One of the hardest things about exercising in the winter is dragging yourself to the gym or going out when it’s cold, wet and dark. Plus, it’s often pricey to join a class and buy all the new gear. Fear not, we’ve found another way, so you don’t have to keep that mince pie-shaped stomach forever. Banish it with one of these virtual training sessions
Nike+ Kinect Training, Xbox 360
This great new game identifies your training weaknesses, and then tells you what to do to overcome them through a series of movements that cover strength, flexibility and cardio. Basically, it’s like having a personal trainer in your living room. Even if you’ve never turned on an Xbox, you’ll be able to work the interface. But while it’s easy to use, you’ll definitely need to move the coffee table to do some of what you’re asked justice. And ask your mates round, there’s a really fun group setting on the game too.
PRICE: £25 amazon.co.uk
EA Sports Active: More Workouts, Wii
Even though you’re at home, it’ll be like you’re on a tropical beach while playing this warm weather-themed game. Just put in your height and weight and the game will predict how many calories you’ll burn while doing each activity. You can also choose from sports such as waterskiing and paddleboarding, which are specifically designed to work your core muscles. “It’s a great exercise that has many benefits, such as improving leg strength, balance and coordination and also helps with core stability,” professional personal trainer Lee Turner says.
PRICE: £8.93 play.com
UFC Personal Trainer, Xbox 360
Prepare for a ridiculously intense customised workout, with a choice of 30- or 60-day programmes with which to lose weight, and build strength and endurance. Through different floor exercises you’ll target specific areas of the body every day, allowing you to recover before starting on it again. This game requires the dedication of half-an-hour a day – because if you miss a session, it will tell you off. There are also mini challenges, such as the boxercise game ‘hit the mit’, to keep you interested and shed more pounds.
PRICE: £18 amazon.co.uk
Just Dance 4, PS3
There are a whopping 43 songs to dance along to, including tracks by Maroon 5 and Nicki Minaj – if you’ve ever held fantasies of being a pop backing dancer, this is your moment. These brilliantly choreographed moves are performed by the on-screen figure, and you simply copy what they do. “There are many health benefits to dancing,” Turner says. “It’s an aerobic exercise, good for reducing the risk of heart disease and weight control.”
PRICE: £27.99 argos.co.uk
10 Minute Solution, Wii
This single player only game includes cardio, boxing, mixed games (like tennis and badminton) and step aerobics. You’ll need a Wii remote, nunchuk and a balance board to play. The sequences can be repetitive, but they get you fit if you stick with them.
PRICE: £10 asda.com