Have you ever had so many great things to say about something that you just didn’t know where to start? I feel this way about the new Xbox Kinect Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012.
It is hard to call this a game. It is more of a tool in managing your health and wellness. It is also a personal trainer, a motivator, a dance instructor and my own personal gym. To say I find great benefit in this tool is an understatement. I can’t say enough how complete it is, but for the sake of my final (insert tears here) winter wellness review with Xbox Kinect, I will try to do it justice.
To start, this game is played with Xbox and it needs the Kinect Sensor. When the game first loads, the sensor scans you and puts your image up on the screen with the trainer. I love this feature. While I work out, I am ‘me’ on the screen. I am not replaced with a character. My whole body is right in front of me as if I am looking in the mirror. I can see how ‘I’ move and what I am doing and it makes me feel like it is ‘my’ workout.
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 is broken down in to four different sections, then each section is broken down further. The four groups are:
Here you can do things like set objectives and options, track progress and edit profile info.
I was able to set a goal for myself based on my activity level and what I wanted to accomplish. The system then suggestion the number of days and how long each day I should work out. Then I can track my progress and check my calendar through this option when I work out so I can plan my workouts for the coming week to stay on track.
I am motivated by seeing achievements, so I come to this section often to see any medals I earned, or to view how many steps I’ve taken, push ups (or crunches) I’ve done or how many bricks I toppled while boxing.
These are warm up activities to get your heart rate up and to get you moving. The activities in this section are short and range in time from 1 to approximately 5 minutes and you can also choose a difficulty level and how many players you want in each activity.
My favorite activities are Wall Breaker and Stack ’em Up. Wall Breaker is a great warm up for any boxing or arm exercises and Stack ’em Up is great for arms and balance/coordination. There are also warm up activities for cardio, legs, abs and more.
Your image is displayed on the screen as you go through all of the activities, so you can see exactly what you are doing. In the Wall Breaker game, you start off by punching at the blocks on the screen. When I missed a block, I could actually see it was because didn’t punch low enough.
When you complete the different activities, you earn medals that are tracked in My Zone so you can see what you have accomplished. I like to achieve things and see my progress, so this is a motivator for me.
Similar to what you would experience in a class at a gym, these workouts focus on different parts of the body and there is also a cardio, toning, health and sports performance workout. You can choose one of these workouts, or you can target one area such as abs, back, legs, arms or glutes.
The workouts vary in difficulty level and can range from a two minute workout to approximately a 30 minute workout. I really liked this feature because you can start really small and build up slowly instead of just taking on a full workout at once and getting discouraged.
I have been focusing on the ab workouts a lot. This is an area I need to focus on since having my two girls by c-section. I started out on the easiest and shortest level and I there is still one exercise I can’t do as well as I would like to on there. I am getting better at it, but I love that I can look over at the screen and see myself lying on the ground, next to the trainer. I can see what he is doing that I can’t quite do yet and it is helping me to improve my posture and work on the muscles I need to.
This is where the fun is for me. Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 has put together a lot of additional classes that you can take to change up your routines and get moving. Have you ever wanted to learn Hip Hop? How about Latin Dance or Bollywood? There are also fun classes in Yoga, African Rhythms, Cardio Boxing, Boot Camp or a fun class called Zen Zone that combines Yoga with Tai-Chi moves to create a relaxing workout/cool down.
Seeing yourself on the screen while doing the classes is really beneficial too. I love the yoga and Zen workouts and it helps me to see on screen when a leg or arm is out of place.
As you hold perfect positions, you glow on the screen which, although not a big deal, was a big motivator for me because I kept trying to keep myself glowing. The classes in the section are anywhere from five to 20 minutes in length and are designed so you can learn some steps, then test yourself and then do a longer level to really master the class.
The scenery in each class is specific to the class you are taking. So the yoga is very calm and relaxing and as you complete moves, other background items are added to your scenery.
- While you do your workouts, your total calories burned displays on your screen so you can see where you are at.
- While you are waiting for screens to load, tips pop up about how to use the system, and various health and fitness information shows as well.
- When you finish a warm up, workout or class, it shows how many calories you burned during that session and you get to ‘punch’ them out of the way. I find this very empowering to
kickpunch my calories to the curb.
- It is really hard to cheat – I had to test this out. Because the sensor is tracking you, you need to be moving and you need to be doing everything right to get credit for it.
This winter wellness feature has been very beneficial for me. I am excited at the end of the day when I get to push our couch back from the TV and start up the Xbox. If you are looking for new ways to get active and stay fit, especially during the winter months, Xbox and Kinect Sensor is the way to go.
If you want to learn more about Xbox, the Kinect Sensor, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 or any other games they have, make sure you visit the Xbox/Kinect Website.
You can find the Xbox 360 console, Kinect Sensor and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 anywhere that video games are sold in stores. You can also purchase Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 on Amazon.ca for $49.83 or Amazon.com for $29.99 (on sale as of this post date).
And remember, you can also buy the Xbox 360 console is also bundled with the Kinect Sensor and a Kinect Adventure Game. You can purchase this on Amazon.ca for $249.97 (on sale as of this post) or on Amazon.com for $294.99.
Disclosure: I am participating in an online campaign involving Xbox 360, Kinect Sensor and various games. The following post is a reflection of my own personal thoughts and ideas and do not represent those of the named brand. Any claims of health benefits or weight loss are my personal results only.