The first week of my EA Sports Active 2 9-week challenge to see if I can lose 7 pounds is now over. Well, actually, it was over a long time ago. I missed a couple of days last week while I was busy stuffing myself with stuffing and other yummy Thanksgiving goodies. Apparently all the motivating power of the game that I mentioned last week wasn’t motivating enough to get me working out over a holiday weekend. Oops. But one week of playing this game did give me some first impressions of it so far. As with any exercise option, working out with EA Sports Active 2 with Xbox Kinect has both some pros and some cons.
One thing I really like about this game is the variety of exercises. Compared to the monotony that can come from jogging, going to the gym, exercise DVDs, or WiiFit Plus (if you do the same exercises over and over like I do), the variety of the preselected workouts are a refreshing change of pace. I also like that those many different exercises are designed to work the full-body, including the arms, legs, back, and core. The workouts are challenging but not too time-consuming which is also a good feature. Using EA Sports Active 2 with Kinect also has some added benefits. As compared to playing it on the Wii, you’re better able to watch your movements which are fairly accurately portrayed up on the screen which is helpful in assessing firsthand if you are performing the exercise correctly.
But the game does have some drawbacks as well, especially when using Kinect. I have numerous problems with Kinect registering my movements or being unable to recognize me. Many times I have had to stop my workout rather suddenly to fix the problem. As I haven’t had any problems with this when playing Kinect Sports or Dance Central, I can be fairly certain that it’s not a problem with the Kinect sensor. Another drawback to the game is ironically one of the very things that I liked about it: the preselected workouts. I’ve found that some of the exercise combinations can be pretty brutal, on my legs and knees especially, and apart from deselecting some of those torturous squats and lunges, there’s really nothing you can them. Also, if you want to burn more calories than your goal for the day (mine has averaged around 150 per workout) then you’ll still have to work out some other way.
The price of the game can be both a pro and a con as well. When compared to hiring a personal trainer or to expensive gym fees that add up over time, the $100 price tag is a definite pro. And you get many of the same benefits in the comfort of your own home. But if you compare it to walking or jogging or to $15 exercises DVDs, the price of EA Sports Active 2 can be a detriment, especially if you have to buy a Wii or Xbox with Kinect to play it on. On the other hand, if you’d be more motivated to exercise using a video game than a DVD, it would definitely be worth it to you.
Basically after this first week I’m still on the fence about EA Sports Active 2. It has some good points, but it’s not perfect. And so far it hasn’t helped me lose weight. After my first week of the challenge, I’ve gained .7 pounds to bring my weight up to 129.9. Now I have to ask myself, how much would I have gained without EA Sports Active? And can it help me lose all the weight that I inevitably gained over Thanksgiving weekend? We’ll find out next week at the end of my 2nd full week of the EA Sports Active 2 challenge.