Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Technology is a wonderful thing. It can help track things like distance, speed and time on a bike ride or run. It can also help to motivate us to do more and be more active. I recently ordered an xbox 360 with the Kinect controller because the idea of being active while participating in video games appeals to me. Sure I love to sit for hours and play my games on the computer, but the problem with that is I am literally just sitting there turning into a lump. So after seeing this system advertised for the 1000th time and reading up on it I said "that is for me" and I ordered it.

It came while we were on the cruise last week (that's a whole other post!) and I set it up on Monday. The first game I tried was the driving game - Kinect Joy Ride. Now I've played my share of driving games in the past, but never got a workout, but this was different. Since your body is the controller, you have to move and be active to play the game. I had fun and felt a bit of burn from having to stand and hold my arms out to steer as well as lean and bend to perform stunts. This was awesome!

The second game I tried this morning was the Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout. I have to say that having Bob and Jillian thee guiding, pushing and commenting on what I was doing was great! I followed the prescribed activities and set-up my profile and took the fitness test. It was harder than I anticipated and I only earned a moderate recommendation, but I figured that was a good start. I then let it do a body scan and with the exception of it showing me as 3 inches shorter than I am, it was pretty accurate. I manually adjusted the height and moved on to tell it how often and for how long I wanted to work out. It then created a 12 week plan for me and we were off as my first workout was scheduled for today.

Now, I don't know how many people watch the biggest loser and see how they sweat and work and think "I can do that", but I'm here to tell you that many of those exercises are simply not as easy as they look. I figured I needed to ease into regular exercise so I set my desired length to 20 minute work outs and I was definitely feeling it!

It was funny, there I was thinking I was really moving and doing the exercise but the system was telling me to make adjustments as I wasn't following the on screen trainer as well as I thought. In my mind I was bringing my knee up to my chin, but in reality it was only to my waist and the game called me on it! :-)

I am very happy with the product even if it does have a bit of a HAL9000 feel to it as there is a red light on the sensor when it is active.

One other piece of technology I'm using is an online site called My Fitness Pal. It allows me to track my calories both eaten and burned and I think this is going to be a very important tool in my fitness journey. The URL is