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Getting fit takes hard work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun while doing it. Game developers like Nintendo have spent years designing games to get people active and engaged, and the rise of VR has brought on a tidal wave of new games aimed at helping players stay active. There are even mobile games that can get your heart rate soaring in no time.
With so many games releasing every year, we’re breaking down some of the most popular and effective video games for weight loss on the market. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing on console, PC, or on your smartphone, there is a game out there that can help you get fit.
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The Best Video Games for Exercising & Getting Fit
1. Ring Fit Adventure
If you’re looking for a game that will give you a full-body workout, look no further. Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch was specifically designed to get your whole body moving, with different exercises and routines targeting different muscle groups.
Players must fight enemies and complete objectives while using a special pilates ring controller and leg band, which can sense your body movements and allow you to perform moves in the game. You can play through an RPG-style adventure, work through tailored fitness routines, or enjoy quick, party-style games.
2. Fitness Boxing
Fitness Boxing for Nintendo Switch is a boxing simulator and workout game where players can step in the ring from the safety of home. Players use the joy cons to throw punches and dodge hits, and the game will keep track of estimated calories lost during gameplay. You’ll be asked to enter your height and weight, and you’ll get a calorie breakdown tailored especially to you.
If this sounds like your type of game, there’s some good news. A sequel, Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm and Exercise, was released in 2020 and builds on the core gameplay of the original. Both games will definitely have you working up a sweat.
3. Knockout Home Fitness
Knockout Home Fitness is similar to other Switch fighting games, but with a focus on Martial Arts. This game includes workouts based on Karate, Kung-Fu, Muay Thai, and Boxing. Choose between specialized routines that range from general 15-minute workouts to high-intensity 3-minute sets. What’s more, you can track calorie loss and other health stats within the game.
4. The Thrill of the Fight
This VR boxing game is a no-frills boxing simulator aiming to create an authentic combat experience. Box against various virtual opponents who use unique, real boxing techniques that demand skill and ingenuity to outwit. Playing this game is a great cardio workout with the added benefit of learning some fundamentals about boxing.
5. Pokémon GO
Since 2016, Pokémon GO has gotten Pokéfans out of the house and onto the street. This free AR mobile game from Niantic lets players use their phones to search for and capture Pokémon in the real world. Players can explore their cities and towns to find rare Pokémon and battle other trainers out in the wild. This is a really fun way to enhance walks and get your steps in for the day. Just be careful to watch where you’re going while you play, you don’t want a shiny Gyarados luring you into a busy street.
6. Just Dance 2022
If you like working out while jamming out, the Just Dance series on Nintendo Switch might be perfect for you. Featuring hit songs from Imagine Dragons, Doja Cat, Taylor Swift and more, Just Dance will help you burn calories to the beat of your favorite songs. The game also has a kid-friendly mode with songs suitable for all ages.
7. Beat Saber
If you’ve ever wanted to lose weight while raving out with a pair of lightsabers, you have very specific desires. Luckily there’s Beat Saber, the epic rhythm game for VR that will make you feel like the grooviest Jedi of all time. Like other rhythm games, players must hit and dodge obstacles in time with the music in order to boost their score. This is a great little cardio workout that is surprisingly effective at getting your heart rate up.
8. Blade & Sorcery
Nothing gets the heart pumping quite like vanquishing your foes. Blade & Sorcery is a gladiator combat simulator that lets you practice your sword fighting skills in VR. Fight with a range of weapons and magical spells to become the ultimate warrior and get a workout in as well. The hand-to-hand combat is a great source of cardio, but sadly shooting fireballs at your enemies won’t help you burn many calories.
Get ready, aim, and fire with this stylized shooter game that gets you on your feet. This VR shooter puts players in various scenarios that they must shoot their way out of while also controlling their body movements for maximum effect. Players can slow down time by moving slowly and deliberately, which can be a challenge when the bullets start flying. While not a traditional workout game, SUPERHOT will keep you moving while you traverse through the dozens of available levels.
10. Knockout League
If you’re not looking for realism in your VR boxing games, then say hello to Knockout League. This VR arcade-style boxing game will pit you against a cornucopia of over-the-top characters in a single-player fighting experience. While the game might be silly and colorful, there’s nothing cartoonish about the workout you’ll receive while playing.
Supernatural is more like a VR personal trainer than a true video game, but it’s definitely designed to get you burning calories. This subscription-based service mixes traditional workouts with epic visuals that you can only achieve through VR. Want to do your morning workout on a mountaintop? No problem, and you can even get celebrity trainers like Tiffany Haddish to join you on your workout journey. This service costs $19.99 a month, which can get pricey over time but is still cheaper than a typical gym membership.
This unorthodox VR game will have you striking poses and ducking for cover, giving you a cardio workout in the process. Players must use their bodies to dodge and jump over oncoming obstacles to complete levels. You’ll also have to move your body into specific poses to squeeze through silhouette cutouts like you’re a real life Looney Tunes character.
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