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This video game got me out of my workout rut — here’s how

TODAY logo TODAY 1/19/2021 Abigail Barr

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I got most of my exercise from long walks outside before Covid-19 hit. But, like everything else this year, I’ve had to pivot a bit. Fortunately I’ve found an exciting way to work out in Ring Fit Adventure. If you know someone looking to incorporate more movement into their fitness regimen — or if you're personally stuck in an exercise rut — here's why this Nintendo Switch game checks all the boxes.

Ring Fit Adventure - Nintendo Switch

Ring Fit Adventure - Nintendo Switch (Amazon / Amazon) © Amazon Ring Fit Adventure - Nintendo Switch (Amazon / Amazon)
  • Ring Fit Adventure - Nintendo Switch $79.88 at Amazon
  • Ring Fit Adventure - Nintendo Switch $79.99 at Best Buy
  • Ring Fit Adventure - Nintendo Switch $79.95 at Walmart

How does Ring Fit Adventure work?

You're a runner fighting huge, juiced-up monsters in Ring Fit Adventure, and you use physical movements like running, planks, push-ups and yoga poses to move through the world and gain more power to defeat enemies you come across during your journey. To play, I plug my controllers into two accessories that are included with the game: a plastic ring I hold called the Ring-Con and a strap that I wrap around my leg. From there, the game tracks my movements amazingly.

a person wearing a costume: Abigail Barr / TODAY © Abigail Barr Abigail Barr / TODAY

There are tons of different movements to use in battle and while running, and there are tons of fun mini-games testing your endurance and movement accuracy, as well. If you’re not feeling the “adventure” part of the game, you can form your own regimen by selecting different exercises to use in a customized workout, or play games based on rhythmic movements. It feels like such an innovative way to work out and, most of the time, doesn’t even feel like work. (I do, however, work up a sweat while I'm playing.)

Is it a real workout?

In short, yes! I never was big on exercise, but the game is so genuinely fun that it keeps me motivated to work out every other day. I’ve also definitely had sore muscles and needed to catch my breath during workouts. The game’s adjustable difficulty levels made me feel welcomed as a workout novice, and the plot of the game is engaging enough that I get a sense of accomplishment from completing levels. I’ve been playing since last February, way before we were all forced to stay at home. As I play more levels, battle more monsters and engage in fun mini-games, I feel more fit and energized.

Abigail Barr / TODAY © Abigail Barr Abigail Barr / TODAY

Who is an ideal Ring Fit player?

While some people might think of gaming as something only for kids and teens, I would recommend this for anyone looking to get in shape or drop a few quarantine pounds. There are so many reasons to want to be healthier — from better sleep to having more energy to increasing strength — so this game would work for almost anyone. The controls are easy to master as well, so even non-gamers can appreciate this. There are no weights or machines like in a gym, but if your gym is closed or you have to stay home, it’s an awesome alternative. Even though I can’t go outside a ton, I can immerse myself in the beautiful visuals of the game while I move throughout the realms and feel nearly the same amount of satisfaction as I would if I was running around my neighborhood.

a person standing in a room: Abigail Barr / TODAY © Abigail Barr Abigail Barr / TODAY

Ring Fit Adventure regularly sells out, but it's finally back in stock at the perfect time. You officially have no excuse to not commit to your 2021 fitness goals for the long run.

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