Kinect to Fitness
In January of this year I began a grueling diet and exercise journey with the end goal being that of weight loss. Most people understand how difficult such a journey can be. I don't know if its true, but I recently read that 50% of all U.S. Citizens started a diet at some point last year. I am not special, and fitting right in with the majority of dieters I have had my “ups” and “downs”.
One of the things that has been most difficult for me (not only in this diet, but in the past as well) has been dragging myself out of bed early to do cardio before work every morning. At the very beginning of my diet I started trying to run everyday. It was cold and I have asthma... This is not a good combination. Never mind that I was already if relatively poor shape. Now when I'm awake, not in horrible shape, and its nice out I can enjoy a good run. When I'm neither of first two and there is snow on the ground... not so much. I only made it out to run a few days before I gave up on that adventure.
My next failure would come at the pedals of my old busted up and broken placement bike. This was actually inside so I was able to avoid the cold. I was still miserable. I only managed to complete this task a few days longer than the running.
Now I realize that my “quitter” behavior is a direct reflection of my own weakness, laziness, and lack of discipline, but I really hate getting out of bed to begin with. Getting out of bed early just to torture myself has virtually no appeal what so ever.
This was a problem though because morning cardio offers great benefits to weight loss. I pondered it over and over, failing time and again to resolve this seemingly simple issue. I just couldn't find a way to get myself to workout consistently.
The Kinect Adventures game that comes with the Kinect is very family friendly, and includes a few games (Especially the obstacle course) that can offer a pretty descent workout.
This is the game that has the boxing I speak about in the article. I've had lots of fun with it, and the other sports it includes. This game is also pretty family friendly.
I've had a lot of fun with this game, and it is probably the one I play the most. The intensity level is just right for me to put in a 20 - 30 min. workout. It is less family friendly.
I included this game here because every nerd fiber of my body is tingling with excitement for the release of this game. I watched some gameplay videos... I can't wait.
The Answer To My Problem
Then one day a friend showed up with his XBOX Kinect. I sat there watching him play boxing on Motion Sports with minimal interest. After a bit, he encouraged me to try. At the time I really didn't feel up to it, but not wanting to disappoint my friend with the new toy he had just purchased, I got my lazy self up and played. I started boxing against the computer player. After he struck a few good shots against my face, I decided the computer man was getting beat. I went at the nonexistent video game boxer with everything I had. I ducked. I bobbed. I weaved. I threw jabs, hooks, and uppercuts. I moved like a butterfly and stung like a bee!
A few minutes and three knockdowns later I won. I then proceeded to throw my arms up in the air like a champ, and began yelling obscenities at my TV. This translates too... I was having a lot of fun.
After I calmed down a bit, I realized that I was sweating a little and actually breathing a little heavier. I decided to continue playing.
After a few more fights against both the computer and my friend (I won! Woohoo! Go me!), I was drenched in sweat and worn out. At one point during the last bout with my friend I just started twirling my arms like two wind mills hoping it would translate to the machine as an onslaught of punches because I was too tired to actually try.
That weekend I went and bought my own Kinect along with a couple of games. It cost me the same or less than I would have paid for a new exercise bike or elliptical. I excitedly ran home and got it set up.
The theory behind my purchase was that I believed I wouldn't have nearly as much trouble dragging myself out of bed early to workout if I was going to be doing my workout in the format of a fun video game.
Admittedly, I still occasionally still occasionally skip my morning workouts (*Cough* today), but for the most part I actually look forward to getting up in the morning and playing Kinect games (I have to admit I am a big child).
Playing football, boxing, or even just running through the obstacle course on the Kinect included game (Kinect Adventures) is way more appealing than running or riding a placement bike for me.
Being a typical male, I tend to lean more towards the sports and fighting games. However there a few Kinect games that are actually fitness games I think could be interesting. I also know there are a handful of dancing games (That my girlfriend will eventually make me play). There also seems to be many kid oriented games. With the Kinect still being relatively new I'm sure there are tons of titles to come.
I've included another Amazon capsule so I can show you some of the other options out there since I haven't personally explored a lot of the different options myself. Some of these I have some interest in trying, and as I do I will update the information in this article.
My Own Personal Diet Story
- A Roller Coaster Diet, The Story of Success and Failure of One Man's Diet.
This is an article I wrote about my own current diet with both it's successes and failures.
My Diet advice
- A Fat Man's Weight Loss Advice
This is an article I wrote hoping to offer advice and guidance to others on their own weight loss journey.
The Morale of the Story
The morale of the story is that exercise doesn't have to be miserable. We all tend to think of dieting and exercise in negative terms. It doesn't have to be this way. I have found a great enjoyment for working out with my Kinect on a daily basis. Since it's purchase I have lost approximately fifteen pounds through proper dieting and exercising regularly. I use the Kinect almost every morning, and a lot of times in the evening too.
Maybe Kinect isn't the answer for you, as it was for me, but there is no reason you should be miserable to work out. Get creative! Find a way to enjoy your workouts like I did, and before you know it you will not only be doing something healthy for yourself but looking forward to your workouts.