An Eagan man has lost 30 pounds, thanks to a program on the Nintendo video-game system.
Larry Teckenbrock of Eagan had been avoiding scales since turning 60. But two years ago, he got a Nintendo Wii video game system for Christmas. Now 64, he has put it to good use; he has lost 30 pounds, which he attributes mostly to doing the Wii Fit program most mornings and ExerBeat most evenings. He's hoping to get his weight down to what it was when he was an avid runner and climber in his 30s. Here's his story, in his own words:
"When I hit 50, I kind of lost my legs. My knees went, and I couldn't jump and play volleyball anymore. And our kids were at the age with a lot of activities going on, so there was always an excuse not to work out. The next thing you know, you're on the scale and you see numbers you haven't seen before. I hate to admit it, but when you get older, it's a lot easier to keep it on. When you're younger, you can almost think about it and you lose weight. My energy was down, but I attributed it to aging.
"There are people who say Wii doesn't work. It is a little limited -- the most you can do at a time is five minutes. I use that as a warmup, and that's what works for me. The main thing is that it tracks me every day. It weighs you on the balance board, and you see exactly what's going on. If your weight's going up, there's a category to explain why you gained weight. You realize, 'Oh, I had a second helping of this.' It made me realize I needed to take smaller quantities. And if you skip a day, it says, 'Oh, I haven't seen you.' Sometimes it's annoying, but it makes you conscientious. You want to get in there so you don't get that little scolding. You get a little stamp when you do it everyday, a little reward.
"I do a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes in the morning [on Wii Fit] -- aerobics and stretching and yoga. I use a different program in the evening for more aerobics: ExerBeat has dance routines and aerobics, and you can do anywhere from two to 30 minutes.
"I also try to bike in the summer whenever we can on weekends, and cross-country ski in the winter. But, realistically, that only happens four or five times a winter.
"I'm going to have to look at my diet [to reach his goal of losing 40 pounds] and I may add in a stationary bike to get my heart beat up and to sweat more. I may have to look into cybercyling."
SHEILA MULROONEY ELDRED