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The best fitness video games

Don’t have time to go to the gym? No problem – there has never been a better time to stay at home and get your workout in front of the flat screen. With all three major video game systems now offering sensor and motion controller options, there has been a flood of new games that will get you up off the couch and burning those calories.

Whether you want to lose weight, get a high-octane workout, or just practice a few dance moves, there is a fitness game that’s right for you. Here are a few of the best:

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved

Perhaps the best fitness game on the market today. Your Shape asks you to enter your age, weight, and exercise habits, and uses the Kinect motion controller to measure your body size and structure. The game then takes you through a range of cardio and muscular routines specifically tailored to your fitness level. The all-seeing Kinect sensors make sure you can’t cheat and you are marked for how well stay in rhythm with the on-screen instructor. Easy to follow and fun to do.

Publisher: Ubisoft
System: Xbox 360 with Kinect
Price: $49.99
Rating: “E” for Everyone

EA Sports Active 2

If you are sincere about committing to a serious home-based workout program, then look no further than EA Active 2. The game comes with three wireless sensors to monitor your performance and heart rate, as you work your way through a punishing series of routines. There are numerous exercises in various different categories – from cardio to upper body – and everything can be customized to suit your own individual needs.

Publisher: EA Sports
System: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii
Price: $99.95 ($59.99 at Amazon.com)
Rating: “E” for Everyone

Wii Fit Plus

Wii Fit Plus improves on the excellent Wii Fit and includes more than 40 types of training activities designed to appeal to everyone from casual gamers to hardcore fitness buffs. Uses the Wii Balance Board to weigh you and calculate body mass index. Allows full customization of routines, so you can focus on specific parts of their bodies.

Publisher: Nintendo
System: Wii
Price: $19.99 (software only); $99.99 with Balance Board
Rating: “E” for Everyone

The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout

Based on the hit NBC reality show, this game features over 125 exercises that will help you lose weight and get in shape. Hosted by trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper, the game provides a nutrition plan as well as an exercise regimen. The Xbox 360 with Kinect version includes several unique features, such as video diaries and the ability to connect with online workout friends for motivation and support.

Publisher: THQ
System: Xbox 360, Wii
Price: $49.99
Rating: “E” for Everyone

Active NFL Training Camp

If you have ever fantasized about being an NFL player, this could be the closest you will ever get! Your All-Pro workout includes over 70 drills and challenges designed to improve strength, power, and conditioning. (Some exercise require the Wii Balance Board, which is not included.) You can choose which NFL team you are training with, and even workout alongside your favorite players. A gruff-voiced coach provides the appropriate words of encouragement.

Publisher: EA Sports
System: Wii
Price: $99.95
Rating: “E” for Everyone

Zumba Fitness

Nearly 1 million Americans have taken up the Zumba dance workout craze. The nine different dance styles include hip-hop, salsa, meringue, reggaeton and mambo. The Xbox 360 and PS3 versions use the Kinect and Move motion sensors for a more interactive dance experience. Designed largely for existing enthusiasts, Zumba Fitness is short on instructions but long on high-energy, calorie-burning workouts.

Publisher: Majesco
System: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii
Price: $39.99
Rating: “E” for Everyone

Dance Central

Not really a fitness game but just too much fun to leave off the list! An instructor will take you through each individual dance move and then you string them all together for the full routine. Dance Central features tracks from Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and dozens of other top artists. If you want a little company on the dance floor, you can face off against friends and family in Dance Battle mode.

Publisher: Harmonix
System: Xbox 360 with Kinect
Price: $49.99
Rating: “T” for Teen

Comment by JPGStart, posted 3/28/2012, 5:08 PM:

I have the WII fit and the Zumba for the WII but I still like working out to my best fitness DVDs. I do still use the WII for variety in my work outs though. A lot of the games with the systems get you off the couch and moving also. The most important thing is to get in that extra movement above and beyond what your normal is every day. http://revupforfitness.com/
Comment by Carlota Tamarinda, posted 12/7/2011, 5:28 PM:

These are great exercise-inducers disguised as games. Whatever helps our kids get off the couch and break a sweat is welcomed - even more so when they think they're getting away with playing video games more frequently than they should.
I will be purchasing one of these games today based on the information provided on this article. Many thanks!
Comment by NNP, posted 7/29/2011, 12:05 AM:

Great article!

I am about to get a Wii myself.

Also, we have to make sure we are eating well with exercise.

Top 10 foods that will make you fat.


Comment by Brian, posted 4/2/2011, 2:02 PM:

I have EA Sports Active 2 and I abolutely love it. <a href="http://www.fitnessgearreviewed.com/Exercise-Video-Games-Reviews.html">Exercise Video Games</a> are really great for the whole family.
Comment by Shana Schmitz, posted 3/30/2011, 11:59 AM:

We have gotten a lot of use out of our Wii Fit Plus but the kids are on to Just Dance and they can really get a sweat going while having lots of fun.
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