Utilizing the popular New Year’s Resolution to get back into shape, every Friday of January I detailed my experience with Xbox Fitness to see if it is a viable workout tool. Read my first post in the series here, the second here, the third here, and the fourth here.
Every Friday I measured these four areas of my body to track my progress. The final measurements for the project are in red.
Small of waist: 27.5 inches – 27.2 inches - 27.5 inches – 27.2 inches – 26.9 inches
Waist at bellybutton: 30.5 inches – 30.2 inches - 30.2 inches – 30.1 inches – 30.2 inches
Hips: 33.5 inches - 33.5 inches - 33.5 inches – 33.3 inches – 33.4 inches
Arm: 9.7 inches – 9.5 inches - 9.4 inches – 9.5 inches – 9.5 inches
I wish I could have reported I worked out every day in the last week of this project, but life made sure to get in the way of that. However, this dead week did help simulate what happens with working out; we don’t always have the time and just have to do what we can. Life happens, and it’s okay to take a bit of a break!
1/29 - I didn’t give myself any slack during my workout. I began with “Jillian Michaels: Kickbox Fast Fix” followed by the dreaded “10-Minute Solutions: Six Pack Ab Attack.” While I successfully made it through Jillian’s workout, I was dead while trying to get through the workout. However, even when I was laying motionless on the ground, the Kinect still gave me points for the exercise that was on the screen. Maybe it just felt bad for me, but those false points definitely boosted my score.
1/31 - As the last workout for this series, I wanted to end with a bang. That bang ended up with me dying on the floor. For my final workout I attempted “Insanity: Plyometric Cardio Circuit.” I thought I could handle it. I thought I was ready. I had been working out for a month! Let’s just say that of 40 minute video, I only made it through the first 15 minutes before curling up in agony. Even in pain, I found one thing with this workout that really bugged me. The progress overlay from the original Insanity video was still on the workout video even when I already had my own from Xbox Fitness. I felt pressured to keep track of both.
Perhaps some of the biggest challenges I faced while doing this feature was getting started and maintaining a schedule. With Xbox Fitness you have the opportunity to workout in the comfort of your own home, but if you don’t know where to start or how to start, you could end up discouraging yourself from starting at all. Here are a few tips I learned from this project that I hope will help you be successful in your Xbox Fitness workout.
Prepare for Your Workout
Sure, you’re working out at home, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for this workout like you’re about to go to the gym. Change into the proper workout gear for every session. Wear shoes. Make sure you have plenty of space, especially if you want to utilize the Kinect to measure your progress. Some workouts will require you to lay down and stand up, so make sure your Kinect can see you doing both actions.
Once you’re ready to begin working out, make a physical or metal schedule of which days and times you’d like to workout. Three days a week is a decent starting point. Then, examine your workout options and start slow. If you haven’t worked out in awhile, maybe start off with one “10-Minute Solutions” workout and see how you feel. If you’re up to more, keep choosing workouts that exercise the areas you want to focus on. As you become accustomed to working out, pick longer and videos and workout more frequently as you see fit. Remember, working out isn’t a race. Work at your own pace and gradually kick up the difficultly.
Most importantly, do workouts you enjoy. If you hate the monotonous Metamorphosis program, then quit it while you’re ahead and choose something else. I know working out isn’t the funnest activity, but take enjoyment in knowing that you’re working to make yourself healthier while earning silly points and possibly beating your friends scores. If you go into this with a negative mindset you are setting yourself up to fail.
Overall this project provided to be a great experience. I was honestly surprised how well the Kinect functioned with the app and happy with the selection of workouts available. Though initially setting up the Kinect to work in a small space was annoying, the Kinect ultimately provided extra insight to my workouts that kept me motivated.
Microsoft has been updating Xbox Fitness and adding new workouts which leaves me nothing but hope for the future of this app. It’ll be interesting to see what features change once this becomes a paid program in January 2015, but until then, I’ll be enjoying the free workouts and getting myself into shape.