Not all games require mere thumb-dwiddling. And not all games make couch potatoes of gamers. Work out games that require contraction of real muscles and an intact nervous system actually exist. Some games are designed to make the gamer reach his her own target heart rate, improve muscle tone, and provide cardiovascular conditioning in real life.
However, whether a work out game causes the intended effects depends on you definition of what a work out is and how much muscle you are willing to invest. Whether people do use them to burn calories is actually up to them. And then there are work out games that are not really intended to work out muscles – at least not the gamer’s muscles. Here’s a quick look at some of the more popular games that people come across when are looking for a virtual work out of some kind.
10. Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party 4
When Dance Revolution first came out, many people who were too shy to admit that they liked to dance but couldn’t glide across the floor like real dancers do, came out of the closet. It’s really like grooving to a beat but with so much more work out you feel as if you’ve just completed a routine for a dance championship. And since Bad Romance is now on the playlist, this one is for those who live to sweat.
9. Hollywood Workout
Since the average gamer-cum-exercise buff cannot afford a personal trainer, Harley Pasternak’s “Hollywood Workout” could provide the fitness program that you need in order to get The Rock’s pectorals, Jeremy Renner’s arms, and Rihanna’s firm figure. This one is for the serious exercise buff, though. Full commitment requires a 5-day 25-minute regimen. You’d need an A-list get-up, of course, because everyone in Hollywood exercises in proper attire.
8. Wii Fit Plus
Since the creators of Wii mean to rehabilitate couch potatoes, or at least get them off the couch and in the standing position at the least, it is only possible to not sweat it out with the Wii Fit Plus if you decide to shelf it. Now that the number of calories burned is based on the MET, and the hours spent exercising are being accurately and consistently tracked, the 21 new exercises should be more than enough for the Wii fanatics get their target weight in no time.
7. Punch Out
Perhaps the best thing about this game is that you can choose which muscle or muscles you are willing to punish. There is no real opponent so the only sore muscles are yours. And if you want to sacrifice nothing more than the muscles that move and stabilize your thumb, then that is your prerogative. But if you are serious about exercising, maximize the Wii features, stand on the balance board, and punch the day away.
6. Workout in the Park
This is a Facebook fitness game by Self that is the epitome of actual exercise and virtual gaming, which has since emerged as the preferred lifestyle of many since online gaming dominated homes and workstations. One of the most attractive aspects, aside from the fact that you make your own fitness park, your muscle tone, is that you can choose “’hip’ work out gear.” Watch out, because game updates are “tied to real-life events.”
5. Wacky Workout
This four-level arcade game reveals the body type and the person’s fitness chart presents all the information on one’s health and fitness status. It requires the gamer to drag, drop, and modify the intensity of the workout. All you need is an optical mouse and the muscles of your arm and hand.
4. Cargo Bridge 2
This game requires a different level of work out. Cargo Bridge 2 requires you to work hard at building bridges so that precious heavy cargo gets across and home safe. All that building and constructing could take hours and hours, and you may find yourself sweating it out like you’ve never sweated it out before. It’s worth mentioning that you only need to work out your “brain muscle” which in reality does not exist because human brain is all nervous tissue. This is an online physics game, by the way, but a workout just the same.
3. Vans Finger Fracture
This iPhone skateboarding game is undeniably and very possibly a great finger workout given the obvious control requirements. The bad news is, it is as of this writing still an idea, and Vans is evidently dragged in just to get people’s gears going (no word from them). That particular game screen (see photo) is apparently borrowed from Pro Skater (by Tony Hawk). But, gamers take heart. An idea (or an inception) is a powerful thing.
2. Work Out Style
Girls do need a great workout get-up both in real life and in the virtual world of online gaming. This very girly work out game is all about getting dressed up and accessorized for the five minutes (maybe more, who knows) you’d spend (or not) on a virtual treadmill (is there?). There is no sense working out and looking all flabby while you’re at it.
1. The Douchebag Workout
Parodies are often funny and this work out game promises many hours of guaranteed fun as the gamer aims for the “Ultimate Douchebag Workout Super Duty Master Flex.” The goal is perfection, not just in muscle mass and body form, but in douche-ness as well. Need we mention that there is no actual workout required of you at all?