Being Slothman means being easily bored by repetition. This is an advantage for recognizing places to make software more efficient, but makes it challenging to find an exercise routine that captures my attention— and being lazy doesn’t burn many calories. Aikido is great when my schedule permits, but since obsessivewoman
needs to get to bed early and get up early, being out until 8 in the evening doesn’t work well for having much time together during the week. I tried yourself!fitness
for a while, which was pretty good, but a workout video that changes the routine daily is still just a workout video.
My latest routine has been EyeToy: Kinetic. This is a workout game for the Playstation 2 that uses the EyeToy, which is a USB-based camera that plugs into the PS2’s front panel. EyeToy games recognize motion and map it onto the screen, where you can interact with virtual objects. In the case of EyeToy: Kinetic, it has three kinds of games that give you a workout: cardio, combat, and “mind and body”. Cardio games last ten minutes and keep you moving around, dodging some objects and touching others. Combat games last three minutes and require more intense strikes and ducking, and can be exhausting. “Mind and body” games work more on balance and smooth motion, and are the only ones that don’t leave me drenched in sweat.
It also has some modes that put three windows on the screen, one showing the EyeToy view and two showing different angles on your virtual trainer demonstrating the exercises you should be doing; these are not interactive. The system always puts you through warmup and cooldown sequences from this repertoire, and it also has ones for working out your upper body, lower body, and abdominals, and some yoga, tai chi, and meditation sequences as well.
The nice thing about the workout is that live interaction is much more engaging than just trying to match up with a virtual trainer on screen. (It also grades you on your performance, A–F, as a source of motivation.) The EyeToy isn’t very smart about image motion recognition, though; it can’t distinguish between your own motion, that of your shadow, or of a ceiling fan in the background. It needs fairly high contrast, too; I changed my workout outfit to a white shirt and light grey sweatpants so I’ll stand out against most of the background of the living room, but wear a black biking glove on my right hand to stand out against the white wall. Direct sunlight will completely white it out; during early morning workouts, I need to put a black banner in front of the peaked window in my east wall. (That was a fairly cheap solution involving PVC pipe, a couple of yards of duckcloth, and a hot melt glue gun.)
Overall, I’d say it’s good value for $45 (including the game disc and the EyeToy camera). It runs just fine on the PS3 as well.