How I Have Fun and Stay Healthy With Nintendo Switch

nintendo switch green and yellow joy cons

For a few years now, I’ve struggled to lose the weight I gained during pregnancy. I tried a lot of different workouts, and I did my best to keep my calories in check. Despite all my hard work, I only lost about one maybe two pounds.

And then the Nintendo Switch came out.

Yes, I realize that the Nintendo Switch is a gaming console. You’d think it would encourage me to sit on the couch more and play video games all day.

But surprisingly, the Switch has been super helpful in my weight loss journey. In fact, I’m going to give it the most credit for getting me on track. Although I still have a long ways to go, I’ve used the following Nintendo Switch games to keep me moving and healthy.

1. Ring Fit Adventure

ring fit adventure

Ring Fit Adventure is my go-to exercise game. The world is fun, the story is cute, and the monsters you fight are adorable. The game gives you lots of additional levels and features, even after you beat the main story, so you can replay it day after day without it getting old or boring.

It has a variety of settings so you can customize your workouts to fit your needs. Have bad knees? You can set knee assist. Want a more focused workout on a specific set of muscles? You can create a custom workout. Only feel like going for a jog rather than fighting monsters? You can do that, too.

If you’re on a tight budget, you should be aware that Ring Fit Adventure costs $70 on Amazon, which is a bit pricier compared to other Nintendo Switch Games that only cost about $40 to $60. The extra money, however, goes toward the special Ring that attaches to your joy cons. This ring provides resistance and focus for a variety of exercises, and it’s essential for certain arm workouts.

Considering how much the game has done for me since its release in 2019, I’d say that it has paid for itself and then some. And it’s much cheaper than a gym membership.

2. Just Dance

just dance nintendo switch

I’ve been a fan of the Just Dance games for a while now. The franchise has been around since Nintendo Wii, and they’ve only gotten better with time. I like to play Just Dance in between my Ring Fit workouts to help keep things fresh and fun.

The latest Just Dance games have a workout mode (AKA Sweat mode) that start you off with a warm-up dance and then it calculates calories burned as you play. Although the calorie counter isn’t all that accurate (compared to my FitBit anyway), it does keep me mindful of my movements and seeing the numbers on screen encourage me to keep going.

You don’t need any special equipment for Just Dance, so it costs anywhere from $30 to $50 depending on if you find it on sale and which version you want to play. Just Dance 2021 was recently released, but I so far, I only own Just Dance 2018. I think I may upgrade to the new game soon just so I can expand my dance repertoire.

3. Jump Rope Challenge

jump rope challenge nintendo switch

As much as I love Ring Fit and Just Dance, both of which have a few small cons to them (pun intended). The Ring for the Ring Fit makes portability a hassle, so exercising while away from home is a bit tough. Just Dance also requires a bit of living room space, so if you have a tiny apartment, you might bump into a few things while you work out.

So here’s my next favorite Nintendo Switch exercise game: Jump Rope Challenge. Unlike the other two games, Jump Rope Challenge is completely free to play from the Nintendo eShop. You do need to have detachable joy cons, however, so if you have a Nintendo Switch Lite, this game will not work.

Jump Rope Challenge is incredibly simple. You hold the joy cons in each hand in the same way you’d hold the handles of a jump rope. Then you jump up and down while the game counts how many jumps you do. It will keep score of your jumps as well as your time spent jumping.

That’s it.

Seriously. It doesn’t get any more basic as far as games go.

But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s not fun. You can set a goal number of jumps per day, and you can play with a friend and do a friendly jumping competition to keep things exciting. It’s a great way to get up off the couch and get moving.

You should note that jumping can be a bit hard on your joints, so be sure to wear shoes that provide proper support. If you have downstairs neighbors to worry about, or you struggle to jump, it’s okay if you just bend your knees a little – it will still count and still get your body moving.

Bonus: Make Every Game an Exercise Game

super mario odyssey

Okay, I have one last tip for you: every switch game can be an exercise game, if you have the right equipment.

No, you don’t have to grab your dumbbells every time Mario hits a question mark block in Super Mario Odyssey or or do push-ups every time you knock an opponent out of an arena in Super Smash Bros. Of course, you can if you want to, if that works for you.

But if you’re the sit-on-your-butt-while-you-play type, I do have a couple purchases that might come in handy:

  • Drive Medical Folding Peddler – $35.99 on Amazon. Perfect for small spaces. You can pedal your feet while you play games. I keep this under my work desk and pedal while blogging, but it works well next to a couch, too.
  • Stamina InMotion Mini Elliptical – $99.99 on Amazon. Again, great for small spaces. It’s a little more expensive, but it’s multi-purpose. You can pedal while you sit and play games. Or if you can balance while you play, you can stand up and exercise on it, too. I keep this one next to my couch and slide it out for short workouts.
  • Xterra Fitness Folding Bike – $113.27 on Amazon. I have a folding reclining bike that I use all the time. Although I couldn’t find the exact brand I had on Amazon, this one is pretty similar. I use my folding bike in combination with my Nintendo Switch a lot. The games keep my mind occupied while the bike keeps me moving.

I know that some of these items are expensive, so don’t feel obligated to buy these exact brands. I’m just recommending what works for me. Feel free to find similar products at your local store at a price that works with your budget.

What’s Your Favorite Way to Stay Fit?

Between my natural introversion and the COVID pandemic, I tend to spend a lot of time inside my house rather than exercising outdoors. Although I’m slowly easing back into the world again now that I’m vaccinated, I still think the Switch is the most helpful weapon I have in my workout arsenal. It’s definitely helped me through some stressful times and helped me manage my weight.

But what’s your favorite way to stay fit? Do you have a different game that keeps you moving? Do you prefer traditional gym workouts? Do you stick to favorite YouTube videos or just stay active through outdoor sports? Feel free to share your recommendations in the comments below!