Exergaming Journal #2: First milestone in sight

Not much has changed in the past few weeks, but I’ve remained consistent with the plan I put into place for myself. As a result, I am on the cusp of reaching my first milestone at nearly 25 pounds lost since mid-March.

To recap from the first entry of the Exergaming journal, I finally decided to take action against the weight I have gained over the course of the pandemic. This involved four key areas outside of the motivation to start the endeavor and desire to stick with it: Eating sensible portions, taking walks, playing Ring Fit Adventure and playing Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm and Exercise.

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The weather has put a bit of damper on the walking activity, but I’ve maintained my schedule on the remaining three items. My main goal is losing 35 pounds from where I started. My first milestone was trying to lose 25 pounds by the end of April/early May and I have done this sensibly as the app I use to track my activities scolds you and doesn’t “reward” you if you consume less than 1,200 calories in a day. So, rest assured, this isn’t being done by starving myself.

And, as stated in the previous journal, I haven’t done much to change what I eat, but it has targeted how much I eat. The only real dietary changes included switching to a very low calorie bread to pair with eggs and adjusting to a different protein bar that has 100 less calories than those normally found on store shelves.

I’ve stuck with playing Ring Fit Adventure and Fitness Boxing 2 two or three days a week each to introduce physical activity five days a week. The only real breaks from this were short periods I rested in case I saw any side effects from my COVID vaccinations.

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Here are my updates and new discoveries found for each of these games:

Ring Fit Adventure

Through some menu surfing, I found a few more options and statistics, with the most interesting feature offering a toggle to allow you to finish your series of repetitions even if an enemy is defeated.

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I honestly thought it was slightly strange and counterproductive that, if you played Ring Fit Adventure as a game and took advantage of the RPG-style enemy weaknesses, it resulted in you exercising less. With my new options settings, when an enemy is defeated, I continue through the remainder of the chosen exercise. This also provides a bonus in the game with extra experience points awarded for sticking with the exercises.

I am currently in a section of the game that is “story heavy” and features characters that specialize in different areas of the body. The game features exercises that are characterized as red for arms, yellow for body/core, blue for legs and green, yoga/fitness posing.

As a result, there hasn’t been a lot of new content found lately in having new things to do while jogging through stages, but the workout results are the same. Going through these areas have revealed to me that I am unexpectedly unprepared for leg exercises. The mountain climber repetitions and very deep and repeated squatting motions have left me strained at times, so I’m finding the blue exercises might be what I really need to focus on.

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Still, with leveling up my character through experience points I am finding new rotations of exercises to do. When I reached level 40, the game introduced a skill tree system with stat boosts and even more unlockable exercises, so it’s great to see new content trickling in at multiple stages of the game.

I have also realized I haven’t done much with the rhythm game mode in Ring Fit Adventure. The mode was added through a free update and seems right in my wheelhouse, but I don’t believe it does anything to track your stats outside of scoring. If I could have an indicator that allows me to record an estimated calorie loss in playing this mini-game, I’d probably have more of an incentive to play it right now. However, the calorie counting is my primary focus, so I might find time to enjoy this mode when I hit more of my goals.

Fitness Boxing 2

Much like in Ring Fit Adventure, Fitness Boxing has provided a slow trickle of new content to keep things fresh as I revisit the game. I’ve played this title slightly more than Ring Fit Adventure as of late to double-up on the faster rate of calorie loss as I touched on last time.

When I last posted about Fitness Boxing, I had just started getting into the exercise series that began adding movement. This began as ducking, but more exercise unlocks have started introducing weaving and lunging.
I started adjusting to how the repeated punching motions were making my arm muscles feel, and now these new motions have started increasing how much I sweat during the workouts. This is especially true when I select daily workouts that have longer durations and more aggressive routines.

At this point I was also concerned about the accuracy of the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons picking up these movements. However, I am still recording about 95-98% accuracy overall on all of the commands. This is satisfactory to me at this point when you consider one full workout can include more than 2,000 commands.

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I think the most frequent hiccup so far is in exercises where movement is immediately followed by a counter punch. I find there are times when you flow out of your movement, such as a duck, and the game registers an early punching motion. Most of the time this merely registers an OK timing instead of PERFECT, but, on the very rare instance I did it too early, I got a MISS timing when the punch isn’t registered.

While Fitness Boxing 2 has provided me with a lot of activity, I think it will hit its “game ceiling” well before Ring Fit Adventure does. According to the achievement sets, I seems to be approaching the end of the content unlockables. At some point I’ll be cycling through the same routines, and the game’s different music options don’t do much to actually change the exercise content.

I am still enjoying using Fitness Boxing 2, but, I’m getting the impression there will come a time where I’ll want something fresh to play. I’m definitely sticking with Fitness Boxing 2 in the short term, so we’ll see if it has something in reserve that will prove this impression wrong.

Looking beyond the activities I’ve done for the past month, I’m again starting to get the itch to return to DanceDanceRevolution – something that hasn’t been able to work for me since the pandemic started. I’ve detailed excursions at the arcade with music games here on GemuBaka and through videos hosted on YouTube, but I’m hoping after a couple of months there will be opportunities to really get back on this groove.

My main goal of this fitness program is honestly approaching a little quicker than I anticipated. At that point I’ll re-evaluate where I want to go in pursuing further fitness. This may be losing a little more weight, focusing on cardio or working on specific areas of muscle. No matter the destination, I’m sure I’ll be able to work exercise video games into that journey.

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Categories: GemuBaka Feature, GemuBaka Random

Author:indiesnack

Indie Snack is a video gaming Web site focusing on independent developers and game releases. Indie Snack will also soon have services made available to independent developers to include tools aiding them in public relations and game marketing.

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