8 Video Games to Help You Stay Fit in Lockdown

May 27, 2020

Using video games to stay fit might seem like something of a contradiction. After all, the gaming industry has a reputation for making people less healthy. But the truth is that there are plenty of titles that can help you build up a sweat while playing. Thanks to modern technology such as virtual reality, motion sensing, and camera tracking, fitness games are on the rise. 

That’s good news for millions of people around the world right now. With the COVID-19 pandemic preventing us from staying as active as we normally would, people need alternative methods of exercise. Thankfully, many of these video games are not just great for getting healthier — they’re actually a lot of fun for the whole family.

So, get ready to get some new workout ideas for you and your loved ones while you can’t get to the gym. Here are eight video games to help you stay fit in lockdown.

Ring Fit Adventure

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Nintendo has been at the forefront of fitness games since the release of the Wii. The Switch has carried on that tradition with the Nintendo EPD title Ring Fit Adventure. The game essentially combines the fitness genre with action-RPGs to provide a more entertaining experience. Players set off on an adventure to defeat bad guys and explore the world in a charming story. Using different forms of exercise to move around and attack, it is easy to get out of breath very quickly. The game comes with its own special controller attachment as well to track movements effectively.

Just Dance

Platforms: Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Google Stadia, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One

Just Dance is one of the best games to stay fit. As you might have guessed from the title, it’s a dancing game. Players have to mimic certain dance moves shown on the screen in time with the music. There’s no other mechanics outside of that main gameplay loop either, making it accessible and easy to play. Furthermore, every title comes with a nice selection of tracks, from pop music to ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s classics. What’s more, the title is available on practically every platform imaginable and new entries are released every year.

Beat Saber

Platforms: Oculus VR, PC, and PlayStation 4

Although virtual reality has not yet become a mainstream product in gaming, some titles have had a lot of success. One example is Beat Saber. Players hold two Star Wars-inspired light sabers and use them to smash blocks to the beat of the music. Unfortunately, it is not quite as intensive as other fitness games. That’s mainly because only the top half of your body needs to move to play. However, players do need quick reactions and good hand-eye coordination. This isn’t a title suited to everyone, though, but there is a good variety in terms of level difficulties.

Wii Fit

Platforms: Wii and Wii U

Despite the fact that Wii Fit is quite an old game, it is still a great game to use to stay fit during this crisis. One upside to it being out for so long is that many people are likely to have the game and balance board somewhere in their homes. The game, alongside its Wii U counterpart, has a lot of mini-games that work out a variety of body parts. Even more important, though, is the fact that almost anyone can play Wii Fit as it is not as intense as other fitness games.

Pokémon GO

Platforms: Android and iOS

Even though most people have to stay home, lockdown rules generally allow citizens to go outside to exercise. While options are obviously limited, one of the best ways to stay healthy is to go for a long walk. What better way to keep yourself occupied while doing so than by playing Pokémon GO. The augmented reality game is as popular as ever and will motivate you to put in a few extra miles. It has also introduced a variety of changes to make it playable from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zumba: Burn It Up

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Zumba has become a global phenomenon and one of the most popular ways for millions of people to stay fit. Thanks to Zumba: Burn It Up, players can now get the experience in their homes. This is the latest game in the hit series and essentially allows you to have a private Zumba party in your living room. There are more than 30 classes to choose from and real-life experts to guide you through the routines. That means you should know exactly what you need to do at all times while playing the game.

Fitness Boxing

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Fitness Boxing is another exercise game available on the Nintendo Switch. While not as popular or successful as Ring Fit Adventure, it is still a great way to stay in shape. In fact, it is probably a lot more accessible and better suited to older and younger players. In the game, users have to hit blocks that appear on screen to a set rhythm. The fast-paced nature of the title means that it is easy to build up a sweat in no time at all. However, the game lacks the variety of content of other titles on this list and can be very difficult. 

Arms

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Arms is another great game for keeping fit available on the Switch. Unlike many other exercise titles, it isn’t strictly marketed as a way of staying fit. Rather, it is a fighting game that just also happens to be a great way to workout. Taking control of a fighter with extendable arms, players have to battle other challengers. The gameplay involves having to maneuver yourself to avoid attacks while getting in a position to hit your opponent. Despite not being a big hit, this is a fun game that can quickly tire you out.

What are your favorite video games for workouts? Tell us in the comments below!

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