Top positive review
Fun, nonthreatening tool for your health
on April 2, 2010
A likable, amusing tool that pretends to be a game. However, as others have mentioned, the pedometer included is NOT suitable for the DSi so those of us with the "i"s have to manually plug in the information, which is quite easy. I found the pedometer too large and the clip too tight to be of practical use to me anyway. It's also overly sensitive unless you place it properly. I would recommend using a different pedometer - preferably something that has a well designed clip and a safety clip so you don't end up inadvertently dropping it into a toilet or some similar mishap. Yes, you'll have to 'tap up' your step tally manually but I suspect manual entry is probably just as fast and maybe even easier than trying to pry the game's pedometer off (with it's absurdly tight, solid piece clip), removing the rubber plug, fitting it into the device, etc. It's too bad this game didn't come with a tiny pedometer like the 'Personal Trainer: Walking' game, which is surprisingly small and beams the information directly into the game card (but doesn't have a display on the pedometer.)
The 'game' has various items designed to motivate you, make you more aware of your eating and exercise habits, and to challenge you -- ever so gently -- in a friendly, nonjudgmental way. There's 4 daily objectives the game would like you to meet: 1) The Pedometer, for which it will give you a target # of steps it would like you to accomplish for the day. 2) The Challenge section, in which YOU select which challenges you would like to try to complete, usually in the next 24 hours. The game wants you to do one challenge a day but you can select up to 6, if you wish. Challenges might include something as simple as putting a grocery list on your refrigerator to walking for an hour to Minute Challenges, which are quick exercises, like doing x amount of push-ups or jumping jacks. If you don't complete a challenge, no big deal. You can always select others that are more suitable to your lifestyle. 3) Physical Activity challenges you to be physically active for a certain amount of time for that day. The choice of your activity or activities is entirely up to you, from high-energy sports to doing housework. (The more energetic the activity, the more 'food credit', you might say, you will get.) 4) Then there's Food Balance, in which you log in what you ate and drank for the day (choosing a similar item if the actual item isn't listed.) As with the Physical Activity section, you can choose either a quick entry or a more detailed entry. (I recommend using the detailed entry unless you failed to keep track of what you consumed for the day and need to take a wild guess.)
The actual goal is to balance your food intake with your energy output so you can accomplish whatever weight goal you are aiming for (gaining, maintaining, or losing weight.) Thinking about dessert? Check to see if you can 'afford' it by seeing just how much of a food allowance you still have left for the day. Still want that dessert? The program will help give you an idea of how much more physical activity you're going to need to do before your caloric output matches your input.
Your guide along this journey to a healthier body is a stick figure who manages, somehow, to be quite charming even when he/she is wagging a finger at you or giving you a scowl. But no matter your trangression, your little stick figure guide is always supportive and enthusiastic and you can't help but smile at it sometimes. The program also includes Coaching sessions, which you 'earn', that instruct you about health strategies, quizzes to test your health/nutrition knowledge, tips about food and exercise strategies (some of which were excellent), and a few other odds and ends.
This is not a highly scientific, detailed program. It's a quick and easy tool to help you accomplish your weight goal. Sometimes it's a little too simplified but it's also quite clever BECAUSE it keeps things simple. Navigating the screens can be a bit tedious at times but they obviously did their best to keep everything straightforward and, let's face it, there's only so much you can do with a tiny unit like the DS(i) and a small screen. All-in-all, I'm finding this program a fun and easy way to keep track of my eating habits and a very useful tool for helping me avoid taking in more than I'm expending. If they come out with another, perhaps 'fuller' version, I'll be more than happy to snap that one up too. Maybe a larger, more detailed program for the Wii that can communicate with a simpler program for the DSi so we could have a more thorough tool AND portability? I can only dream. <sigh>