Everyone loves a good video game but video gaming usually is a non-movement, sit on the couch with massive “finger” calorie burn. But this game has a special slant – Walking and you know how much I love walking.
The game by Nintendo DS is a pedometer and has tracking features similar to the GPS pedometer watches by Garmin and Nike+ systems.
Here’s the story:
“Walking” includes two Activity Meter pedometers, black and white, that you sync up to a profile in the game. Carry one of these around as you go about your daily routine, then, at the end of the day, transmit the data to the DS and viola — your steps, minute by minute, in graphical format.
The wireless meter is savvy up to a point; it makes no difference between steps taken during a high-intensity workout or a post-lunch shuffle to the vending machine. Toss it in a pocket or purse, or attack the belt clip to secure it, and you’ll forget it’s even there. (The animated meter character in-game also encourages you to attach it to a pet to track its steps, but … c’mon.) A little light on the meter flashes red for each step and turns green when you’ve reached your predetermined goal. It’s a nice carrot, too — sometimes, if I think I’m close to my target, I’ll get up and walk a bit more.
After calling it a day and collapsing on the couch, loading the data is as easy as pressing the button on the meter. Within seconds, the little toon meter greets you and proceeds to check your status alongside your profile avatar, a Mii that you can create in-game or import from the Wii. A very nice touch.
The graph starts with the first activity on the meter for the day, and proceeds to scroll through a rhythm check, a timeline that shows you when you were and, consequently, weren’t active. Any activity that lasts for at least 10 minutes is highlighted in red, and the toon meter will point out your longest inactive and active periods for the day.
It’s funny, because you can look back and remember when you were on the computer, running some errands or exercising all in terms of movement. For example, my two-hour marathons of work-related inactivity could stand a little break time now and then.
Besides your step goal, there are mini goals to meet, usually something like drink more water or cut out fatty foods. But the toon meter doesn’t scold, just encourages. And depending on what time of day you’re most active, the toon meter assigns your rhythm to an animal. Although, I didn’t realize sheep were such morning-loving creatures.
On its own, this timeline is interesting, but not very useful. Compare one day with other days over a week or a month, though, and now a pattern emerges. This potentially could help you rearrange your down time to inject some activity or rest. You also can compare your activity to other anonymous users via Wi-Fi and see the total steps taken by all the users so far.
“Walking” offers a couple modes that puts your data to more game-like purposes, like drawing preset pictures with the steps you’ve taken or converting your steps into collective watts to light up a neighborhood.
The folks who’ll get the most out of “Personal Trainer: Walking” likely are those whose main form of physical activity is walking. It’s a great way to chart your steps, but the $50 price tag is a little steep for athletes who could use a more accurate gauge of exertion.
$50 bucks to chart and track your walking seems cheap to me but call me walking crazy. I’m going to go out get this system and see if it works, I’ll let you know.
MikeZume_walking step by step in fitness and life. Peace/love/fitness