To give you some context, I am someone who has been training since my teenage years. Since 1990, physical training, weights, and training mats have been part of my daily life. Both physically and mentally, physical training has proven good for me.
The years 2020-2021 have brought their share of obstacles in our daily life and physical exercise has become more difficult to integrate into the routine of many. Especially for those who are used to work out in the gym like me.
It is also possible that you are among those who prefer to work out at home, on your own machines. In this case, motivation and discipline are not always optimal.
But you know what? There are alternatives to simple training, allowing you to vary the pleasures, the exercises, and who knows, maybe give a new spark to your workout sessions!
What are those alternatives?
Video games, ladies and gentlemen!
Fun alternatives to a "real" workout
Dance Dance Revolution
There are video games that require a minimum of physical effort, and some that require a little more.
If someone asks me which fitness game to play to improve his/her cardio, I immediately think of Dance Dance Revolution. These dance games require a dance mat with built-in buttons that will act as a "game controller to play with your feet," literally.
These games are great fun, but unfortunately hard to find since you have to turn to the second-hand market to find them.
If you are lucky enough to get your hands on a copy of Dance Dance Revolution, regardless of the version, you will be able to improve your cardio and your reflexes! A study (link in French) mentioned some time ago that these games allow teenagers to get closer to the recommended level of physical activity with only two 50-minute sessions per week.
On the more modern side, I immediately think of the Just Dance franchise from Ubisoft. These games have an impressive number of songs to play alone, with your family or your friends. Many of the songs revolve around the dance music style, but other genres are also covered.
It may not seem that hard when you look at it, but I can confirm that these games are quite hard on the cardio side after playing through several songs. Apart from the heart, the legs are also greatly solicited, of course.
Ah, with VR, there's plenty to eat and drink!
Many VR games require physical effort, and could therefore be considered as "fitness games". From the big adventure game to the boxing game, to the workout or the sword fighting game.
As a big fan of virtual reality, I highly recommend Vader Immortal’s workout mode. Lightsaber in hand (or two swords at the same time if you want), you will find yourself in the center of an arena where you will have to fight against the repeated assaults of different droids, Stormtroopers, unpleasant flying creatures, and murderous robots.
Add to that the Star Wars atmosphere that we know well and the experience is total.
Another rather physically demanding VR game I played last year was Until You Fall.
A sword fighting game in a futuristic knight universe.
This might not be the best virtual reality game I've played, but it’s still very good. Anyways, this is probably the most physically demanding game I've played! Every time I took off my PSVR headset, I was sooo sweaty!
Sometimes even when facing a boss, I would finish the fight completely out of breath. A must for gamers looking for a good cardio, shoulder, and arm workout!
Many other VR games focus on physical training and fitness.
Games like Beat Saber, that can be challenging on the higher difficulty modes! Even the Iron Man VR game on PlayStation VR has a sandbag for boxing!
By the way, if boxing is your thing, bet on buying Creed: Rise to Glory where you are playing the boxer Adonis Creed!
If neither virtual reality nor dance games are for you, Nintendo offers the Ring Fit Adventure fitness game.
It is an RPG-type adventure game where the player must hold a ring called "Ring-Con" in his hands and wear a strap (Leg Strap) on his thigh. The objective here is to repel villains with great physical exercises! In addition to the Adventure mode with more than 100 levels and 20 worlds, you can also integrate training routines into the game and choose the difficulty level according to your needs.
Definitely one of the best fitness video games to exercise while having fun.
You see, these are just a few examples of video games that help you stay in shape or get in better shape.
You'll build muscle with Ring Fit Adventure, improve your cardio with Until You Fall, hone your style with Just Dance, and become a powerful Jedi Master with a heart rate worthy of an Olympic athlete (I'm not exaggerating) with Vader Immortal!