Guess what I got for Christmas! The new EA Sports Active. You know, the one labeled “More Games!” My younger sister gave it to me as a gift, and it has been very much appreciated, let me tell you!
If you’ve been following Move It Mama Monday for a while, you’ll probably recall I had a love/hate relationship with the previous incarnation of EASA. I liked that the game included plenty of strength exercises, but I lamented its lack of cardio activity and the damage it seemed to do to my knees. After completing my one and only 30-day challenge with the original EASA, I wound up having to take 2-4 Advil a day for a week to deal with the knee pain I suffered. In the end, I pretty much shelved EASA in favor of Wii Fit, although by that point I’d played Wii Fit to death.
Well, out comes the new EASA, and so far I’ve completed 6 workouts on it in the last two weeks. I definitely think the new game is an improvement. For starters, all the preprogrammed workouts now include a warm-up and cool-down session to help loosen up the old joints. Many of the original exercises that caused me so many problems with my knees have either been replaced or reworked, although this game does still include a lot of jumping around and lunging, so be careful if you have bad knees. Many of the strength exercises have been reworked too, making them more effective and easier to do in my opinion. And the biggest change? The scenery. No longer are you stuck at the local park/track doing your workout. Now the game centers on a beach resort, which I think is an improvement.
For my first three workouts with the game, I picked sessions from the preprogrammed workouts menu. I stuck with either the medium or easy workouts, recalling how much I had hurt when I first started with the original EASA. The workouts at these levels are still intense enough to make me really sweat, which made me very happy.
On New Year’s Eve, I started my 6-week challenge. Apparently too many people (including yours truly) had trouble completing the old 30-day challenge within 30 days, so the time frame was expanded to 6 weeks. It’s still a demand on the schedule though, requiring 4 workouts a week to meet that 6 week goal. I can do it, especially since I’ve started doing shorter workouts in the evenings anyway, but if you’re already on a regular workout schedule with some other activity, you might want to think twice about the 6-week challenge.
I’ll keep you updated on my progress with my 6-week challenge (and once again, learning from prior experience, I opted for the medium intensity challenge, not the hard!). Meantime, here are a quick list of the pros and cons that I see so far with the new EASA.
- The exercises I hated most, the ones that really killed my knees, appear to be gone or replaced by exercises that aren’t as painful to do.
- The new scenery is much nicer. Quite frankly, I was getting pretty dang tired of that park in the old game. If I’m going to work out in a virtual world, then I’ll take a virtual tropical island any day.
- The new EASA now uses the balance board to check your weight every week! And you don’t have to put up with any snarky attitude if you gain a couple pounds. The game just tracks your weight; it doesn’t try to destroy your soul (like a certain Wii Fit game that shall otherwise remain nameless…).
- There are some interesting new games, like squash, water skiing, an obstacle course, etc., that are fun to do.
- The challenge now takes 6-weeks as opposed to only 30 days. I can handle 6 weeks.
- No more freaky inspirational videos from Bob Whatshisface! I don’t know about you guys, but that very nice man who pimps EASA really creeped me out every time he showed up on camera. The way he grinned, I was afraid he was going to jump out of the TV and eat me!
Now for the cons:
- The game is still rough on the knees. I’m hoping that getting back into my regular water aerobics class will fix this. Water aerobics seems to go a long way toward strengthening the muscles that support my knees. I’ll need that to keep up with all the lunging and jumping that still shows up in EASA.
- The new EASA doesn’t seem to have “More Exercises” so much as “All New Exercises.” In other words, a lot of the old stuff is gone. While they updated and improved the boxing, I have yet to see the tennis, volley ball, or baseball games. I can’t say yet if those are really gone, but from comments I’ve seen on line, it looks like they may be. This would be a shame, because those were the games that I enjoyed the most on the original EASA.
- The warm up and cool down are the same for every single workout. I was hoping for more in the stretching department. Instead, every workout starts and ends out with the same exercises. That’s not just boring, it’s a waste. They couldn’t put together a few more warm up and cool down routines? How about more stretches for the arms and legs? Neck rotations even! Bah! I will never find a Wii game that really includes stretching.
And that’s about it. I’m hopeful that between my regular daytime workouts (water aerobics, karate) and regular evening workouts (EASA, Gold’s Gym Cardio, Wii Fit Plus), I’ll be able to get myself back into shape. We’ll see what the results are in a month, I suppose.
Next week, I’ll make a list of New Year’s health and fitness resolutions. I should have done that this week, but what can I say? I was just too danged excited about the new EASA.