Don’t worry: everyone indulges during the Lunar New Year holiday. But once you emerge from your cocoon of good food and sleeping in, it feels good to shake off that sluggish winter feeling and gain a spring in your step. When the weather’s as unpredictable as it is right now, getting exercise outdoors can be risky. But you don’t actually have to step out of your cosy living room to break a sweat.
Turn your home into a gym with five games with five games to play on Nintendo’s Wii console:
Dance Dance Revolution
Get ready to hit the dance floor! Before you laugh or dismiss the idea, hear us out: this intense, rhythm-based game actually gives a pretty good workout, and an addictive rush of endorphins – happy chemicals your brain releases during exercise.
Dancing can be great exercise for your whole body; it’s good for your heart and strength, it will help with balance and coordination, and you’ll never be bored.
The game gives you points for how closely your steps match up with the steps in the song to give a final score.
With a dance pad or the balance board that comes with Wii Fit, DDR is easy to play. Icons on the screen give players directions and show them where to wave the Wii remote and nunchuk.
The game also has a multi-player mode so you get to have fun and laugh at your friends – you won’t even be aware that you’re working out and burning calories.
My Fitness Coach
Now you can get all the tailored workouts of a personal trainer – from your home. This virtual coach gives you advice, demonstrates moves and motivates you, just like a real one.
After analysing your fitness level, My Fitness Coach allows you to work on your flexibility, cardio fitness, and body strength.
After loading up, you need to tell the game basic information, as well as what exercise equipment you have readily available, such as heart monitors, stability balls, step benches, hand weights. Then, the Coach will make use of them when customising your exercise routine.
You have the option to choose which areas of your body you want to focus on.
Taking into account the measurements of your biceps, chest, waist, hips, and thighs, the game details your progress and creates exercises to help you along your way.
Once everything is set, simply follow your on-screen trainer’s instructions and stick with it. Don’t forget: unlike the quick satisfaction of most video games, you’ll need perseverance, dedication and focus to see results.
Enjoy the hardcore workout!
Wii Fit Plus
A workout game similar to My Fitness Coach but much more casual. It comes with a balance board and various muscle training, aerobics, yoga and balance games. When you step on the balance board, it senses your weight and weight distribution. Your figure will be reflected on the screen with a Mii – it’s a rather direct way to keep track of your shape.
While it doesn’t burn as many calories as the more intense My Fitness Coach, Wii Fit’s focus is on easy and fun games like rhythm kung-fu and snowball fighting.
Activities like these help with your balance and coordination – aspects of physical fitness that are easily overlooked.
Meanwhile, the aerobics games, like rhythm boxing and hula hoop are designed to tone your body and produce more visual results.
The feedback and messages Wii Fit Plus gives are cute, and your Mii acts as your personal cheerleader. When you regularly exercise, it pats you on the head, saying “You are really committed to fitness!”
If you have taken a few days off, it seems disappointing, “I haven’t seen you in a while…”
EA Sports Active: More Workouts
If you hate the gym and need a little motivation to keep working out, this is the one for you.
With more than 35 fitness activities, the game features a six-week challenge of core exercises for you to work on your abs by doing curl ups, crunches and punches.
You can customise your routines by targeting different areas, or you can try a full body circuit routine to start. Warm up and cool down exercises are useful to prevent injury and improve your flexibility.
Workouts range from relaxed to fierce, granting you the freedom to pick what works for body and abilities. If you are in the mood for lighter movement, the game has sports requiring less vigorous movement, like waterskiing, paddle surfing and squash.
Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games
Everyone loves watching the Olympics on TV, but this game allows you to compete in the same events, without years of harsh training and the pressure of representing your country.
Choose from all your favourite characters from the Nintendo and Sega universes – Mario, Sonic, Peach, Daisy, Luigi and more – or compete as your Mii in gymnastics, shooting, aquatics, rowing, archery, and athletics.
Each mini-game mirrors the actions of real life sport. For example, for the running, you have to pump your arms up and down really fast as if you are actually sprinting; for archery, pull back the remote like it’s your bow to take aim. The Wii remotes might not be heavy, but your arm muscles will definitely be challenged by the
If you’re nervous of crowded gyms, wary of rainclouds, or don’t have the time to get out-and-about, this is a great way to spend 20 minutes a day maintaining your health and having fun from your own home.