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Cardio? Oh, we thought you said Mario! Fitness doesn’t have to be in a gym (even we know that!) and it doesn’t even have to be outdoors. Now you can break a sweat in front of the TV – and no, not in a Jane Fonda kind of way.

Exergaming is the new-fangled way to work out, and if you haven’t tried it, you’re not alone. As the name suggests, exergaming is the point where video gaming meets exercise, meaning your body does the work while your brain focuses on the game instead of the pain.

You could say it all started with 80s arcade games like Dance Dance Revolution – but fast-forward to 2018 and it’s turned from tech-time-filler to a fully-fledged workout wonder. Fuelled by our love for screens and need for healthier hearts, level up your next workout with these Exergames that’ll leave you breathless.

digital-exercising-zumba

DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION 2.0

If you find yourself boogying in the kitchen to Kanye but refuse to wake up for a workout at the gym, then dance exergames are just the ticket. Something as simple as picking up the pace down at your local arcade will boost your heart rate, but for those who want to stay in their PJs all day, simply step it up a notch with your Nintendo Wii and load up games like Zumba, Just Dance and ExerBeat to your console.

virtual-rock-climbing

VERTICAL VIBES

Don’t let gravity be the boss of you and suit up for The Climb. This immersive game brings alive the thrill of rock climbing in virtual reality. You’ll scale new heights and explore stunning exotic environments from the comfort of your bedroom – zero tetanus shots required. Despite your feet almost always being firmly on the floor, your legs are sure to feel like jelly, but just be sure to turn off all ceiling fans before reaching high for that next hand hole!

virtual-exercise-ideas

If even pretending to be outdoors is getting out of your comfort zone, save space with Active Wall Games. Maximise your workout in the smallest space possible with the devices that’ll leave you screaming, “cardio is hardio!” Train for power, agility, endurance or intensity, pushing your physical and mental limits in fun, addictive and interactive playoffs. There’s even systems for those looking to target their balance and flexibility.

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BIKING VR/AR

Put the pedal to the metal and turn your ordinary two-wheeled stationary skeleton into a VR bicycle. Pop a little sensor on the crank of any fixed bike and get rolling (virtually) with software like VirZoom or CycleVR.

The best part? You don’t just have to cycle with these options – be immersed in another world as you ride, giving your spin a gaming twist. These VR settings allow you to cruise the countryside on Le Tour, chase jail-break bandits by lasso, get speedy in a race car, paddle with pandas in lotus ponds or even fly astride a Pegasus on the hunt for treasure – all without leaving your bike! If that’s not going to keep you occupied while you break a sweat, we’re not sure what will.

virtual-boxing-exercise

PACK A PUNCH

Plug-in games like Real Boxing (pictured) allow you to play against computer-generated contenders so you never know what’s coming next, testing your ability to duck and jab in real-time. If you’re more Muhammad Ali than you first thought, up the anti and wrap a resistance band under the arms and around the back for added intensity.

If you want to go pro invest in a home VR set to boost the experience or keep your eyes peeled for exergaming studios popping up around the block boasting stacks of exergaming facilities like light up boxing pads to test your agility.

Tip: Remember to stay on your toes and don’t stand still. Add some ankle weights for a greater burn.