Exercising on a Budget: With a Wii

After great fully-fledged gyms in college, a gym subscription can seem like a necessity. Unfortunately, with the time, travel, and cost, gyms are kind of the worst. Although Wiis have a high initial cost, you can get previous generations and slightly older games used for very cheap. Don't forget to ask friends as well!


Set-up: 
-Make sure you have enough room in your apartment for you to comfortably move your arms and take a small step to either side. 
-Double-check with your roommate if there are specific times to exercise that are better. 
-Don't forget to check you have a TV or compatible computer for your Wii!

Best Games: 
-Dance 2014: Top 40 songs for those who are more enthusiastic than talented at dancing. There's a lot of moving your hands up and down and walking side to side to songs like Blurred Lines and Gentleman. In this version, there is a sweat mode which is great: you can just pick your time (10, 20, 40) and it will pick your songs for you. I have accumulated the other Dance titles, and I would say this is the most responsive of the series; still, if you enjoy the songs of Dance 3 or 4 better, get that edition! (The Broadway version is terrible though-do not get it! it's way too slow for a workout)

-Hip Hop Dance: Even if you don't love rap or R&B, this game is awesome! It breaks down all the moves and is the closest to looking like real dancing if you do it correctly. There's also a feature where you can see the back AND front of the dancer (Dance 2014 you only see the front) that's super helpful for new moves. Only downside is that there are occasional "Dance Break" moments where you don't have anything to do if it's too advanced...I try to freestyle to keep moving. I figure it's my equivalent to jogging at a stopsign :)

-Wii Active: If you like workouts and variety, you will really like this. You get 8-9 5 minute challenges to complete ranging from boxing to running and doing pushups. This requires some extra gym equipment, but it does really strengthen your body. It's also a bit pricier than the dance games I mentioned.

Worst Games:
-Dance Dance Revolution: Although fun, I wouldn't suggest this to anyone who lives in an apartment as you will be STOMPING! It's also too focused on legs and gets very repetitive. I have enjoyed this working in conjunction with other videos but I don't think it's great if it's your only game.

-Yoga/Pilates: Although it seems like a great idea to have the Wii remote 'checking' you, in reality, it's awkward to be holding a remote in 50% of the poses. I also haven't found a great game in this category yet-most are glorified versions of already existing exercise tapes with minimal response. If you are interested, check out DVDs and Youtube videos of yoga routines.


-Tips:
-Hold your Wii remote *exactly* as they tell you in the game. For most, it will be so that the remote part is tightly gripped and facing out. 
-Make strong, exaggerated movements (especially in dance games). Not only will your intensity increase, but you will get more points in your games!
-90%+ of the time, let the computer pick your songs randomly. You will save 10+ minutes on your routine as there is a lot of load time!

What are your favorite exercise games or videos? Do you prefer working out at home or at the gym?

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