Although the trend for Xbox fitness is at an end, it doesn’t mean playing Kinect tennis or any other game is less beneficial. In reality, I lost a lot of weight getting into Kinect Sports Season 2 Tennis.
In fact a couple of weeks ago, I lost 4.3 pounds doing nothing more than playing Kinect tennis and reducing how much I ate.
And yes, I worked myself up into a heavy sweat through cardio activity through the Kinect. It’s one of my favorite pieces of home exercise equipment.
Playing Kinect Tennis to Lose Weight
If you’re not into tennis, then this is probably not going to work for you. For myself, I wasn’t really into the game until I started playing it with my oldest daughter.
Now, it’s become one of my go-to games on the Xbox 360 Kinect when I want to burn some fat.
Here are the steps I take to ensure I get a good workout with every session.
Step 1: Set an In-Game Calorie Goal
Each session in Kinect Sports Season 2 records calories burned. And although this isn’t a completely accurate portrayal of what you’ll actually burn, it does give you a method for judging a workout.
For example, I found that aiming for 120 in-game calories equates to about a 26-minute workout if you push yourself. In the end, I was burning between 300 and 350 calories depending on how active I was.
Each time you play, set a goal for in-game calories. This is the number of calories the game says you burned after each round of playing Kinect tennis.
Step 2: Keep Yourself Moving at All Times
While playing, keep yourself moving at all times. This means you should keep moving even in between the loading screens. You want to keep your heart rate elevated throughout your entire game play.
This is perhaps the biggest contributing factor behind how I can burn so many calories playing Kinect games. I don’t stand around.
In fact, I’ll even walk in place while I’m waiting for the game itself to load.
Your movements really don’t matter just as long as you’re active.
Since I use a Fitbit Charge 3, I can look to see where my pulse rate is. As a result, I can increase my movements to keep myself over 110 BPM.
Step 3: Use Over-Exaggerated Movements During Play
When playing tennis, use over-exaggerated movements. Don’t just stand in one place and simply move your hands to hit the ball. Really throw yourself into the game.
During “celebrations” when you make a power move, dance around as much as possible. Flail around like a fish out of water if you have to.
Personally, I do something akin to jumping jacks mixed with crunches. It’s difficult to explain, but I can tell you almost every part of my body is moving during the celebration.
And don’t forget, adding a ton of movement while waiting for the computer to serve is a distraction. He or she will fault out of bounds more often than not if you dance around.
This is a feature available in most other games in Kinect Sports Season 2. For example, I know the computer hates it when you dance around behind it while playing darts.
If you’re not sweating by the time your done playing, you didn’t move enough.
Step 4: Keep Playing Until You Reach In-Game Calorie Goals
After every match, you’ll see how many calories you burn during each session. Don’t stop until you reach your goal calorie limit.
With the exception of playing to 120 in-game calories while doing a case study on myself, I often aim for 150. Though, I did aim for 200 once…which I was a sweaty mess and exhausted by the time I was done playing.
Depending on how many calories you’re aiming for, you could get in one hell of a workout.
Step 5: Try to Beat Your Own Time Records
Play each game as quickly as possible. The quicker you can reach your goal, the more actual calories you’ve burned.
Here’s a time to beat: during the case study, I surpassed the 120 in-game calorie mark at 26.23 minutes on average. If you can hit 120 or higher in the game within 26 minutes, you’re doing great!
I use a spreadsheet to keep track of my records for Kinect tennis, but you can use anything you wish. In any case, striving to break your time records only works to improve your physical fitness.
Step 6: Monitor Your Food Intake
And lastly, keep track of what you eat. It’s all about burning more than you consume. It won’t matter if you burn 1000 calories playing the Kinect if you gorge yourself by eating too much.
I use MyFitnessPal to keep track of everything I eat. It gives me a way to see how well I’m doing at a glance. And since my Fitbit is connected to MyFitnessPal, it will adjust my calorie burn for the day.
This means I can eat more on days that I am excessively active.
Also make sure you’re eating healthier choices. I’m not going to say you have to eat fruits and veggies, but it helps. Just don’t assume you can eat 2,000 calories worth of cupcakes and expect to lose weight.
Because if your eating habits are poor, it won’t matter how many calories you’ll burn playing the Xbox.
Optional – Add Weighs to Hands, Wrists and/or Ankles
Here is an optional idea: add weights to your hands, wrists and/or ankles when playing Kinect tennis.
When you add something like wrist or glove weights, it increases the calorie burn while adding more muscle definition to various parts of your body.
I started with one-pound weighted gloves. Nowadays, I’ve moved up to three pounds on each hand because I’ve vastly increased my strength.
In fact, I am adding another pound next weekend.
Now, one pound may not sound like a lot. But if you’re not used to it, that extra pound is going to impact you more than you think.
Losing Weight Is Easy When Engaging Yourself
The whole reason why I am into Xbox 360 fitness games is because it keeps me engaged. And that’s really the trick to any exercise routine…finding something you enjoy and will keep your attention.
It’s all about engagement and what kind of value you get out of any game. I get a lot out of playing Kinect tennis.
Also, I am far more drawn to working up a sweat playing the Kinect over aerobics classes at the gym. In reality, I’ll burn as much if not more calories playing at home than I will in any exercise class.
Find a game that keeps you interested. It’s easy to burn fat quickly with the Kinect as long as you put in the effort to really play the game.