Best gaming consoles for exercise, fitness: Nintendo, Oculus and more


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You show up after a long stressful day and all you want to do is relax and play Call of Duty. But being the responsible adult that you are, you know you should probably work out before dinner. Unfortunately, making your fitness routine really fun isn’t always easy. Get into active video games (AVG), which, as the name suggests, often requires you to get up off the couch to play it.

Anyone who has spent time bowling on their Wii or licking soft licks from their Guitar Hero ax can tell you that this is not a new concept. But the games and technology you play in them have improved tremendously over the past few years. In the meantime, there’s a lot more research to help you justify investing in a Nintendo Switch, Oculus VR headset, or any other exercise equipment that incorporates gaming elements as part of your fitness plan. . Even longtime trainers are starting to recognize the benefits of turning an otherwise sedentary activity into something more physically demanding.

“You have to meet people where they are. If they play a video game [anyway], it’s only a net positive if, in doing so, they strengthen their cardiovascular health or build muscle, ”said Justin Norris, co-CEO of LIT Method, which counts Jay-Z as an investor. “We are not one-dimensional beings. I like games and I like exercise. I see no reason why these wouldn’t be built in for people who want to combine the benefits of both, instead of falling into the traditional gaming experience with long periods of stagnation.

The trend also works in reverse. More traditional gyms, machines, and exercise classes use elements often associated with play to get people to the mat. “Motivating customers with rewards, milestones, et cetera, seems to have a very positive impact on getting [them] to stay engaged and increase frequency, ”says Norris.

So how do you know what to play that is going to help you sweat? When choosing which games or equipment to add to your fitness routine, Norris suggests “picking games that focus on moving in multiple planes of motion, functional training that doesn’t overload a muscle group, and that promotes culture. overuse and injury, and [using] the space around you.

While AVGs are a great way to score more cardio and steps on your fitness tracker, Norris stresses that they’re not likely to get you in shape on their own. “You have to change it. The whole ball game is a diet that involves consistency and change, ”he says. “Commit to providing that consistent movement of your body. Corn [don’t] betray the very real memory of your body’s injury, its need for rest and its fragility. Have different goals every day, different results at the finish line, and step out of your comfort zone. There is nothing for you. And regardless of the game, platform, training or technology used, [it] should be rewarding from the inside out.

What are the best consoles, gadgets, and games for exercise?

When you’re ready to improve your workout, check out these platforms and games.

1. Oculus Quest 2

Courtesy of Oculus

There are plenty of virtual reality headsets on the market, but Oculus is a great place to start your VR journey. This is the house of super fun and that makes you sweat Beat the saber, where players cut out color-coded boxes to the beat with lightsabers while leaning and crouching clear of obstacles. Upgrade the soundtrack with the latest Billie Eilish bundle or the Skrillex bundle.

The Facebook-owned headset offers a good variety of games. Climb mountains in The climb, play tennis with a golf club or play pétanque with a basketball Sport race, box like Michael B. Jordan in Credo: Rise To Glory, or shake your booty with Dance center.

More traditional training experiences can also be experienced with Holofit Where Supernatural. The latter requires a monthly / annual subscription to access boxing, stretching and meditation sessions led by a trainer. New boxing, HIIT and dance classes added daily to required subscriptions FitXR, which is teeming with hits from artists like Calvin Harris and Tiesto. There is also a collection of recovery and meditation apps (Nature Treks VR, Tripp).

Oculus Move is the built-in fitness tracker that allows users to track their calories burned and minutes of physical activity, set exercise goals, and monitor progress over time. The company also announced an active accessory pack coming next year to enhance the experience.

To buy:
Oculus Quest 2
$ 299 +

2. Nintendo Switch


Courtesy Image

The video game giant has long been the material of choice for exergamers. The Switch picks up where the Wii left off and in some ways like portability improves the in-form gaming experience.

There is something for everyone in your household and for all fitness levels. You will find a wide range of AVG types including sports games (Instant sports franchise), cardio-heavy workouts, branded fitness programs like Zumba, rhythm games featuring your favorite artists (Just Dance Series, Fitness Boxing 2), competitive mini-games (1-2-Switch) products that combine beloved Nintendo titles (Mario tennis aces), and more traditional role-playing games with added active elements.

The diversity of the game also means that you can find light exercise options as well as AVGs that will let you breathe hard and sweat. The goal of keeping people moving is such a high priority that even some of their standard games get into action. For example, the free update on November 5 for Animal crossing adds group stretching sessions.

The device can be used on the TV screen or on the table, leaving your hands free and making it very easy to use as a mobile gym in your hotel room. The OLED model is the newer iteration and it features a 7-inch OLED display, a large adjustable stand, a docking station with a wired LAN port, 64 GB of internal storage and ‘improved sound.

To buy:
Nintendo Switch OLED model
$ 350

To buy:
Nintendo Switch Lite
$ 303.00

3. Ring-shaped adventure Lot of games and accessories


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If you’re investing in just one AVG, make it this flagship of Nintendo’s fitness line. Set includes Ring-Con set and accessories and leg strap.

The detachable joysticks of your Switch unit plug into the accessories and follow your movements. Once you’ve geared up, there are a number of ways to burn calories. There is a fantastic adventure game with over 100 levels that requires you to walk, jog, paddleboard or knee high through the levels and defeat enemies using drills like aerial presses and leg lifts.

Quick Play lets players do timed exercises by working specific muscle groups and play 12 mini-games that encourage movement.

To buy:
Ring shaped adventure

4.Aottom jump rope accessory for switch


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Nintendo released the free Jump rope challenge to help entertain Switch users when they are stuck at home during the pandemic. It’s deceptively simple – you just make the childhood hobby move with the Joy-Con controllers – and features an adorable bunny mascot. If you want to take the challenge more seriously, get this adjustable polyester accessory from a third-party company that turns the challenge into reality.

To buy:
Aottom Switch jump rope
$ 12.99

5. Stealth Core Trainer


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Everyone knows that the plank is a powerful movement that can help strengthen the core muscles, sculpt the core, and increase stability. But like most things you know to be good for you, curling is often preceded by a wave of dread. This basic trainer aims to change that in less than three minutes a day. Stealth’s platform, which supports up to 300 pounds and works with every smartphone on the market today, moves 360 degrees, and all of those twists and turns make for a more dynamic workout. In fact, our editors tested it and say it helped them hold a board longer than ever before without realizing it.

To use it, simply place your phone in the space at the top of the board and start holding your board. Once you use the app, your body and heart become the joystick while you play. The free app comes with four games (Gliding, Space escape, Color hunt, and Galaxy Adventure). It also includes a real-time global leaderboard, tracks your daily progress, and can be used to create private challenges with friends. An improved version marks new games every month.

To buy:
Stealth Core Trainer
$ 129.00

6. Liteboxer


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This celebrity-approved boxing system delivers serious Dance Dance Revolution vibrations, but you use your arms to hit targets instead of your feet. Although it looks like traditional exercise equipment, it deploys play tactics (flashing lights, shocking music, rhythmic sequences you have to emulate, and on-screen instructors) to keep you interested and sweaty.

The stand-alone version with a platform base and the new, more compact wall unit feature over 200 LED lights, along with built-in sensors and technology to count, track and measure every jab. There is also a cushion for the upper cuts. Pick a song from the library – there are rock, rap, pop, and EDM hits – and follow the cues to hit the beat. There are also trainer-led workouts that combine stretching, cardio and boxing, workouts, warm-ups, and classes outside of the boxing genre.

Many of them focus on conditioning the whole body or use the color-coordinated resistance band set. (The bands attach to the D-ring at the base of the unit.) The set contains five bands varying in strength from 10 to 30 pounds, door stops and ankle guards. To note: Liteboxer’s first Black Friday sale costs, uh, $ 400 on each machine.

To buy:
$ 1,495 +

gameyourworkoutliteboxresistance bands

Courtesy of Liteboxer

To buy:
Liteboxer Resistance Band Set
$ 49


About Shirley A. Tamayo

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