How To Turn A Video Game System Into A Gym Membership

By Nora Dunn on 21 August 2007 (Updated 29 September 2007) 8 comments
Photo: Nora Dunn

Never thought you could actually get in shape with that PS2 or Xbox , huh? And I'm not talking about the Wii system, which will have you throwing controllers through the window and breaking coffee tables with your tennis swing. No, I'm talking about good old fashioned exercise, with the help of a personal trainer.

Believe it or not, I justified buying a PS2 because it's cheaper than hiring a personal trainer and getting a gym membership. All I had to do was buy the "game" called Yourself Fitness.

Maya, the personal trainer in the program, is a character you soon begin to think is an actual trainer in front of you and not a video game character. She starts by helping you set up your profile and guides you through a fitness test to determine your current level of fitness, cardiovascular ability, weight, and general health.

Then, depending on what you specifically want to accomplish (from losing the thunder thighs to developing more upper body strength), she will design a program customized to your profile, using the equipment you own (like hand weights, steps, or stability ball). You determine your workout schedule and length, and you'd better stick to it - Maya gives you grief if you miss a session!

You can also use the program to take advantage of yummy menu plans (customized to whatever daily caloric intake you wish), and yoga sessions in between or instead of scheduled workouts.

Your fitness level is measured and tracked as you progress, as you are required to retake the fitness test every 10 workouts.

 

Although I find the program to be fun and a great use for myself, there are a few things I would warn you about before you rush out to buy a video game system for this:

1: If you are in excellent health, you'll probably ace the fitness test, and not be able to track your progress particularly since there isn't anywhere to go but down. But it doesn't mean the workouts won't be challenging; in fact Maya asks you how each segment is and if you don't find it tough enough you can tell her to up the anti!

2: You have to like working out at home. Some people can't stand it. Others appreciate the time saved in not going to to gym and the freedom to exercise in their jammies if they like. (Not like I've ever exercised in my jammies. No siree. Not me. I'm hard core. Whoooaaah!)

Yourself Fitness is compatible with the PS2, Xbox, and PCs. So go ahead....justify that video game system you always wanted and cancel your gym membership - it's healthy!

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Guest's picture

Another way to use your PS2 or Xbox is to play Dance Dance Revolution. I lost about 8 pounds in two weeks doing this 4-5 times a week. It's really challenging, and fun, and it's a surprisingly good workout!

Guest's picture
Guest

That is a great game and you really do start to sweat after a while. Plus when you get sick of the current song there's a million more versions of you can pick up for cheap.

Douglas Leslie's picture

Thank you, Nora!

I have no need of this, seeing as i'm only 13, but my sister on the other hand, spends lots of time and money, going to a gym.

I'm sure she'll be very happy to hear about it!

 

Thanks again, darlin'! 

Andrea Karim's picture

Darlin'? That's some cheek, from a 13-year old. :) Either that, or a sign of a real ladies' man.

Great post, BTW, Nora. Now, if only you had arrived BEFORE I spent my money on a gym membership. Sigh. I don't know why you bloggers can't time your posts around my life.

Guest's picture
Jason

... I stop paying attention. I mean, c'mon.

It's ante.

Lynn Truong's picture

Nora,
I was totally excited to see this and bought a similar game after doing some browsing on amazon. Thanks!

Guest's picture
dtwood

Nora - thanks for helping to spread the word about Maya. We are diligently working on the sequel to Yourself!Fitness and are excited to see so many users attaining great results.

best,
Daniel Wood / CMO
responDesign, Inc

Guest's picture
Colin

Hi Nora, in the UK we have a Ps2 program named Eye Toy Kinetics, is that the same program? If it is you are right it's a fantastic program. My 12 year old boy and myself use it every day religously and I have to say I feel fitter,stronger and have more stamina than I had 15 years ago!
Colin