The remnants of Thanksgiving gluttony leer at me from the fridge: a cup of cranberry sauce, some mashed potatoes, a candied yam. The turkey has long since been stripped bare.
Houston: We’ve reached carb-only leftovers.*
That means it’s time. Time to shake off the week of gluttony, to try and burn off some of the six-figure calorie count, to get back to (somewhat) healthy living.
Sure, you could go to the gym. Throw yourself onto the endless rows of gerbil machines. Pound grimly along mile after mile while trying to feign interest in the cable news splayed across distant televisions, wondering if the disinfectant spray really does prevent fungus and staph.
Or you could play video games.
Wii Fit Plus
I have a love/hate relationship with Fit, and the balance board in particular. The first time I ever stood on the board—which, it turns out, can measure your weight—the game sighed at me. Just a little “ahh,” but the damage was done, neurosis was firmly entrenched.
My hangups aside, Fit remains one of the best straight-up fitness games out there. You have the ability to set up your own routines, track your progress, or—thanks to the nifty/depressing calorie counter—see just how much work you have to do to burn through the Thanksgiving calories.
I’ll leave you to develop your own relationship with the snarkily sighing game.
Kinect Sports: Season 2
Taking a page from the “it-made-oodles-of-megabucks-on-the-Wii” school of thought, Microsoft and developer Rare built a game that is pretty much the Xbox clone of Wii Sports. Thing is, it works great, and the additional games added for the sequel make great use of the Kinect’s full body controls.
Sports 2 adds golf, skiing, baseball, tennis, football,** and darts to the mix, along with voice recognition for navigating the menus, and Xbox live online play. Nothing says “competitive spirit” more than flailing away against 10-year-olds in Jersey.
Dance Central 2
As a computer geek with all the rhythm of a cracked-out orangutan***, I have a special place in my heart for dance games. I fed quarters into the first Dance Dance arcade machines back in the ’90s, had my own dance mat for the PS2, and now am really getting into the latest dance entry for the Kinect: Dance Central 2.
While it doesn’t have as wide a song selection as the Just Dance series, it does have a very useful feature for us cracked-out orangutan types: step by step tutorials for each dance. Trying to learn a dance by just jumping into it is great fun for the people watching you, but frustrating for the watchee.
Given a choice, Kinect Sports or Dance Central are at the top of my list; they’re sneaky and don’t make you feel like you’re actually working out. Or maybe I’m still just pissed at the Wii balance board.
* Somewhere, Atkins just twitched.
** American football. Sorry, MLS fans.
*** No orangutans were given crack during the writing of this article.
Contact Contributor Nicholas Walter via Managing Editor Ashley Schwellenbach at firstname.lastname@example.org.