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Yep, I Still Play the Xbox 360 Kinect for Weight Loss

Getting in a great deal of exercise by throwing myself into the game.

By Michael BrockbankPublished about a year ago 5 min read

I know, I know, the Xbox 360 is an old, defunct system that rarely gets any love today. But I can tell you that it’s still an incredible system when it comes to losing weight and getting in some exercise.

In fact, most of the 80 pounds I’ve lost so far is because of the Kinect and the games that I love to play. And it will continue to be my at-home, go-to piece of exercise equipment until it melts into the gaming shelf.

When we first bought the Xbox 360, it was an alternative to the Nintendo Wii. We bought the Wii so that the family would get off their butt and sweat a little while playing games. The problem was that you could still play the Wii quite easily while sitting on the couch.

Although there are some games you can play on the Xbox Kinect while sitting, it’s a damn sight harder. Especially when playing tennis or Your Shape: Fitness Evolved gym games.

The bottom line is that I still work up one hell of a sweat playing Kinect games for 20 to 30 minutes.

I Don’t Just Stand Around

When I play the Kinect, I PLAY the Kinect. This means I am jumping around my living room like a brain-damaged, test monkey in a research lab.

For the most part, it’s all about over-exaggerated and quick movements. I also have a penchant for fast-paced games when I want to work out.

On average, I’ll burn between 13 and 15 calories per minute while playing the Xbox. To put this into perspective, that’s more than you’d burn during a five-mile bike ride at 12 miles per hour.

While playing some games, it’s common for me to get my heart rate up past 180 BPM. Though, that depends greatly on the game and how physical I get during any given round.

My point is that when you really throw yourself into the game, you can achieve all kinds of health and fitness benefits. And since I use weighted gloves and wrist weights, the gameplay simply adds to muscle development and stamina.

In fact, some games can provide a virtual all-around workout using everything from your shoulders down to your calves. It all depends on what game you’re playing and what movements are necessary.

Why Not Spend More Time with the Oculus?

I really don’t mind playing games in VR. There are some great titles out there that have the potential for a great workout. The problem with the Oculus, however, is the device itself.

First, I wear glasses and have no interest in getting contacts. This means that I have a short window of being able to play games before the lenses fog up so badly that I can’t see.

This wasn’t a problem with the smartphone VR device you can pick up for $15 at Walmart. It had a built-in focus that moved the phone closer or farther away from your face, which meant I didn’t need to wear my glasses at all.

I would have thought that Facebook, excuse me, Meta, would have thought to build that into its next iteration of VR units. Sure, I could buy the prescription lens attachments for the Oculus at $120. But I shouldn’t have to.

To combat glasses fogging, I constantly have to wipe them down with anti-fog spray that you can pick up at any auto parts store for visors.

It works great, by the way.

The second issue with using the Oculus instead of the Xbox Kinect is the fact you have to wear the headset. This already increases the likelihood of sweating before you even start playing a game in VR.

Then, when you do start to sweat, it makes a mess of the Oculus headset. Luckily, you can slip a silicone protector over the unit. But still, after 20 minutes of simply bowling, the headset is a sweat-covered mess. I can’t imagine what it would look like after 15 minutes of something like Beat Saber.

Another issue with the sweat build-up on the silicone is how it propagates blackheads on your face. I noticed I was breaking out the first time I used the Oculus.

When all is said and done, I’d much rather use the Xbox Kinect than the Oculus when it comes to exercising and gamifying fitness.

Finding Something You Enjoy

I’m not saying that the Xbox Kinect is the end-all, be-all for fitness. The key to losing weight and keeping it off is to find something you enjoy doing. Some people love going for runs, I like to play tennis or Virtual Smash on the Kinect.

It all comes down to finding an activity that you can see yourself doing several years down the road. Because if you try to force yourself into an activity you hate or think of as a mundane chore, you’re less likely to continue.

Bowling, golf, ax throwing…find an activity you like that requires some kind of physical movement. And I’m talking about movement other than your thumbs. Playing games on your phone isn’t really all that physical. Well, unless you find some great exercise apps.

There’s really no right or wrong answer when it comes to physical fitness. It all depends on your goals and whether you’re able to get something out of the activity.

The best workout is the one that works best for you, personally. But you won’t know what exercises work best for you until you try them out.

What’s Your Favorite Way to Exercise?

Currently, I’m doing a personal case study to see how much weight I can lose playing the Xbox Kinect. It’s these kinds of challenges and case studies that I find incredibly fun.

Part of that is because I am a geek when it comes to spreadsheets and love collecting data. This is just one of many methods I use to gamify fitness for myself.

What are your favorite ways to exercise to burn fat?

weight lossfitness

About the Creator

Michael Brockbank

I am the owner and operator of several blogs including WriterSanctuary.com. As a freelance writer since 2012, I have covered a range of topics and completed over 8,000 projects for clients. Follow me @WriterSanctuary on Twitter.

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