If you wanna feel better about your family, just read about ours...

Starring: a dad, a mom, a son & daughter-in-law, a daughter & son-in-law, a teen, a tween, a grandson, a granddaughter, 3 dogs, 2 rabbits, 2 dwarf frogs, an unfortunate number of tadpoles, and a whole lot of love.




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Friday, January 7, 2011

Just in case you wanted my opinion: My review of Wii Dance games

The Wii is relatively new to our family, having only had ours for a year. My refusal to buy into hype and refusal to wait in line for a limited amount of hype means we're always a year or two behind the hype. My understanding of the Wii was that it was intended to get lazy kids off the couch and be required to at least stand while playing the games and being occasionally asked to swing an arm or two while bowling or playing tennis. Cool.

What I didn't know was that you could actually get a serious kick-butt workout on your Wii. My first realization of that was when the girls asked if I wanted to Wii Hula Hoop. Ten minutes later my obliques were burning and so began my journey of Wii cardio.

Last winter my Wii workouts were taken to a new level of interest when a friend, Jessica, loaned me her Wii Just Dance! Thirty plus dances to such hits as Can't Touch This, Pump Up The Jam, and Who Let The Dogs Out. My inner cheerleader was tapped and dance off competitions became the norm at our house. K and I have been known to dance the entire collection in one evening. That makes for 2 hours of dancing with the shadow figures while sweating away the pounds. (Occasionally with hand and ankle weights for an added level of torture.) Wii Just Dance: A+

This year we wanted something new. I noticed that they had a Wii Just Dance II, but I was also intrigued by the Wii Gold's Gym Dance Workout and went with that. After 10 minutes of following along with a robotic avatar instructor while barely being able to hear Lady Gaga sing her song and I was done. Wii Gold's Gym Dance Workout: D (The only thing keeping me from failing it completely is the fact that K seems to like her ridiculous avatar instructor, therefore it's not a complete waste of money.)

Then I heard that Wii has Zumba. I've never done Zumba but I'm growing increasingly interested in it. My friend, Gina, was kind enough to loan me hers yesterday to help avoid another Wii Gold's Gym disastrous purchase.

Wii Zumba comes with a belt to hold the remote and free up your hands. Not completely necessary but a nice feature.

Yesterday afternoon, Z and I set out to conquer the world of Zumba and were determined to complete 3 twenty minute routines in a row. After the first 3 minutes, they congratulated us on completing the warm up. Warm up?!? We were panting. We were almost finished with our first workout when we realized the goal was to keep our shadow figure green as opposed to different colors. That would explain our really really low scores the first round.

During the 2nd workout, Z was breathing too hard to say "That's what she said" every time I'd say, "I can't take it anymore." But since he and I are way to competitive for our own good, we forced ourselves to complete the full hour even when we both lost feeling in our arms and Z started seeing stars whenever he'd shimmy. (Note of warning on the shimmies: Wear a really good sports bra....or two.)

During the course of this experiment, I had to tighten my Zumba belt twice. I choose to believe that was because of all the inches of fat I was losing by the minute. My hair was wet with sweat and I may have temporarily regained feeling in my toe that's been numb for 2 years. (Long story.) And I'm beginning to suspect I might have a little Latin in this Italian bloodline of mine because I kind of rock at Zumba, if I do say so myself. Wii Zumba: A+

I guess what I've come to realize is that the Wii isn't just for lazy kids. It's for lazy adults too. And exercise doesn't have to mean an hour of walking in place on a conveyor belt. It can actually mean playing with your kids....with or without hand and ankle weights, which I do not recommend with Zumba unless you plan on wearing a 3rd sports bra.

(And as an added bonus, I feel somewhat prepared should I ever take an interest in going clubbing on the weekends.)

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