Getting back into fitness at any age can be extremely difficult, but getting fit at forty and beyond carries an even greater set of challenges. I'm in my late forties now, and a few months ago I decided that I really ought to do something to keep my waistline and blood pressure in check and improve my overall fitness level. However, due to self consciousness about my body shape and also lack of time, I really didn't want to sign up at the local gym or swimming club. I was also a little concerned about the dangers of putting any increased strain or wear and tear on my joints as might be the case with some other exercise regimes like jogging.

What I was really looking for was some way of getting fit again that I could use in the privacy of my own home. It also needed to be compact as I don't have any room to set up a home gym. Lastly, I needed something that would offer variety and sustain my interest. Over the years any exercise plans I've tried I have quickly grown bored with and soon stopped.

About this time a work colleague was telling me he had been diagnosed with borderline high blood pressure and had been advised by his doctor to take more exercise. As they already had a Wii Console in the household he'd decided to try out a Wii Fit Balance Board and found that he was really impressed with it. I did a bit more research to make sure it suited my requirements and then took the plunge and purchased both a console and balance board myself.

I was a bit dubious, as I don't own any other games console and don't really have any interest in computer games. Also, I have heard others criticise the Wii Fit as not really providing a very challenging workout for real fitness freaks. However I needn't have worried as after trying the Wii Fit out for a few weeks now, I'm happy that I've got one of the best fitness secrets for the over forties that I could have wished for!

There are a variety of low impact exercises on offer that get the heart pumping and also more restful exercises that concentrate on toning individual muscle groups and improving balance. Some of my favourites are the step exercises, yoga and sparring. A few of the yoga exercises are quite difficult I find, but that's not a problem as you can pick and choose which exercises you want to do.

The Wii keeps a log of your weight and estimated body mass index and charts your progress as you log in each day. It also has a rather bizarre "Wii Fit age" feature which some days rates me as fit as a thirty year old but on others insults me by adding twenty years onto my real age!

In addition to the exercises provided by Wii Fit itself, the Wii Console usually comes packaged with Wii Sports. This adds variety and you can have an additional bit of exercise playing baseball, tennis or bowling amongst other things. I think it's this variety more than anything which keeps me coming back for more.

So what exactly do you need if you want to set yourself up with a Wii based fitness package?

Wii Console - Firstly you will obviously need a Wii Console itself. This is the central processor and is where you insert the disks containing the Wii Fit program or other Wii games. The console is usually packaged with a single hand controller, and whilst this is great to get you started you may want to add other controllers as described below.

Wii Fit and Balance Board - The Wii Fit software and the Wii Fit Balance Board are usually sold as a separate package. The balance board runs on batteries and makes a cable free connection to the main console.

Additional hand controllers – if you want to play certain games against an opponent, then you may want to purchase one or more additional controllers.

Nunchuk controllers – these add control for exercises or games where the input of both hands is required and they connect via a wire to the main hand controller. They are fairly inexpensive so you may want to buy one for each of your main hand controllers.

Rechargeable batteries – the balance board and hand controllers are all battery powered, so it is wise to invest in rechargeable batteries and a charger if you don't want to keep spending on regular batteries.

In conclusion I would say that if you do like the idea of using the Wii Fit to help you in getting fit at forty and beyond, please remember to shop around as much as possible. There are many on-line retailers stocking the Wii Fit so competition is fierce and there are plenty of bargains and offer packages to be found if you shop carefully.