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I've been stuck in a weight-loss rut for a good month or two, at least. Not being a fan of exercise, and being of the philosophy that a happy life is better than a thin one, I'd always worked my diets before by calorie-counting with little change to my overall lifestyle. A few months ago, with a limited amount of weight loss to be proud of, my body decided enough was enough, and I began hovering around one weight, and occasionally drifting back up again.
I've now discovered My Health Coach. I've not been using it for long, I admit, but the results so far have been brilliant, and I'm sure that if I can just keep myself motivated (I'm doing a good job of it so far), it'll continue to benefit me.
Not being a fan of exercise, I'm also not a fan of weight loss fads. I'd never use pills to help me lose weight, I don't believe in fad diets, and I might not have trusted a game to help me at all in the past, but hey, it was free with my DooYoo reward Amazon voucher, and what better way to take a risk than with a freebie?
Switching on My Health Coach for the first time, I was asked to give basic information about my sex, age, weight, and lifestyle (in particular, my walking habits). I was then told to drink a large glass of water. I'm not usually a big drinker, either - my boyfriend comments that I drink a few glasses a day maximum when most people have many more - so drinking a large glass of water was tough for me. I took it slowly, but felt quite ill afterwards. Still, this was MHC's first small impact on my life - since that first glass of water, I've been forcing myself to drink more and more each day, and it's getting easier to do so.
That's what MHC is about - making 'little' changes to your lifestyle, rather than making big and unrealistic steps. Speaking of steps, I can't remember the last time I did so many!
MHC analyses your lifestyle. It checks what you eat (you put this information in by feeding a friendly little stick figure the same foods you've consumed - bear in mind that this game is limited in the number of products available, but not so much that you can't adapt), it checks how much you walk (courtesy of a provided pedometer that clicks directly into your Nintendo DS to upload your step count - a little on the bulky side but not annoyingly so), and it checks other types of exercise (again, input these yourself) to give you a series of challenges tailored to suit your needs. You can also play quizzes to unlock an even wider range of challenges.
The challenges are minute-long (generally exercise-related) or 24-hour challenges (long-term changes including 'eat a specific meal tomorrow' or 'go on a two-mile bike ride'). You can opt for up to six a day, and you're given a selection to choose from so that you can find the best challenges to suit your lifestyle. There are also occasional mystery challenges, which you have to accept before seeing - these I've found to be hit and miss, whilst some (check the nutritional values on everything you plan to eat today) are easy to complete, others (I've noticed you currently eat yoghurts. Instead of the same tomorrow, buy a plain yoghurt and add fruit) just aren't practical for someone who might do their shopping in bulk. Essentially, mystery challenges aren't always going to fit your lifestyle.
However, failing challenges, or over-eating on a particular day, needn't be the cause of immense guilt with MHC. Your little stick figure personal-trainer friend isn't judgemental - though it may be stern occasionally, you'll find that a 'failure' more often than not results in a friendly reassurance and a suggestion for improvement than the criticism you might get elsewhere, or even give yourself.
Likewise, eating junk food doesn't always have to equate to failure either. With my past calorie-counting, a slice of pizza or a bar of chocolate was a massive impact, setting me back and causing disappointment - MHC's plan, with tailored exercise and training suited to the individual, allows you to have a little junk food occasionally (or even daily) without destroying all that hard work.
Walking, for me, was the big change. Almost as soon as I'd told MHC about my lifestyle, it labelled me a 'stationary object' (an affectionate term, I'm sure) and set me a target of 6000 steps to reach daily. Now, being a stationary object, I'm not sure if it's only me that feels this way, but I had never before realised how far 6000 steps really was. I estimated that I'd do as much on an average day, but needing a car to get to and from work, and working all day in an office, I soon discovered that I was getting my pedometer to 1000 steps at best, leaving me pacing the house for two hours after work every day just to appease my pixelated pal. Now, she's kindly allowing me to only do 5,500 a day (though I'm not sure on the reason for the decrease). I've also (much to the delight of my colleagues) started going to the canteen five times a day to purchase food for everyone else, just for the 200 extra daily steps it gives me . The staff serving me might think I'm greedy, but it's another helpful technique that MHC has motivated me to employ.
My Health Coach has made a big impact on my life in the short time I've owned it. Days one to three, for example, had me back out of my rut with weight loss of 1.8lbs (though through some clearly terrible rounding 'Twiggy' believed I'd only lost 1lb), and the 'game' records your progress on graphs allowing you to easily see BMI changes and weight loss over time. Though I'm not going to make promises that anyone with self-motivation and a lifestyle that already involves regular exercise can benefit from MHC, those of you who (like me) just 'can't be bothered' will find a new reason to be bothered, and will see real changes in weight and fitness with this product.
The premise of this game is to help you change your lifestyle. My boyfriend bought this for me so that I could get in better shape for summer (isn't that what everyone wants?) In the pack you get a pedometer that you're supposed to carry around with you and at the end of the day you can upload your milage to the game. In addition to this you're given challenges to complete every day for instance a minimum number of steps, only going food shopping with a list and not buying anything extra and mini challenges as well like taking the stairs rather than the lift. Overall I would say this is a rather good idea, it changes the way you think and live rather than a quick fix. However I have found that there is a version of this game in the Apple Ap. store and it works in pretty much the same way but for a mere £2! So if you have a touch or Iphone you can always check that out as a cheaper and more portable way of staying in shape!
* My Health Coach Game
* Instuctions (lots of packaging)
I initially brought this game to get me fit and healthy for summer, after all us 'normal people' have got to compete with the glamourous people of Celebville!
When you first start up the game you have to fill in information about yourself such as height, weight, age and information about your lifestyle. You then get a litlle stick person according to your own gender. The game then calculates your BMI and metabolic rate to which you will focus on reducing, sticking at or increasing.
My Health Coach is split into two sections; Daily Session and Backpack.
In Daily session there is 5 sessions to choose from:
*Pedometer - here you can record your daily steps
*Challenges - here you will see a various selection of envelopes on the screen, each of which contains different challenges pre-selected. The green envelopes are to do with food, the blue ones are to do with activity, the white ones are bonus envelopes with both food and activity challenges. There is also one pink envelope which the stick man chooses what you should do, but you don't know what the challenge is until you have agreed to it.
*Physical Activity - This is where you record the physical activity you have completed throughout the day
*Food Balance - This is where you record what foods you have eaten throughout the day. This isn't an exact representation of what you have eaten and how many calories each has. There is a limited number of selection.
*Calendar - this records your days of activity and your overall performance in each of the above sectors.
Backpack is also split into 5 sectors:
*Objectives - this records your progress, your album(picture taken of the number of kms you have walked for example a picture of your stick person is taken at the Paris Metro System at 260kms), Modifying Units (Km-miles etc)
*Coaching - this is where you are given varieties of questionnaires to fill out to enable a better health regime given to you by your health coach (stick man). You unlock these as you do more challenges and more workouts.
*Tips and Games - this is where you can play a variety of quizzes to give you a better understanding of your health and the things you eat. There are a few handy tips and facts that may push you to make more of an effort with exercise.
*Passport - This is where you can edit your profile; for example your age, weight and height. This will impact you coaching.
*Options - this is where you can edit microphone and audio settings.
The Health Coach is a great way to record your activity ouput and your food intake, it is easier to spot the bad habits once they're recorded. This game could easily be improved upon, for example the pedometer attatchment is easily broken and not easily replaced. They could; add more tips and facts, upgrade the quality of the game, and add a wider variety of foods.
I have background in fitness and this game was purchased to help me gain some extra motivation. Having a gym membership already, I was looking for something fun I could take away on trips abroad with my husband! I had bright and brilliant plans, and with baited breath opened the case and started off on my journey with my new health coach. I found initial set up easy, and the simplified format works in well with the touch screen checking off achieved goals. The little personal trainer is a little simplistic, and inbuilt sequences of simulated road journeys tended to grate on me after a little while.
There are so many things that could be great with this program, but for me personally, it was let down greatly by the pedometer. The plastic insert which protected the DS connector kept falling out. I was having to watch vigilantly for it - even when just walking at work! Eventually, sticky-taping it on I set off! Walking and running around outside was interrupted at least 4 times a session by the pedometer falling off! Tiring of the pedometer, I chose to use an alternate pedometer and enter the amount in manually.
The exercise entry is easy to do, and the little challenges for extra points could be fun, but I soon found it tiresome. If you wanted to cheat (why would you, I know) but it was fairly inert when compared to something like the Wii fit.
The food entry to balance out your exercise was very simplistic which led me to doubt its actual help unless you were of a very large size simply because you were completely unaware of your complete overeating! It is also a big problem that people often don't recall all that they eat and drink - thus rendering the exercise next to useless.
Overall, it did not really give me any of the features I had hoped for, but if it gets you aware of potential unbalances in your energy in (food) and energy out (exercise) and of course, gets you moving - it cannot be a bad thing. If you are looking to get a decent personal trainer though, you may be better served to look elsewhere
I bought this game as I think I need to get into some good habits and I would like to see if following these habits actually work.
I bought it from game, it was 30pounds but I paid 20 as I had some points to use. It came with the game in a normal ds box, and also an extra box which had the pedometer in it. This was all together in one big box. Quite a lot of needless packaging I thought.
When you first turn on the game there is a lot of entering your weight and height so make sure you do this first. You get a little man or woman as your trainer. They make cute little noises but they get annoying after a while so usually I play this game with the sound off.
I say game, but really its more of a daily chore at the moment. I know its for my own good, and it was quite exciting at the beginning. However, entering what you ate and how you exercised that day can only get boring.
Its quite good for keeping you motivated, your little person gets upset if you dont visit them for a few days, and I feel somewhat guilty if I dont log in my food and exercise.
The good thing is that if you enter your weight every few weeks, it does a graph so you can easily see if you are loosing or gaining weight. It also works out if your body mass index, bmi is healthy or not.
There are also a few mini lessons on how to look after yourself and things like choosing the right foods.
These lessons are used in daily challenges. You can do up to 6 challenges a day but I tend to only do about 3 because the challenges are starting to repeat themselves.
I do wear the pedometer every day. It fits neatly on my belt under my tshirt so no one can see it. It counts how many steps I do and is quite accurate, it takes a real good step to put a number on it.
You plug the pedometer into the ds and then you can upload the amount of steps. It measures this with how much exercise you have done and how much food you have eaten, and tells you if you are balanced for the day.
I have lost weight using this game, but I dont know if I will continue to be motivated by a little stick woman for a good length of time for it to really be worth the money.
This game aims to turn your DS into a 'personal trainer', and comes with a free pedometer. This pedometer can be inserted into the GBA slot at the front of the DS to record how many steps you've taken. When you first start using it it asks you various questions about your weight and general lifestyle to assess what your current fitness level is. You can then log into the game each day and are presented with varying fitness and healthy eating challenges to complete.
I've been using this for a couple of weeks and so far have found it useful as a motivational tool, although I don't feel that the fitness challenges that the game gives you would help too much on their own to increase your overall health. I have however found that wearing the pedometer helps me to keep active as its nice to see the miles building up on the DS screen! The pedometer can be frustrating though as its accuracy varies greatly depending on whereabouts on your waist it is worn.
Overall I think its a good program for those just starting to get fit to try out, as the little games and challenges make it a bit more fun, but it wouldn't be very useful for already fit people.
Includes An Exclusive Pedometer