a peek inside the fishbowl

04 Mar, 2009

Wii crazy

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life|Yaktivism

I’m a bit addicted to the hula hooping activity on our Wii Fit. I totally rock it now. I usually hoop in the morning (after closing all the curtains, ’cause what would the neighbors think?) but I found myself hooping last night instead of slipping into a coma on the couch (which I just saved for later).

I’ve made it up to the 10-minute hula, five minutes rotating to the right, five to the left. I’ve achieved calorie incinerator status! I rock it, but I tell ya, there is burrrrrrrn.

(This photo was taken a few days ago. I’m up to 3441 spins now!) See that red line? That’s my average spin shape. I am a little weirded out about that glitch near the top of the arc and secretly wonder if it’s some kind of hip deformity I don’t know about yet.

 My Wii hula score - getting better!

And here’s my avatar (a.k.a my Mii); also slightly out of date since I got my haircut. I am much shapelier in real life. Trust me on that. Notice how everyone else is sleeping? It’s because I’ve been the only one using the Wii lately.

That’s Emma on the far right, yawning. Mark’s glasses really aren’t that big either.

My Mii

Amazingly enough, I am getting better at the hula every day.

The Wii is all about improving core strength. If you have a solid core you’ll walk taller, be stronger, and have a greater sense of balance. All important things to think about as we get older and our bodies deteriorate. :(

There’s a bulletin board near the entrance to the gym where someone posts various health and fitness related articles.  Somtimes I read them when trying to catch my breath. :) Some of them are interesting. I read the first paragraph of one of them almost every time I leave. My eyes fall on the words almost automatically. I’m paraphrasing here, but for some reason this really gets me.

Don’t make a habit of using the handicap door opener buttons when you need to open the door, it says. Otherwise you’ll actually need to use it some day.

When the girls were smaller (but old enough to open doors) I always prompted them to open doors the normal way. I couldn’t stand them pounding on the handicapped button (usually a large silver panel) just because they could. We have healthy arms and healthy legs, I’d say, we can open our own doors.

I have a couple girlfriends who used to take a fitness class with an instructor who encouraged the students to ALWAYS use their non-dominant hand wherever possible. i.e. opening doors, reaching for the coffee mug, picking up toys off the floor, carrying groceries etc. in order to keep muscles balanced. I like that idea. It’s something I try to remember to do.

This all relates back to my Wii hooping. I used to be very bad at hooping to the left (you may have noticed my left score is still lower than my right) but the more I do it the easier it becomes. I tried a different experiment too, to see how quickly my body can learn something new. You have to try it. GO ON TRY IT. It will only take a minute.

  • Stand up.
  • Put your hands on your hips.
  • Raise one leg to the side, away from your body, as high as you can.
  • Make nice round small circles going forward, say 12. Now do 12 backwards.
  • Focus on your posture. Try to keep nice and tall. Keep your balance the best you can.
  • Done? Switch legs; 12 circles forward and 12 backwards. Remember to keep that leg raised as high as you can.

How did you do?

When I first started doing this I could barely do 12 circles with my left leg and stay upright at the same time. And my upper leg KILLED by the end of it. I’ve been doing this for nightly about two weeks and I can do it effortlessly on both sides.

Conclusion: the body is an amazing thing. If I can do 12 (and now 25) rotations on each side and each direction, well heck, I think I could teach my body to do just about anything.

17 Responses to "Wii crazy"

1 | Loukia

March 4th, 2009 at 10:10 am


I think the wii is great and my husband uses it almost daily – it really helped him lose weight, he has lost 80 pounds so far – along with healthier eating and cutting a lot of carbs! His balance is amazing on the wii. I SUCK! I can barely stand straight! I am out of shape right now and need to get fit. The wii fit is great, glad you’re having fun with it and wow with the hula hooping!

As for the handicap buttons, my son likes pressing it, I can’t tell him no! I also use them sometimes because I’d rather lightly press that then hold an entire doorknob filled with germs!

2 | Nicol

March 4th, 2009 at 10:21 am


I love our Wii fit too! My favorite is the ski jumping. I haven’t played much for a while. I really should get it back and out work on my balance. Thanks for the reminder.

3 | Sherry

March 4th, 2009 at 11:04 am


We just (finally!) got a Wii last month and we’re loving it so far. I really want to get a Wii Fit as a splurge, maybe next month. Even without it though, I find that the Wii Sports is excellent for getting physical. The boxing in particular is a great workout, and any time I test my Wii age (I’m embarrassed that I’m older on the Wii than my actual age, but I’m closing the gap!) I find I work up a good sweat.

I really love that Nintendo came up with a way to combine video games with fitness.

4 | andrea

March 4th, 2009 at 11:38 am


In all fairness I should point out that when my kids were very small, say two and three, they used the auto-door opener a lot. Mostly because I’d ask them press the button to open the door as a way of getting them OUT the door a little quicker!

Loukia: what makes you think those buttons are any less germier? :)

Sherry: Not that I want to brag (OKAY, so I’m BRAGGING) but I clocked in at 28 the last time I checked. ;)

5 | Sherry

March 4th, 2009 at 1:06 pm


28?!?! DAMN. The last time I checked, which was about two weeks ago, I was 40, which is six years older than my actual age.

Well crap. I’d better practice – it is ON! :D

6 | porter

March 4th, 2009 at 2:12 pm


i had to rush through reading the post because i have to get to my laundry now!!! but i’m sure moms with really young children will agree with me that their biceps on their non dominant arm are bigger than their dominant arm…..mine is anyway (mine dominant arm is my right arm). my left arm is more toned than my right because for the past four years i’ve carried a child in this arm quite often! that said, my chiropractor knew that i am right handed because of the way my body is NOT aligned.

ps-hilarious that you shut your curtains before you hulla in the morning-ha!!!

7 | Kirsten W

March 4th, 2009 at 2:45 pm


I am also a big fan of the hula hooping – but I’m not sure which I like more – doing it myself, or watching my husband do it. hee hee. Anyway, I think the Wii Fit is such a cool invention. I am trying to do the yoga poses more often, they seem very accurate and effective. I love that if I accidentally touch my leg down, the trainer says, “You put your leg down, didn’t you!”. Magic.

8 | Loukia

March 4th, 2009 at 3:34 pm


Andrea, it’s because all I have to is tap the button with like, my car keys, therefore I don’t even touch the button itself with any skin…but my son uses his hand, so there ya go, germs everywhere! ;)

9 | Hooperella

March 4th, 2009 at 5:50 pm


ohhhhh, you’re going to have to come back to our Dovercourt hoop jams and rock it out with a real hoop!!! but I think the movement is different using the Wii hula hoop..is it more of a circular motion? with a real hoop, its a forward and back push or side to side…but at least with the Wii you don’t need as much space..or knocking things over with a real hoop :-)

10 | plastikgyrl

March 4th, 2009 at 7:14 pm


Not so much an athletic achievement, but when I taught myself to knit a few years ago, I learned how knit with both hands, completely interchangeably. Now when I have a one-sided stroke in my 70s, I’ll still have a doable hobby. :)

11 | BeachMama

March 4th, 2009 at 8:52 pm


We have a Wii, but not the Fit. We figured that we should use our gym more before getting the Fit. I have heard there are cool games for the kids using the Fit though, do your girls Hula?

We play the Sports a lot and I love watching the kids sweat.

12 | Rémi

March 5th, 2009 at 1:40 am


Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve played a couple of times and did find it fun…(shhhh)

13 | DaniGirl

March 5th, 2009 at 8:46 am


Oh my goodness, Andrea, I have to send you a picture of our family avatars — you and Mark look frighteningly like Beloved and I. Same eyes, same hair, same glasses. Way too funny!!

I’ve just started doing the hula hoop thing, and it is a blast!! I’m not nearly as good as you, but I’m working on it. We can’t do much on the Wii Fit with Lucas around, though – he keeps pressing the buttons or trying to crawl on with us.

(And just because it’s so timely: watch the G&M on Friday or Monday for an article – with pix! – about playing Wii as a family, featuring us!)

14 | andrea

March 5th, 2009 at 10:48 am


I got up to 3451 today!

Btw Porter, I close the curtains in case some perv wants to check out my gyrations. :)

Hooperella: it is a very different motion, big circles instead of the front-back motion with a real hoop. I’m still thinking of getting one from you, but I might have to remove some furniture in my living room first.

BeachMama: I’m the biggest hooper by far. Emma prefers to jog!

Dani: I want to see your Mii! Congrats on the G&M piece too!

15 | Alison in Ottawa

March 6th, 2009 at 9:50 pm


I have been using the World of Goo as a reward after getting past 30 min on the Wii fit. I am having trouble with my current World of Goo level, but I am trying not to look at tricks on the web!! It can be really hard!

16 | Shan

March 7th, 2009 at 7:32 pm


I’ve just started hula hooping and I can do it much better one way then I can the other. My three year old loves to watch me do it. Actually she likes to stand beside me and hold my hand so she can “wiggle’ with me. I am loving the Wii Fit. Worth every penny.

17 | Mimi

March 8th, 2009 at 8:55 am


I heart the Wii too! Apparently I’ve just logged 20 hours on it! (only took a year to do).

I think my favorite is the free step. I plug myself in, switch TV to the food network (oh the irony) and then step for up to 30 minutes.

The yoga has been terrific in reducing my fear of yoga. And, my littlest hell-terror (we’re currently going through twos …) is mimicking the movements. Keeps him immobile for all of 30 seconds! Oh the bliss.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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