I am a big fan of physical fitness through gaming. In fact, it was the sole purpose in buying the Wii several years ago and the driving force behind buying our XBox 360. My favorite experience for working out is that of using the Kinect. I have proven in the past that playing these games is more grueling of a workout than many calisthenics. But how do you get the most exercise while playing your games?
Enhancing the Kinect Experience
One of the biggest reasons why I prefer the Kinect over the Wii is because you have to be standing in most instances of playing games. Already, you’re burning more calories. So, let’s take a look at what you can do to burn more and get a better workout while gaming.
- Choosing the Right Game
One of the things I don’t like about the Kinect is the limited selection of games. However, I do enjoy the ones that are available. Personally, I like the fighting and sports titles. Games like Wipeout are just a bit much for me, though. I like it, but I am just too out of shape to be any good. Besides, you want to find something you’re interested in as it will help keep you motivated to continue playing.
- Constant Movement
The key to burning calories while playing the Xbox Kinect is constant movement. You don’t have to stand idle while waiting for loading screens. I usually dance around a bit, or loosen up my muscles while waiting. It’s all about keeping the body in motion. I may look a bit silly dancing around like I do, but this also helps me burn more calories per minute through the entire session.
- Adding Weighted Gloves
One and a half pounds of weight on each hand may not seem like a lot, but it increases your calorie burn while improving your muscle definition. You’ll also find that your body will eventually compensate for the weight – which means your movements are faster when playing the game without the gloves. However, this aspect may take a few weeks to develop.
- Regular Routine
I play the XBox Kinect roughly four to six times per week at about 25 to 30 minutes each. I have a handful of games that can keep me from getting bored, and I am currently working on reaching one million fans in Kinect Sports Season 2. Set up a regular routine just like you would for any other exercise plan. I try to do my time in the morning as it helps get me ready for the day.
- Challenge Yourself
Most of the games I have are capable of increasing the difficulty level. However, you don’t want to start off too high. If you’re out of shape like I am, the last thing you want is your family coming home to see you on the floor suffering from a heart attack while playing video games. Just keep in mind that challenging yourself is a good way to find your limitations while giving you something to strive for.
- Family Competitions
Competing with others in the family or perhaps your friends is a good way to keep motivated to exercising. Most games such as these require stamina, and your game play can be affected by fatigue. This is all the more reason to practice throughout the week in order to train yourself to be the reigning champion in the household. Currently, I am undefeated in Tennis, Track and Field and Darts.
- Set Records For Yourself
A lot of games will track your personal records. Train up and strive to beat your all-time scores in everything you do. If you want to get the family involved, why not set up a whiteboard and write down everyone’s best? A bit of friendly competition for fitness can be quite a motivator – especially if there is a prize or other incentive involved.
- Play Online
Many games give you the option to play online. This is an incredible experience as you can pit your skills against others around the globe. It’s one thing to sit in front of the TV with a controller in your hand, but it’s a completely different experience when your matching your physical prowess against someone else from across the globe.
- Proper Attire
Yes, even playing video games on the XBox Kinect may require the proper attire. Remember, playing these games offers as much of a workout as any calisthenics class at the gym. Personally, I adorn swim trunks and a tank top most of the time. Keep yourself comfortable while making sure your movements are not being constricted.
- Keep Hydrated
When you put in extreme effort playing Kinect games, you will work up a decent sweat. Like any other exercise routine, it’s always best to keep yourself hydrated. I usually have a 32oz bottle of water and drink most of it before I am done playing. You don’t want to tap out your fluids by overexerting yourself. Even a bottle of Gatorade is beneficial when grinding out 30 minutes of non-stop tennis.
Getting Fit Takes Time
No activity can actually guarantee that you’ll lose weight immediately. Don’t expect that hardcore exercising on the Kinect is going to result in slimming down inside of a month. Your personal physique will play a role in how quickly you drop calories – as does the amount of effort you put into any physical activity.
It is possible to get proper fitness from game systems such as the XBox Kinect. I am living proof of how much of an impact these consoles provide. Before you jump into a controller-driven game, why not spend 20 minutes or so on your feet? Getting the blood flowing and oxygen to your brain may actually help you in other games by improving cognitive functionality.