It's the end of the first full week of 2021! We hope you've had a pleasant and productive week despite general evidence to suggest that 2021 may end up being Part II to 2020's Godfather (or should that be Scary Movie II to 2020's Scary Movie?).
While it arguably takes a brave person to make solid New Year resolutions when the global and local situation can turn on a dime and scupper your plans for Dry January to run a marathon every week, it's still important to remember that things won't always be like they are right now, and it's vital to think about our physical and mental health in these stressful times.
Switch has a growing list of games to help you exercise and keep fit, and we looked recently at Healthy Gaming Tips to help avoid common aches and pains related to our favourite interactive hobby, but today we thought we'd take a moment to explore how Nintendo Life staff and contributors like to keep active and healthy on a broader scale. As you can well imagine, sitting in front of our laptops, desktops, tablets and other technological detritus to bring you news, reviews, features, interviews, topical talking points, polls, lists and generally entertain you with the gamut of the gaming industry's offerings isn't totally conducive to keeping our body's ready for activities that don't involve having a controller in our hands.
So, let's take a look at the regimes and activities — game-related and otherwise — that Team Nintendo Life uses to stay in shape and remain the fine specimens of personhood we are.
Gonçalo Lopes - Reviewer
New Year, new me, right?
WRONG! Every single day is “new me”. Although I have been blessed with exceptional genetics from my family’s gene pool, ever since wrapping up college I do spend an unhealthy amount of time doing my “real job” sitting down in front of a computer. I counter that by simply walking every single day, from both home to work and wherever else I need to visit in my fair city.
I'm not a huge fan of gyms because of, you know, 'other people' so I built one at home, something that became surprisingly easy by simply owning a Nintendo Switch with a choice selection of titles. No, not Just Dance but that one will surely work for well coordinated folks with no neighbours. I meant the original Fitness Boxing, Ring Fit Adventure and the latest Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise. While Nintendo’s offering provided me with a three-hundred-day streak with the game's main quest mode just last year, I still use it every week to do some of my favourite exercises with the custom workout mode.
However, a daily thirty-minute date with one of the virtual PTs from Fitness Boxing 2 has become mandatory, a ritual I shall continue until my Summer vacation where I will replace all Switch exercise with proper swimming at the beach.
It is true that Animal Crossing: New Horizons kept our mental health up during last year, but Ring Fit Adventure turned out to be equally important when suddenly a lot of folks found themselves working from home with all the gyms shut down. In the end it all comes down to discipline and a healthy diet. Fortunately, I've got buckets of those.
Ollie Reynolds - Reviewer
2020 has done a number on my fitness, as I'm sure is the case with most people! I used to run weekly 5km parkruns with the local community, but now my exercise mostly consists of a few jogs here and there around the estate.
I occasionally pop in a workout DVD if I'm feeling particularly out of shape, but this is honestly few and far between. If I had any advice though, it would be this: drink water. Lots of it! The benefit of water on your fitness and overall health is truly remarkable, and it's made me feel more alert and positive during such weird, uncertain times.
Anthony Dickens - Managing Director
I'm one of those people that does actually like to use the end of one year and the beginning of another to reassess things, it's the perfect reset moment for me — even though I accept it could be done at any other time of the year.
I'm probably the most unfit I've been for a number of years, that's partly down to the pandemic as I've not been able to play football since late 2019, and minimal attendance at the physical NL office means I cycled far less in 2020. That compounded with a few little injuries meant my former running schedule had completely gone out of the window. Add some life situation changes (eg. having a small human) and my exercise has suffered.
The good news is that I've gotten to a place now where change can happen. As of 1st Jan I've started running again and upped the frequency to every other day. On the off days I'm seeing if I can factor in some gaming-related fitness. Like many, I've had Ring Fit Adventure since it was released but honestly haven't played past the first "world".
So I'm giving that another shot and will be trying out Fitness Boxing this weekend as I still have fond memories of Wii Sports Boxing and hopefully it'll provide a totally different workout to my running.
Even after a few days I can feel a massive mental health benefit. Doing some form of exercise really does dust off the cobwebs of both body and mind for me and I'm looking forward to seeing how long I can keep things going and get back to the shape I was in a couple of years ago.
Kate Gray - Staff Writer
I used to love going out to eat. The pandemic has made going out to eat quite hard. Actually, it's made going out at all quite hard. You'd think that would save me a ton of money and lose me a ton of weight, but no - I also got really, really into cooking. Like, "spend £50 on spices in one shopping trip" into cooking.
And, let's be real: the pandemic isn't doing great things for my mental health, either! I've been a long-time sufferer of anxiety and depression, and though I have them relatively under control, I wasn't exactly prepared for a year of staying inside and not seeing the sun.
So, finally, around the end of 2020, I realised that maybe it was time to get back into shape. I used to walk a lot, but now I live in Canada where it is too cold to breathe in the wintertime (I'm not kidding - the inside of your nose freezes and it is quite unpleasant). My partner has owned Ring Fit Adventure since its release, whereas I couldn't get my hands on it, so I've just nicked his copy. He's level 100. I'm level 8. But what he doesn't know is that I've been doing a sneaky extra ten minutes of Ring Fit a day, so soon I'll be level 200, and I will give him a wedgie. Take that, nerd!
Mitch Vogel - Reviewer
The pandemic has seriously screwed with my exercise regimen. Prior to, uh, *gestures broadly at everything* I was hitting up my local gym four days a week and following a weightlifting program that I was making some solid progress with. Then the pandemic hit and I became trapped inside along with the rest of the sane world, so I had to resort to doing various calisthenics workouts and utilizing various prison-style solutions to common exercises. My favorite of these was doing incline rows by shutting a bedsheet in a door and using it to do pull ups with my body hanging parallel to the ground.
Then my brother-in-law—who helps manage the apartment complex he lives in—found a water storage room where he could build a personal gym. Over the past few months, we’ve amassed a nice collection of dumbbells, weights, and even a bench to give a gym-like experience on a cheap budget. Since then, I’ve largely returned to my pre-pandemic grind. My current one rep max on bench is 315, my deadlift is 305, and my overhead press is 175, and I’m hopeful that I can start to push those numbers a little higher in the next few weeks. It’s just like building another character when Diablo III puts out a new season!
I focus my workouts around compound lifts—meaning those which hit multiple muscle groups—and start with three sets of five at 65%, 75%, and 85%, respectively, then I drop down and do five sets of ten at 50%. In between each lift, I do ten dragonflies, and go up to eighty or one hundred of those depending on the day. As the weeks go on, the percentages increase or decrease depending on what the program calls for, while the numbers ever so slowly go up over time. The key here is making small, but consistent gains week over week, supported by well-measured workouts and a lot of eating!
Gavin Lane - Features Editor
The last couple of years haven't been my finest when it comes to keeping in shape. The bike's in pieces on the balcony and following the pitter-patter of tiny feet in 2019, my already-limited exercise activities were reduced to lifting a small (but growing) person, carrying them and/or depositing them in another location, approximately 300 times a day. In fact, after feeling the effects of my otherwise sedentary existence for more than a year, I'd finally managed to carve out an hour and book a tennis court on a Tuesday evening in March 2020... which was obviously cancelled within a couple of days for the same reason everything else got canned last year.
So, having hobbled through last year with some light ailments, tiredness and general 2020 malaise, I'm probably not the best qualified to deliver keep-fit advice right now. Having said that, there's one important thing that's kept me more-or-less mobile and it's something no-one else has mentioned explicitly: stretching.
No, it's hardly a #No1TopFitTip, but a spell of sciatica a decade ago (brought on by lugging loads of heavy books around in a sub-par backpack) brought home just how important it is to stretch out morning and night, even if you're not going for a run or doing deadlifts. You'll find plenty of helpful articles online without me detailing them here, but the 'lying deep gluteal stretch' is a real winner prior to getting up or going to bed.
Darren Calvert - Operations Director
I find that the start of a new year is an excellent chance to form some new habits that will help manage everyday life stresses. On the Nlife team, I am known as something of an avid road cyclist, and while it’s true that I’ve been known to don lycra and bash out 100-mile rides, in 2020 with everything going on in the world I must admit my enthusiasm waned a bit and I found myself looking for different kinds of challenges that could fit into my more easily into my lockdown lifestyle. Many of my reasons for cycling were mostly social and with group rides and long cafe stops becoming problematic, I started running last year.
While it wasn’t an easy transition to make from cycling at the time, after a few weeks, I was able to run 5k, then 10k without needing to stop. I find a good run really clears my head of whatever stresses life brings, at least for a while. I’m in my 40s now and the older I get, I recognise how important it is not to neglect your own mental health and find things to recharge your batteries throughout the day. That could be anything like reading a good book, going for a walk and admiring nature or catching up with some friends over Zoom. It’s worth experimenting with what you find most beneficial to lift your spirits in these trying times.
We’re homeschooling two kids at the moment during the third UK lockdown and that can be quite trying at times. It’s easy to get cabin fever, so I encourage the kids to get outside once a day while the weather is good and get some fresh air. This isn’t only so we get some peace and quiet, they come back energised and more ready to learn. Schools in the UK are promoting Joe Wicks workouts before morning lessons, but my two much prefer a quick round on Just Dance or Ring Fit Adventure to get them limbered up for the day.
2021 looks set to be another challenging year so far, so while we all wait for the vaccine, it’s important to do what we can to stay sane. For me I find trying to make healthy choices with what I eat and finding a moment to do some moderate exercise every day keeps me sane. Well mostly sane, at least!
- Best Nintendo Switch Fitness And Exercise Games
- Healthy Gaming Tips To Help Avoid Common Aches And Pains
How are you managing to stay in shape at the moment? Feel free to share your tips, tricks and regimes for keeping active and fighting the pandemic paunch below.
As 2020. Trail running and HIIT at home. Haven't been to the gym since March.
Currently injured though and it's making me miserable.
What is this "fit" and "active" you speak of? Also, Beat Saber.
I've never worked out consistently in my life. The closest I came was an early-morning walking regimen last year before it got cold.
But I recently gifted myself Ring Fit Adventure and it is making a difference. The gamer in me really enjoys the RPG elements, and I like how it's making me sweat with movements I didn't think would be so hard. I'm coming up on 13 days of use and I've convinced my brother to give it a try, too.
Free-weights! Being a cardio bunny is boring.
Health experts have said, if you need to get movement in your life just start walking. It’s a very good thing to do if it’s all you can manage.
Just Say No to Exercise.
@jump can be, but nothing's proven to be better for me than going for a run to clear my head. But that's why I run trails - far more demanding than roads as you need to pay attention to where your feet are landing!
Exercise is lame and too much effort. I'm perfectly content in my nihilistic death march fuelled by energy drinks, fast food, and 5 hours of sleep per night.
@TheBigK Fatalism at it's finest.
As much as exercising helps and is important (it is), diet is a bigger factor in how you look and feel.
As a fellow gamer, we do not exercise. We ride on our epic gamer chairs to go around the house, and we don't go to whatever the hell an outside is! We use Doordash and Grubhub to get our daily McDonald's, and we hate these exercise gaems! Ew, Ring Fit Adventure!? I can't even fit a rig on my finger!
@NinChocolate That's what I do. I started going for a daily walk for an hour or more when the government said we could go out once for "daily exercise" during the peak of the pandemic lockdown and continued the habit thereafter, as it became part of my routine. 😃
I don't really like fitness videogames. Games are my relaxing time.
Where is Wii sports U? Nintendo has totally dropped the ball by not putting out a Wii Sports U game.
I press Y to make Mario sprint faster. It makes me feel like I’m running too
I work IT, so my day consists of running around a huge (empty) office, and hauling armfuls of laptops and big monitors up and down stairs every day. So that's how I do it
Simple: Strict keto. If it’s not strict, it’s not keto.
2020 ruined me tbh. Used to be pretty fit as I was active and on my feet a lot. Looks like I won’t be going back to uni in person until March at the earliest so I guess I’ll try to start a fitness kick. I’m typing this while making a giant lasagne so I don’t think I’ll make it.
I have a football field near my flat, so I jog around there 4 times a week. I gotta say, I hate the winter, but jogging in minus temps has made this winter, and walking around the city, much more enjoyable.
Plus, I feel less guilty gaming in my free time
@NinChocolate I walk all the time from the car to the McDonalds or Wendy's.
I do a walk around the park every day and do some exercises at home. I've not been this active since childhood and have not played games this few for years.
Please let there be some new games announced soon as this article stinks of filler. Nobody who comes to this website cares about your gym habits.
160+ Exercise hours in RFA.
What is Wii Sports Club?
As a software engineer for a global corporation, between work and family (wife and children) I hardly get much time to myself. About the most exercise I get is my standing desk which I try to utilize for the most part of the day...
I do a 2.6 mile walk most days of the week during my work lunch break. It takes me 40 minutes, so that's an average speed of 3.9mph.
When the weather was good I bought a skipping rope for the days I didn't have time for the walk, so now it's winter I'm substituting that with Fitness Boxing.
When I was put on Furlough back in Mach 2020, I decided to get out We Cheer 2 and play that for 30 mins each day. It's an interesting title that you use two Wii Remotes to act as Pom Poms, which acts as a great way to move your arms and legs. It has an Exercise mode, which is perfect for quick exercises to some decent music.
Running and walking daily for exercise. Taking the bike to work. Trying not to eat unhealthy stuff often.
@Murbs Trail running...best thing since sliced bread.
Great article. Definitely added onto my home gym this year and now have everything I need. Still doing a two hour session of ring fit adventure once a week too.
I enjoyed the article. I either spend an hour doing rollerskating as soon as I wake up, or will do stuff with lights free weights, kettlebells, and resistance bands if too cold
Combination of resistance bands and HIIT via Apple Fitness+. I’ve tried video games fitness stuff before but I’ve never managed to stick with it.
Also, for those that spend a lot of time on the computer at a desk - think about investing in a desk peddle cycle for your feet. No, it won't make you fit, but the continuous movement over a period of your working day will burn a good amount of calories, and it is better to have some movement than none!
Wow, I'm pretty impressed with some of the physical activities NL staff do. Thanks for the article @dartmonkey @antdickens This may motivate me to up my exercising a bit more than I've been doing, which has kind of been a bare minimum to keep from adding winter weight.
Noticed my winter weight creeping up back in November (2 months earlier than normal), bought Nike thermal running leggings, started running in the cold 1-2x/week(20s-30s F!! that's -5 to 10s C?) - I've NEVER run in the cold before. I just do a mile, cause I hate running, but it's more than not-running. Also do 8min abs 1-2x/week, couple sets of 20 pushups. Modest things, but better than nothing. (When it's warm out I run, and get extreme on the bike.)
Healthy snack - cooked broccoli & hummus -it tastes good af, believe it or not. Just keep firm cooked broccoli in the fridge, it's super easy to pull out. I've been blowing through large frozen broccoli bags way faster these days
I was doing great last year, and I had a regular routine which started with Ring Fit, and eventually added other exercise equipment into my weekly routines. I was noticing improvements in my stamina and physique, and as someone who's physically active, but not really athletic, it was pretty encouraging and felt great. Also helped with a lot of my lower back issues.
Then we started getting renovations done to the house, and we piled up all our furniture into the living room for a month or so, and then the holidays took over. I dropped all excersising entirely from about the end of October, and have lost all momentum I had going.
Yesterday was actually the first day I took out Hyrule Warriors and put Ring Fit back into the Switch in an attempt to get back on the saddle. My motivation is lacking these days, so time will tell. But goofing off in an interactive videogame is definitely the least intimidating approach I can think of.
I go for a power walk or a run 6-7 days a week. 45-60 minutes of free weights 5-6 days a week. 20 minute Ab circuit 3-4 days a week. Eat 100% home cooked meals. Drink 2-4 litres of water per day. And make sure I get at least 10-20 minutes of direct sunlight every day.
This all ensures I will live to 100 years old (or 42, it could go either way, lol).
Drink British milk and eat British meat. I’m not a farmer or anything so not even biased.......🤪 I’ve been keeping fit by working 14 hr days seven days a week.
Thankfully I've stayed working through the pandemic. My job requires a lot of physical effort so in a sense, I get paid to work out 👍
This talking point seems to be a subliminal advertisment for Ring Fit Adventure. 😱
Animal Crossing New Horizons help me keep me sane during this stupid pandemic.
Q: "How are you managing to stay in shape at the moment?"
My answer: Since i couldn't play Dance Dance Revolution Arcade at my local Game Arcade during Covid19 pandemic, i played Para Para Paradise PS2 with actual infra red sensor controller to play. The way you play just swing your arms through the invisible laser from the ground to register the direction you see from the screen. Para Para Paradise was like Dance Dance Revolution in hand style.
And this is how did i play Para Para Paradise at home.
I'm sure Ring Fit is a better overall workout but I can't get enough of ARMS. It's really fun, and I'm usually sweaty after a few matches. Then I got some weighted gloves I use with it sometimes, and it makes the exercise more intense.
Same thing what I have been doing for years, my usual jog around the neighborhood. Although the Fitness Boxing game was fun and came in handy at times when I’m not able to go jogging. I might get the sequel at a discount.
Stretching, chilling , press ups to video games after 5 minutes. Walking with nature, a slice of fugazi music. And plenty of video game. Mental and physical life sorted take care everyone xxx
I could dance better with actual Para Para Paradise Arcade at local Game Arcade.
Too bad, the machines have been removed from all my local game arcade last June 2018 due to lost its popularity.
But i still able to play Para Para Paradise PS2 version at home since the songlist was 100% same from 1st Mix Plus version.
I spend ten hours a day lifting, walking and restraining big dogs in bad moods, so staying active is not a thing I worry about. I do like to work out, though. Hate gyms, but I'm pretty good about exercising at home, mostly cardio and yoga.
For most of 2020 I was using RFA for my workouts, but a work injury has shut that down for the last couple of months. It's just now getting better, and I might start back up with yoga or something.
I keep trying to get regular with Ring Fit because when I do do it regularly I do seem to feel better but different life commitments or changes keep making it difficult. I got back into it during October but then covid beginning of November and haven't felt right since. I am waiting for the okay from the Dr. to make sure I don't have blood clotting or any other serious issues going on and then I plan to start exercising again despite how my body feels to see if I can get back to normal. I have been thankful for a game like ring fit though, it was a great investment.
Eating 6 times a day. And biking, walking, calisthenics, resistance bands. My limited weight set quickly becomes boring. The real problem is sitting still long enough to get any gaming done. I genuinely dislike sitting on the sofa. It's mostly used for throwing cables and controllers on when testing retro console mods.
I bought Ring Fit last march when the 1st quarantine started
I said to myself , time to get fit and healthy
Fast forward , January 9th 2021, 2nd quarantine , Ring fit is still sealed in the box and me, not fit or healthy .
Hmm i think it's time to have a word with my depression
Currently operating a personal version of carbon offsetting where I need to run 2 miles to justify each beer I have. Not sure if the maths checks out there
@arpaktiko look at the bright side. You have a mint condition collector's item which will be worth a lot of money in a few years, especially if you hang on to it until there's another pandemic and people want to get vintage fit during lockdowns.
On Day 11 of Ring Fit Adventure so far! I've already lost some weight and I have a lot of fun playing it. It really works and if you're on the fence about buying it, I'd say it's definitely worth it. My parents got it for me for Christmas. I didn't ask for it but now I find myself looking forward to exercise which definitely wasn't the case before.
@InAnotherCastle Don't jinx us, man!!
@Nintendo_Thumb Yeah, I recently got these weighted wrist things out thinking I'd use them with Fitness Boxing 1 & 2, Taiko no tatsujin, etc. But they've just been sitting on a chair near where I play Rocket League, Breath of the Wild, and other sedentary games.
@BongoBongo Sounds like carb offsetting
I was playing both Fitness Boxing games a fair bit, but haven't been doing much at all the past week or so. I'm so tired of the pandemic and endless varieties of dumb and uncaring things people are doing. I quit my otherwise lovely job because they wouldn't test anyone for Covid-19 or require people to wear masks, even around 100 year old people with health problems. I'm not excited about my new job, but I need to get working because that's my main exercise — helping elderly folks with showers, mobility, medications, eating, etc. I've also been enjoying longboarding and kayaking. The last time I went kayaking I ran into some ice. It was shocking because I was in the shade of evergreens and a hill by the shore and the water was totally still in this small cove of the lake so I couldn't see the ice. So I just started when I heard the ice crunching as he front of my kayak sliced through it. It was kinda cool actually. But that was like 6 weeks ago.
I keep wanting to get a wii balance board again. I love Wii Fit U plus and I have it on my Wii U. Just gotta get a balance board again and hook up the good old Wii U.
Calorie deficit, weights, walking.
Almost got to my target weight last year, only 3kgs off, before the holidays hit and I splurged eating a bit too much.
So back to the discipline. Any body composition goals you have, patience and consistency are key.
@JasmineDragon I'll wish you luck instead! Perhaps it's worth to mention that I'm really just trying to keep all the good routines going which were painstakingly built during last year. In a world of chaos it's not easy to hang on to a healthy lifestyle. In my experience, being at home day after day even puts at risk the enjoyment of all the little things that we normally look forward to as the break from the outside world. Now there's only a break, and the world seemingly only exists on the outside.
Bought Fitness Boxing 2 in digital so I can just dock my Switch to TV and box away every day. Not cheap but totally utterly worth it because boxing is guaranteed weight loss.
The less barriers to exercise the more likely exercise is to happen.
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