Hate the Gym? This is the Best Way to Work Out From Your Living Room

Hate the Gym? This is the Best Way to Work Out From Your Living Room

I hate going to the gym. I dread the process of motivating myself to get up, get ready, and to get out the door. Once I’m there, it’s cool, but it’s almost anxiety-inducing having to psych myself up to workout. Besides, gym memberships can add up and only going a few times a month wasn’t worth the cost for me. I started looking for an alternative and found it: video games.

The Nintendo Wii and Wii U have a ton of *games* that encourage fitness. There’s some pretty cheap Wii’s that can in bundle sets for $80 or less, depending on where you shop. I have a Nintendo Wii and bought a few fitness games:  Wii Fit Plus and EA Sports Active 2 to use with it. The Wii is not the only gaming console that has these, but it is certainly the most budget friendly for those barely surviving under the crushing weight of school debt, like myself. Also , most of these fitness games are around ten years old, so you don’t have to  pay anywhere near full price for them on Ebay, Amazon, Craigslist and sometimes GameStop. However, the Sports Active require a couple of accessories to work properly so you might have to buy those separately if you go this route. Even still, It’s still cheaper than buying the game full price.

EA Sports Active (SA) is my personal favorite of the Wii games. It come with resistance bands and two heart rate monitors that go around your upper arm and thigh, displaying your heart rate as you work out on screen. SA has a ton of workout programs which include a total body conditioning nine-week program, as well as  fitness activities., Skateboarding, cycling,, hiking, running, dance, boxing and soccer, to name a few. In addition, there’s also a built in personal trainer who encourages you as you’re working out and helps to correct your form through wireless motion tracking.

There are many pre-made workout programs in these games, but you can design your own programs as well. I made use of this feature to create a personalized, quick workout for when I have limited time, as well as handful of other workouts that focus on specific areas,. SA also gives the user a number o difficulty options, that allow you to dictate the intensity and pace of the workouts.r. Also, the program keeps track of your progress as you work out, allowing  you to see how far you’ve come.

One thing that you don’t really need to play SA (but can be used) that you do need to use the Wii Fit a is the Wii balance board. The board is used for all the fitness programs and activities as well as an optional daily body test that measures your balance, weight, body control and Wii Fit age (note that your fit age might depress but motivate you.) Like SA, the Wii Fit Plus keeps track of your progress through the Wii’s “personal trainer”,  a cartoon version of the Wii balance board, who is a bit of a smart ass.

The Wii Fit Plus has strength-training fitness, yoga (which does have its own personal trainer), aerobics and balance fitness programs with many games falling under each category.

These fitness games are perfect for those who rather work out in the privacy of their home and don’t want to spend money on a gym membership. Plus, who wants to leave their house to head to gym when it’s snowing and frigid outside? It’s the perfect way to get your workout in without having to brave the cold.  I highly recommend it to anyone looking to bring the gym to their living rooms.







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