Be it because of a lack of money or time or a global pandemic, we can’t always get to the gym. In the absence of gyms and leisure centres, exercising at home has become increasingly popular.

Video game giants (such as Nintendo) had a great idea to combat this problem; video games whose goal is to help you lose weight, build muscle, or exercise while having fun, allowing you to replace the coach with a console!

Let’s have a look at how video games can help you to lose weight, tone muscle, or get healthier while enjoying yourself. It’s never been easier to exercise at home.

While there are several consoles you can play some of these games on, we’ll focus on the Switch as we feel it's the platform best suited for these types of game.

In this article, we'll be looking at Ring Fit Adventure, Fitness Boxing, Just Dance, and the now-retro Wii Fit.

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Ring Fit Adventure

Ring Fit Adventure was released for the Nintendo Switch towards the end of 2019. This game comes with a ring, known as the Ring Con, which you use to exercise with.

Is this effective?

Let’s see how Ring Fit can help you tone muscle and lose weight.

Which is the best video game for exercising?
Nintendo's Ring Fit Adventure has been a popular choice for working out during the pandemic. (Source: IGBD)

Firstly, Ring Fit Adventure is an intuitive game that has you compressing or stretching the Ring Con and other exercises as you work out. It’s recommended that you get a yoga mat or similar for the exercises you have to do on the floor.

Here’s the trailer to give you a better idea:

After doing a few dynamic stretches, Ring Fit invites you to participate in adventure mode where you defeat monsters by doing exercises such as pilates, situps, squats, stretches, running, etc.

You can personalise your training by choosing the type of exercise you want to do or by playing minigames as you squeeze and pull on the Ring Con.

In March 2020, the game was updated with a Rhythm Mode that allows you to dance along to music from other Nintendo games like Super Mario Odyssey, Wii Fit, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There’s also the Jogging Mode so you can run through the levels without interruption.

If you want to tone muscle or lose weight without leaving the house, Ring Fit Adventure is probably one of your best options. The reviews were also generally favourable.

Find out more about Ring Fit Adventure

Have Fun and Burn Calories with Just Dance

How can you lose weight while playing Just Dance?

The answer may interest those who are looking for ways to burn calories and lose weight, get rid of those love handles, or get a flatter stomach.

Which is the best video game for burning calories?
As long as you pick an energetic song, you can burn a lot of calories with Just Dance. (Source: IGBD)

Just Dance debuted back in 2009 on the Nintendo Wii and versions have been released on consoles including the Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One, and even on Windows and Android and iOS. The game works by detecting your movements.

While Just Dance can help you to have a laugh, unwind, and burn calories, it probably won't teach you all that much about how to dance. That said, you still have to follow the choreography on the screen to get the best possible score either in single-player or multiplayer.

Just Dance 2021 on the Switch can help you tone muscle while burning calories as it works on various parts of the body.

  • Glutes
  • Thighs
  • Pectorals
  • Triceps
  • Biceps
  • Abdominals
  • Joints
  • Calves
  • Hips
  • Chest

The main goal of Just Dance, however, is to have fun. Here’s the sneak peek video for the song list from Just Dance 2021:

This game is a great way to exercise without realising that you’re doing it. Whether you’re looking to tone muscle or burn calories, you can do it with this game. The best thing about the game is that you can get more songs for it once you’re done with the original ones.

Find out more about Just Dance

Exercise at Home with Fitness Boxing

Boxing would be a great way to unwind if you didn’t have to risk getting punched. Fortunately, Fitness Boxing has you doing boxing exercises from the safety of your own home.

Which are the best video games for your fitness?
Fitness Boxing combines rhythm-based gameplay with boxing training exercises for a cardio workout. (Source: IGBD)

Here’s the trailer for Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm and Exercise on the Switch:

You can play this game using the Joy-Cons that come with your Switch as boxing gloves. The game explains how to do each of the punches and you can choose from 9 different coaches.

For training certain muscle groups, Fitness Boxing can be very effective. Boxing is useful for building muscle and toning up. It’s also an excellent sport for working out your whole body.

If you’re looking for a way to have fun while punching in rhythm, this is the game to do it.

Find out more about Fitness Boxing

The Benefits of Wii Fit for Exercising at Home

The Wii is now technically retro but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a useful source of entertaining games, especially fitness games. Wii Fit is living proof.

Can you exercise with Wii Fit?
If you have an old Nintendo Wii lying around, you can pick up a Balance Board and a copy of Wii Fit for a good price. (Source: IGBD)

The Wii was released in 2008 and Wii Fit launched in 2009 with the Wii Balance Board peripheral, a digital scale that connected to the game. With the help of your Wii Fit trainer, you’ll be guided through a variety of exercises.

The game includes 4 main types of exercises:

  • Yoga
  • Strength Training
  • Aerobics
  • Balance Games

Across the 40 different games and exercises, you can burn calories, work out, and do yoga (we recommend buying a mat!). Another 20 or so exercises are available if you get Wii Fit Plus as well. Wii Fit isn’t just for beginners, either, as those who regularly do sport can still enjoy some of Wii Fit’s exercises. Your virtual coach can help you to exercise in a calm and relaxing way.

Whether you’re buying Wii Fit or Wii Fit Plus, you can start exercising today. This is a perfect activity if you can’t go out and exercise as often as you’d like. The game also tracks your statistics, which can serve as useful motivation.

Find out more about Wii Fit

Here’s a table comparing each game:

TitleYearPlatformAccessories RequiredTypes of ExerciseRecommended for...
Ring Fit Adventure2019Nintendo SwitchRing Con and Joy ConRunning, arms, legs, core, minigames.Anyone wanting to lose weight or tone muscle.
Just Dance 20212020Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, StadiaJoy Con or Move Motion ControllerDancing.Beginners looking to lose weight.
Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm and Exercise2020Joy ConJoy ConRhythm-based boxing moves.Those looking to burn calories and tone arm muscles.
Wii Fit Plus2009Nintendo WiiWii Balance Board and WiimoteYoga, aerobics, balance games.Beginners looking to lose weight or improve their balance.

Now you should have a better idea of which games you can get to help you exercise.

If you're looking for even more help, consider getting a private tutor or fitness instructor on Superprof. Many experienced and talented fitness instructors can help you to get in shape, train, lose weight, or improve your strength or endurance.

Generally, tutorials are offered face-to-face or online to individuals or groups. Each type of training and tuition has its pros and cons so think carefully about which one would be right for you, your level, your fitness goals, and your budget.

Face-to-face fitness instructors can tailor each session to you and your level to ensure that you get the most out of every activity you do. Usually, this type of coaching is more costly than the others as you're paying for the tutor's time in and out of the sessions as well as the time and money they have to spend to get to you. Of course, with every minute focusing on you, this type of training is also the most cost-effective.

Group training sessions are great for those on a budget as you can spread out the cost of the instructor's time since every member of the class will be paying for the session. While this means that you won't be able to enjoy sessions that are tailored just to you, there will be other participants there and it can be motivating to exercise with others, especially if they're of a similar fitness level.

Thanks to the internet, online personal training sessions are also available. Much like with video games, your trainer will be behind a screen. Since they don't have to travel to their customers, they usually charge less as they don't have to worry about travel costs and can also schedule more sessions each week due to the time saved by not travelling.

Remember that a lot of the tutors and personal trainers on Superprof offer the first lesson or session for free. You can use these free sessions to try out several different fitness instructors or tutors before deciding on which one is right for you. With personal training, it's really important that you like your instructor and get on well with them as you'll be much more willing to do the strenuous exercises they want you to do.

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