Can Wii Fit replace your workouts?

The short answer is no. But they are a great addition to a workout plan! And I have to say I love 'em, but the American Council on Exercise (ACE) did a study showing they burn about 1/3 the calories of regular workout. Sure they are fun and keep you motivated, but the American College of Sports Medicine reports neither Island Run and Free Run (2 of the tougher Wii workouts) are sufficient enough to maintain or improve cardio endurance. Which I think if we're spending the time working out we want to see the benefit!

"Free Step, Advanced Step, Super Hula Hoop and Rythym Boxing, all showed statistically similar energy expenditures, yet all fell below ACSM's recommended fitness guidelines." (2009 ACE)

So is it enough to lose weight? See for yourself:
30 minutes Wii Free Step vs. 30 minutes Step Aerobics
99 calories vs. 300 calories burned
30 minutes Wii Rythym Boxing vs. 30 minutes Kickboxing DVD or class
114 calories vs. 300-400 calories
30 minutes Free Run/Island Run vs. 30 minutes Interval Run
165 calories vs. 300-400 calories

"Wii Fit is a very, very mild workout." Try Wii Sports instead. This article also mentions that no research was done on the strength-training or yoga benefits.

So overall to burn calories and lose fat it's best to use Wii Fit as a Bonus, not as your exercise routine. For me if I am spending 30 minutes on my workout I want to burn the most amount of calories I can! Maybe I'll ahve to come out with a Wii Workout for moms with no time!

Carroll, A. M.S., Porcari, J. Ph. D., Foster, C. Ph. D. (2009, Nov/Dec). Wii Fit-Or Just a Wee Bit? American Council on Exercise, volume 15, 6-8.


  1. Monday I started my workout again. Boy am I sore today! I measured myself (like you did after your baby) and posted it on my "pregnancy blog" :

    You'll see how lucky you are to be able to bounce back into "bikini" shape. I'll never be able to do that.

  2. i'm glad you posted this... i had the same opinion, although i had never tried it... i just couldn't see how you could get your heart rate up that much standing on a board... thanks for the info! it would be a waste of money for me.

  3. It certainly isn't a great workout but I guess it's better than just sitting on the couch watching tv.