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Mind if I go Wii?

December 27th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

My brother-in-law owns a Wii system with one of those balance boards. I’m not a videogame player, but I thought I’d try it out. Though the calories burned during a session don’t add up to much in my opinion (25 calories! Woo-hoo!), the thing was kind of fun in a Mario Brothers kind of way. Sure, there are some yoga-like programs and pushup/plank exercises available, but it’s really not that strenuous. I’d rather do some serious exercise to lose weight, and I wouldn’t say that this is serious exercise.

However, the balance board is pretty sensitive. I played a Wii game that required me to be perfectly balanced on the board so my little avatar could balance on a big ball and juggle. The problem was … whenever I thought I was perfectly balanced, I actually had more weight on my left foot, so the poor little avatar kept rolling off the stage. Huh. I knew that I habitually stood with more weight on my left side, but thought I had fixed it. Guess not. This might explain why I still have minor aches and pains in my left hip and knee.

I like the way the balance board required me to focus inwardly, to make tiny corrections to my posture. This is necessary training for the internal fixes of tai chi and zhan zhuang, and maybe digital feedback can help us understand just how small the necessary corrections are, at least until we can do it on our own.

(I don’t think a traditional balance board would highlight the imbalance, because I might have my whole body off to one side of the fulcrum to compensate, and I’d be too busy trying not to fall off the thing to make tiny adjustments to my balance.)

I was eventually able to balance on the Wii board by relaxing down and sort of vibrating the pressure between left and right foot, but it might have been a little too … active. Hm. I might just buy the silly thing, just for the balance games … and for the game where you flap your arms like a chicken.

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