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How to Get Fit Through Gaming in 2017

January is a time for cold weather and New Year’s Resolutions. Often, one such resolution is to get fitter and, well, cold weather doesn’t exactly encourage you to go out and do some exercise. Another resolution might be to save money, so a gym membership won’t seem very appealing either.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get your workout indoors and tying into your favorite games consoles or smartphone too! Here’s a look at six options for getting you motivated.

Xbox Fitness (Xbox One)

Xbox Fitness is a free service available through your Xbox One. It offers a selection of exercise videos from well-known trainers such as Jillian Michaels, and Tracy Anderson. Working via your Kinect sensor, it tracks your heart rate, and estimated calories burned, while giving you feedback on how you’re doing. A plethora of challenges, as well as achievements, provide you with some great impetus to do better.

Be warned though–Xbox Fitness is pretty flawed. Glitches when tracking your body are common, especially when dealing with floor exercises. Also, it’s being discontinued on July 1. For now though, it’s a convenient and free resource.

Shape Up (Xbox One)

Shape Up is Ubisoft’s attempt at being a bit like Xbox Fitness, but more lighthearted. It combines a series of conventional exercise methods with arcade game-style workouts. Rather than punching a virtual punchbag, you’re hitting asteroids. You squat to the moon, and bench press an elephant. It’s as quirky as it sounds but the most important thing is that Shape Up is a genuinely challenging workout game. Its accuracy is great, and you’ll easily find the exercises entertaining. It lacks longevity, but it’ll tide you over the winter months perfectly.

Dance Central Spotlight (Xbox One)

Dance Central Spotlight has multiple aims in mind. It’s a dance game that wants to make you a better dancer, but it’s also great for an energetic workout. With a substantial library of songs, there’s sure to be a track that you love here. Besides simply dancing to the music, there are cardio and strength routines available, giving you more of an aerobic workout. It’s typically light weight but perfect for when you don’t want to feel too pious about your routine.

Wii Fit U (Wii U)

Previously a big hit on the Wii, Wii Fit is just as successful on the Wii U. It focuses on yoga and strength training, through the use of the Wii Balance Board. The same peripheral also works to track your weight so you know how you’re doing over many weeks. Besides being great for simple exercises, there’s plenty of evidence that it’s ideal for physical therapy too. That makes it ideal for young and old alike, taking a gentler approach to exercising than many other games and apps. Think of it as your introduction to workout routines if you haven’t done any form of exercise in a while.

Zombies, Run! (iOS and Android)

One of those people that jokes you’d only ever run if you were being chased? Well, now you can! Ok, Zombies, Run! involves going outside but it’s an inexpensive cardio workout. The game provides you with a storyline to follow as you walk, jog, or run around your local area. Only a few people have survived a zombie epidemic, and you’re a runner appointed to retrieve supplies. You can walk or run at your regular pace, but if the zombies appear, it’s time to speed up. It’s a fun and immersive way of feeling like you’re doing more than just running through the park.

MarchQuest (iOS)

MarchQuest works in a similar way to Zombies, Run! It has you walking or running around, gradually unlocking an immersive story of mythical wonder and adventure. Where things differ is MarchQuest’s addition of RPG elements. You meet many characters and companions along the way, with choices available during dialogue sequences. It shapes how things play out, further encouraging you to keep chipping away and see what happens next. Alongside that is extensive statistic tracking for the exercise conscious.

Jennifer Allen
Jennifer is a freelancer for multiple outlets on the web and in print, including Playboy, Paste Magazine, TechRadar, and MyM Magazine. In her spare time, she watches too many TV boxsets and pretends she knows what she’s doing at the gym. Follow her on Twitter.
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Jennifer Allen
Jennifer is a freelancer for multiple outlets on the web and in print, including Playboy, Paste Magazine, TechRadar, and MyM Magazine. In her spare time, she watches too many TV boxsets and pretends she knows what she’s doing at the gym. Follow her on Twitter.

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