Top 11 Video Games for Fitness

Top 11 Video Games for Fitness
Don’t like going to the gym? Well, you don’t have to -- and you can still get, or stay, in shape. Though not yet as beneficial as, say, a run or a game of tennis, “exergames” (i.e., active video games) can get your heart pumping and even help reduce that spare tire around your waist, according to a recent study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Here are our picks for the top 11 games that turn your console into an educational and motivational personal trainer.
Top 11 Video Games for Fitness

Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2011
Track your fitness goals and progress with tough routines that’ll definitely make you sweat. This series comes with five built-in training circuits (two whole-body workouts and three that focus on the upper body, lower body or abs) plus five slots to create your own kick-ass custom circuits. The game can be used with Wii MotionPlus and balance board, but they aren’t required. You can also choose your intensity level, and get fitness, wellness and diet tips. One nitpick: The user interface could be a little more responsive.

Platform:
Nintendo Wii
Rating:
Everyone
Cost:
$19.99
Link:
JillianMichaels.com

Top 11 Video Games for Fitness

Wii Fit Plus
Considered one of the best for the Wii, this fitness game includes more than 40 types of training and strength-training exercises, yoga and other balance mini-games for casual gamers and hardcore fitness buffs alike. Like its predecessor, it also uses the Wii balance board to calculate your body mass index. Players can customize routines, letting you focus on working out specific parts of your body.

Platform:
Nintendo Wii
Rating:
Everyone
Cost:
$19.99 (Must have Wii Fit; $99.99)
Link:
WiiFit.com

Top 11 Video Games for Fitness

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved
This exergame talks and walks you through the precise movements of your workout. Using Kinect, the game measures body size and structure. Then, using a hand-motion menu, enter your age, weight and exercise habits so the game won’t overexert you. Then you follow the tai chi and yoga moves of an onscreen instructor who will rate your performance.


Platform:
Xbox 360 with Kinect
Rating:
Everyone
Cost:
$49.99 (Kinect $169.99)
Link:
Marketplace.Xbox.com

Top 11 Video Games for Fitness

EA Sports Active 2
Looking for a real workout? This is your game. Equipped with three wireless sensors that connect to your gaming console, this unique fitness game will take you through an exhausting nine-week exercise program, featuring fitness routines ranging from cardio to upper body to custom. The arm sensor also serves as a heart rate monitor to track recovery time after exercising.

Platform:
Xbox 360, PS3, Wii
Rating:
Everyone
Cost:
$39.99
Link:
EA.com

Top 11 Video Games for Fitness

“Dance Central” (“Dance Central 2” available in mid-October)

Dance the pounds away by mimicking onscreen dance moves for high scores while gyrating to songs from Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue and more. A circle beneath the onscreen feet glows green when you hit the moves correctly, and red when you don’t. Master the moves individually (at the intensity of your choice) and then string ’em together in a dance battle while tracking calories burned.

Platform:
Xbox 360 with Kinect
Rating:
Everyone
Cost:
$49.99
Link:
DanceCentral.com

Top 11 Video Games for Fitness

EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp

These workouts let you train like an NFL player on the team of your choice, running and sprinting in place, kicking field goals and throwing footballs. The system uses a remote and two new sensors -- one on your thigh, the other on your arm -- to track movements. It also comes with a resistance band for strength-training exercises.

Platform:
Nintendo Wii
Rating:
Everyone
Cost:
$39.99
Link:
EA.com

Top 11 Video Games for Fitness

The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout

You might find the show annoying, but it gets results. So does this game. Hosted by trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper, “Ultimate Workout” provides a nutrition plan and 125 exercise regimens to help you lose weight and get in shape. The version for Xbox 360 with Kinect includes video diaries and the ability to connect with online workout friends for motivation and support.

Platform:
Xbox 360, Wii
Rating:
Everyone
Cost:
$49.99
Link:
BiggestLoserTheGame.com

Top 11 Video Games for Fitness

Zumba Fitness

More than 1 million gym-going fitness junkies swear by this Latin-dance-inspired fitness regimen, credited to celebrity trainer Beto Perez, who stumbled upon it in the ’90s. Now you can join the dance party in your living room, with nine dance styles -- including hip-hop, salsa, meringue, reggaeton and mambo -- 30 music tracks and multiplayer mode. It also tracks your movements and lets you know when you’re offbeat or out of step.

Platform:
Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii
Rating:
Everyone
Cost:
$39.99
Link:
ZumbaFitnessGame.com

Top 11 Video Games for Fitness

UFC Personal Trainer

If you think this -- or any other -- game will make you an MMA fighter, you are delusional. You will regret trying to use the moves in a bar fight, but this game will at least help you hone and tone with grueling, full-body MMA workouts for newbies and exercise diehards alike. Each exercise is shown onscreen, and your moves -- including speed, power and pace -- are tracked with pen-point accuracy to ensure you’re doing them correctly.

Platform:
Xbox Kinect, PlayStation Move
Rating:
Everyone
Cost:
$59.99
Link:
UFCPersonalTrainer.com

Top 11 Video Games for Fitness

Kung-Fu Live

This isn’t your typical exergame. Like “Street Fighter” or “Mortal Kombat,” it’s a fighting game -- but it’s you onscreen, not an avatar. Instead of using a game controller, you use your body and the PlayStation Eye camera, which offers Kinect-like functionality. You kick, your character kicks. You punch, your character punches. Plus, it provides one hell of a workout that’s dirt cheap.

Platform:
PlayStation 3
Rating:
Teen
Cost:
$14.99
Link:
KungFuLiveGame.com

Top 11 Video Games for Fitness

Adidas miCoach (For release in early 2012)

Want to train like the pros? Set your fitness goals and strap on a miCoach heart rate monitor, and then take on sport-specific, personalized training programs and instruction led by Adidas-endorsed athletes, such as NBA star Dwight Howard, Brazilian soccer great Kaka, and NFL defensive back Eric Berry. Plus, get real-time feedback on your actual in-game performance.

Platform: Xbox 360 Kinect or PlayStation 3 Move
Rating:
Everyone
Cost:
TBD
Link:
PPS3.IGN.com

Chuck Tannert has been covering technology -- everything from cameras, to MP3 players, to surround-sound speakers -- for more than 20 years. But he’s been playing video games for a lot longer: since the Atari 2600 was new and “Pac-Man” just hit the shelves. Chuck is the managing editor of Style and Tech for Men.

Tags: Fitness , Gaming