balance and strength moves with coaching from the system’s personal trainer feature.
Because of her arthritis, her doctor has advised her to stay off stairs, she said, “but this is not that big of a step so it’s not a bother at all. I did that free (run) one where you go for 10 minutes, but I did it once and not again. It was a little too much on the knees.
“Now, I do the short one and I don’t really run.”
Bartz said she saw a Wii game console at her son’s home last Christmas and thought that might satisfy her need for some activity.
“When I started with just the Wii,” she said, “I would go for a few days and then I wouldn’t do it for awhile because it just didn’t give me what I was looking for.”
When her son bought a Wii Fit for his family, “they showed it to me and I thought this is for me.”
Bartz said she chose the Wii Fit because “walking is a good thing and swimming is a good thing for arthritis, but I just didn’t like walking by myself and I couldn’t afford to join a club to swim.
“And I know me. I wouldn’t make myself go, but with the Wii Fit I can do this morning, noon or evening and I don’t have to hop in a car and go somewhere on a bad day. It’s just so much easier.”
Bartz said she missed working out two days around the Fourth of July in her first 24 days with the Wii Fit, but did use the body check function on both those days.
“I need it to keep me moving,” she said. “I’ve noticed more energy since I’ve been exercising and I don’t watch as much television, which is a good thing. I just feel better all around.”
Mike DeDoncker can be reached at (815) 987-1382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Elaine Bartz said about Wii Fit
“I bought a Wii Fit a couple of weeks ago and I just love it!
“I now look forward to exercising where I always used to have an excuse not to before. It actually makes exercising fun (which some people may think is not possible — but it is).
“I can exercise at home on my own schedule and not have to join a health club. I am on it anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes a day. One day I exercised over an hour.
“I am 62 years old and my Wii Fit age has been anywhere between 35 and 72 (72 was the very first day I used it and wasn’t familiar with what I was supposed to do). All the other ages were 58 and below.
“ I like the fact that you can put in a password so if there are others that want to use the Wii they can’t see your weight and BMI. Now when I go to my doctor I can finally say, Yes, I am exercising daily.”
About Wii Fit
What: An interactive video game that allows the user to choose workouts in yoga, strength training, balance or aerobics.
How: Wii Fit uses a balance board about the size of a bathroom scale to read the user’s movements and a hand-held controller about the size of a TV remote control with acceleration sensors that interact with an infrared camera built into the Wii console.
Features: The system allows the user to chart daily progress, check their Body Mass Index, set goals, chart activities and even enter exercise time not performed on the system. A first-time user will be asked to set a goal and choose a time frame for achieving it. The system will then provide feedback, give updates and offer encouragement toward meeting the goal.
The system also provides an on-screen trainer to lead the user through exercises and demonstrate proper form.
Cost: The Wii Fit costs $80 to $90. It requires a Wii console, which costs about $250 to $300.