- Exercise & Fitness
Wii Fit: Practicing Yoga On The Wii Balance Board
The Wii Fit contains balance games, cardio exercises, strength exercises, and yoga. The yoga section contains a nice selection of poses that require concentration, strength, balance, flexibility and endurance. I used it before but not on a regular basis and not for a while. Since yoga has a lot of health benefits I decided to see how it would effect me if I did each yoga pose once a day 6 days a week.
After trying all the poses I decided to skip the shoulder stand. Since the Wii Fit measures your balance it can tell how well you are maintaining your balance for most of the poses. The only problem is you can not always look at the TV to see how well you are doing. It also keeps track of the high scores based on your balance. So it is easy to tell if you are improving.
Some of the posses are difficult but they become easier with a lot of practice.
Yoga is often harder than it looks. I was not very good at most of the poses when I started even though I exercise regularly. While I was able to improve I did not improve on a daily basis like I did when I was running. I could not just use will power to improve. It required more patience. After the first week I was getting better. Within two weeks I was pretty good at doing the poses. Most days I achieved a high score or tied the high score in at least one of the poses. However I was still not very flexible. When trying to touch my toes I could only bend slightly farther than before I started.
I continued the routine slowly improving my balance, strength, endurance and flexibility. Since the Wii balance board is hard my feet started to hurt doing the single leg stands. So instead of doing it everyday using the balance board I starting doing it on my own some of the time. After four weeks I had come a long way but there was still room for improvement especially with my flexibility.
I found yoga relaxing and it made me feel more energetic. My back muscles became noticeably stronger allowing me to sit and stand straight for longer periods of time. It improved my posture. As a result I could spend more time at my full height making me look a little taller. My reach pointing up increased by approximately 1 1/2 centimeters. My height while standing straight increased by over 1/2 a centimeter.
Yoga can decompress your spine and it can also allow your muscles to expand farther. Weight lifting and doing yoga can interfere with each other. It did not take long to strengthen my back muscles and I was also able to improve my balance. Improving my flexibility was harder. After a month my flexibility only improved slightly. It requires patience and perseverance.
Practicing yoga does burn calories but not nearly as much as intense cardio exercises like running. So I did not get rid of a lot of fat. I can only burns around 140 calories doing yoga for an hour compared to 700 calories running for an hour. Practicing yoga on a regular basis can reduce junk food cravings and provide you with more energy. It also works the core muscles. So my abs got a good workout. To burn more calories you could include some cardio exercises.
Yoga is mainly done by women but men can also benefit from balance and stretching exercises. I recommend adding balance and stretching exercises like yoga to your routine instead of just focusing on weight lifting and cardio exercises. Balance exercises are great for your abdominal muscles.