5 New Year’s Resolution Exercise and Fitness Games to Get Your Butt In Shape


It’s probably a safe bet that much like me you’re probably feeling a little sluggish this week. Maybe you over indulged the past couple weeks on vast amounts of cookies, candies, and other holiday treats. Now that the holidays are over, and a new year has begun many have set resolutions and are looking to get back on track, perhaps lose weight, get stronger, be healthier. If you follow me on social media, you’ll often see that I’m usually blabbing away about my latest running achievement or my killer boot camp class along with my love of video games. So needless to say, I’m a big fan of exercise games as they combine two of my favourite things. If you’re looking to ease into a workout program, or supplement your existing routine, or take things up a notch, here are few of my favourite exercise games that will help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions past January:

Just Dance 2015 (multiple platforms)

I’m a big fan of using the Just Dance games as part of a fitness routine. They are a not only a blast to play, but the vigorous dance moves and challenges will certainly make you sweat. From Pharrell Williams to Gloria Gaynor, Just Dance 2015 offers a fantastic soundtrack with a wide range of music for you to bust a move, and the alternate routines and remixes offer great replay value. You can easily play this for an hour or more, and with a potential calorie burn of 15 to 30 calories per song. Just Dance 2015 is a great way to add some fun to your usual workout routine.

Xbox Fitness (Xbox One)

Not really a game so to speak, but I can’t speak of exergames without mentioning this fantastic program on Xbox One. With famous trainers like Tony Horton, Jillian Michaels, Shaun T and Tracey Anderson, there are numerous interactive workouts to complete, many free with an Xbox Live gold membership. While the trainers above are well known for some of their extremely challenging workouts, such as P90x and Insanity, there is something for all activity levels. And there’s no cheating on your workout here! The Kinect sensor detects muscle movement, pulse, and energy levels, so half hearted attempts will certainly be noticed. And while it’s not a game, you are awarded achievements for your progress, and nice added incentive to get up off the couch and start sweating.

Shape Up (Xbox One)

I’m still in the midst of playing through this game, but I can tell you that Shape Up offers a challenging workout hidden within with fun mini games, quite similar to those found in the Your Shape games. The graphics aren’t that spectacular to look at, seemingly rather dated, and you do need quite a bit of space to workout, but you’ll certainly work up a sweat with the numerous game modes available.There is a 4 week Training Quest mode, and a Workout mode that offers standard exercises to perform, but the real fun is in the 90 second rapid fire challenges that target specific muscle groups. You’ll squat, do pushups, punch, kick, twist in weird scenarios like shooting aliens,smashing melons on your knee, surfing, visiting the moon, run on top of a speeding train, even use your body to drill to the bottom of the ocean. Shape Up is simple, it’s fun and it’s effective and adds an interesting twist to workout routine.

Nike + Kinect Training (Xbox 360)

This is a previous gen title, but still worth a mention as it’s one of the more challenging exergames out there, something you may be able to pick up quite cheap now. You’ll need a lot of room to workout, and sometimes the Kinect doesn’t always sense you, but my goodness, you will be pretty exhausted after performing one of these workouts. There are 3 goals to choose from: Get Lean, Get Toned or Get Strong, and with exercises to test your speed, agility, stamina and reaction, you’ll be doing push ups, squatting, and lots (and I mean lots) of plyometric exercise. The game, after a brief assessment, will provide you with a 4 week program to follow, and also awards Nike Fuel point for those with a Nike + account. Perhaps not as fun as some of the other games in the genre, as it closely resembles working out with a personal trainer or participating in a fitness class at the gym, but certainly one of the better workouts you’ll get from a console game.

Wii Fit U (Wii U)

You can’t can have a list of exercise games without mentioning the wildly popular Wii Fit. This game was the reason many purchased the Wii system and the balance board peripheral. It’s back on the Wii U system, not straying far from the formula that made it so famous.

There is a huge variety of exercises, 70 in total, with something to offer for all activity levels, including a new Dance Mode. The newly added Personal Training mode allows you to customize your workouts, and the GamePad tablet allows for Off TV play, and the camera can be used to check your form when performing strength training moves or yoga poses. There is a new optional peripheral, the Fit Meter, which can be used outside of the game to track your movements, much like a pedometer, and you can then transfer the data into your Wii Fit profile. Perhaps not as challenging as some of the other exercise games in the market, but Wii Fit U still offers a fantastic workout for those who might otherwise be sedentary.

These are just a few of the numerous exercise game available for you to get in shape in the comfort of your own home. With commitment and enthusiasm, much like any workout program, using these games can help keep you on the right track, leading the way to a healthier lifestyle. There are many, including myself, who have lost weight by including an exercise game in their workout routine, and I find it’s a great way those who may be intimidated by working out in a gym setting to start getting in shape. Truly a fun and effective way to help you stick with your New Years resolution! Have you had success using an exercise game to get in shape? Please feel free to comment below to share your story.