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Dork Out & Work Out To Calorie Burning Video Games Made For Fitness

Fitness

 

Fitness video games are not for couch potatoes.

I never got into video games as a kid and if someone handed me a controller, Mario would be lying in a ditch unconscious within seconds. I admit, my hand-eye coordination was off and my patience limited. But it didn't seem right that I sat and jiggled a controller while Mario & Luigi had all the fun. I became increasingly skeptical of video games through the years and labeled them "dorky". When the Wii Fit came out, I gave it the cold shoulder and preferred fitness DVDs. But then something happened that changed my mind--the invention of fitness games that let you into the game and use your body just like Mario & Luigi. This summer l tried out 3 new interactive fitness games that are workout worthy and tons of fun. You can play them on your own or break them out for family gatherings. Just make sure to push the couch out of the way because there's absolutely no sitting involved!

 

Your Shape:Fitness Evolved is a magical fitness experience.

Your Shape:Fitness Evolved ($60) comes out this November 4th for Xbox 360. It scans your body and projects it onscreen into the workout that you choose. You control the game with your voice and body and can pick from a variety of fitness experiences. Your options range from personal training sessions to classes (like yoga or martial arts class). Throughout your workout you get feedback on every move you make, like whether you're using the right body part or correct form during a specific exercise. Your Shape is a visually stimulating game with random and entertaining effects. Look out for bouncy balls and butterfly trails! These graphics appear onscreen during your workout to illustrate your exact movement and impact. As your performance improves you're rewarded with more interactive effects like paint, water, fire, and confetti.

Your Shape Fitness Evolved yoga class

 

EA Sports Active 2 is the bootcamp of fitness games.

EA Sports Active 2 ($99.95) comes out this November 16th for Xbox 360, Playstation and Wii. Much like Your Shape:Fitness Evolved, it offers a range of exercises and fitness activities to target different body parts and muscle groups. From my observation it's a more intense fitness program with less frills and more challenges. What I love most about this game is that it includes a heart rate monitor strap which transfers and displays your heart rate data constantly on screen. This helps you optimize your performance and determine a safe level of intensity. EA Sports Active 2 also comes with wireless motion tracking leg and arm straps so that you can move as freely as if you were playing in a live basketball game. Check out the video below:

See more Game Videos at EA.com.

 

Not into strength training? Then cardio-dance your pants off.

For a dance workout, definitely check out Gold's Gym Dance Workout ($30) for Wii (officially releases August 17th, 2010). When I tried it out, I was surprised at how easy it was to learn the steps. Your onscreen avatar (supported by backup dancers) provides cues and instructions that help you follow along. The graphics aren't as awesome as the 2 games above but the music and dance options are a blast. Grab your best friend--2 can play at once. Master salsa, samba, reggaeton and kangaroo boxing. Yep, Kangaroo boxing. It's a mini-workout challenge and break from all the dancing (just in case you get bored). Every Gold's Gym Dance Workout game comes with a bonus week-long VIP membership to Gold's Gym, because at some point you have to leave the house.

Gold's Gym Dance Workout video game

 

You will actually burn calories playing these games.

I can't give you an exact estimate because each workout is different and based on the level of intensity you choose, your calorie burn will vary. But what I can tell you is that fitness experts and trainers created the workouts in each of these games. They're designed to make you sweat and get your heart rate up. EA SPORTS Active 2 follows ACSM standards which recommend that an individual burn a minimum of 200-300 calories per exercise session.

 

I'm giving a Your Shape fitness game away!

Have a Wii? If you just nodded yes, then enter this giveaway contest. The winner receives the first edition of Your Shape featuring Jenny McCarthy for Wii (comes with motion tracking camera and lets you exercise controller-free). I wish I could give away Your Shape:Fitness Evolved, but it's not out yet. Leave a comment with your thoughts/knowledge on fitness gaming and you'll be entered for the giveaway. A winner will be randomly chosen on August 29th. I want to hear what you think! Is fitness gaming a legit way to work out??

 

written by Bianca Jade a.k.a Mizzfit

Tags

workouts

Say what's on your mind!

9 comments
Marian Shaw August 16th, 2010 3:22AM

I'm of the belief that anything that gets people up & active is helpful. We manufacture an interactive fitness game called "Makoto" that also achieves cognitive benefits in addition to the physical fitness ones. Besides fitness, it's used for autism therapy and brain trauma. It's also used by pro sports teams to improve reaction time (and by the military for special forces training).
Bottom line - interactive products are FUN and a great way to get people moving.

MizzFIT August 16th, 2010 7:26PM

Hi Marian,
Makoto sounds VERY interesting. Can you direct mizzFIT readers to a link for the Makoto game? I have a feeling people will want to learn more about it. Thanks so much for telling us about it!

mizzFIT

anonymous August 19th, 2010 7:39AM

Hey B,

I was skeptical of the whole video game fitness movement too until I met some one who did wii fit religiously and lost 23 lbs! I was shocked when she first told me and the skeptic asked, "Where you going to the gym as well? Did you go on a diet? You MUST have done something other than just wii fit...?" The answer was no, she got up and would spend an hour to an hour and a half playing her way to fitness. I think that such games could help solve the growing obesity epidemic that exists in out beloved USA. I think of the wii as Japans Solution for American Obesity and hey we all want fitness to be fun and entertaining so why not!?

Blake R

MizzFIT August 19th, 2010 9:39AM

That's incredible that she lost so much weight exercising to Wii. But it's about commitment and consistency and it sounds like she had it. Plus you've got to do what you like...so she prob really loved the games she was playing! And yes, Blake, I totally agree that fitness has to be entertaining. Some people might not get it but fitness fanatics actually find exercises like squats and lifting weights fun. I understand why others might need games or challenges--squatting can't possibly excite everyone! But the important thing is finding something active/physical that appeals to you. Fitness video games is a perfect example as long as you play them consistently. Thanks for your comment, as always!

Maria August 31st, 2010 3:22PM

like to work out at home and would love to try out this fitness game. I'm not exactly video game savvy but I think this makes sense
for people who are little hesitant to take classes or exercise at a gym. It would be an excellent start for me!

MizzFIT August 31st, 2010 3:28PM

Maria, you make a great point but get your hiney to the gym...it's really not that scary and there are other people there that are JUST LIKE YOU! You'll be surprised how friendly gym peeps can be! But yes, I get where you're coming from and agree. It's not a bad thing to work out alone and with fitness games you get a virtual trainer or virtual pals that work out with/along side you. I like to call those insta-friends!

MizzFIT August 31st, 2010 3:30PM

Thanks to everyone who commented on this post! Maria--CONGRATS! You're the winner of the Your Shape fitness game with Jenny McCarthy!

Buy Wow Gold September 17th, 2010 6:58PM

Hi,
I have this idea for a fitness video game that kids would love...lets face it our youth is growing up fat...we need things to keep them active...they look for there game consoles for boredom relief the game i want to invent will allow them to play an awesome game and be active! But how do I get it out there..who do I go to with my idea?

MizzFIT September 18th, 2010 4:53AM

If you email me directly through my contact page I can give you some ideas of how to get through to companies that could help you. Sounds like a fantastic idea, especially if they games are fitness based or inspired!

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