Exercise Like a Geek: Video Games That Will Actually Keep You Fit

Struggling to find the fun in fitness? You’re not alone. Many of us struggle to find joy in exercise, which hinders our ability to engage in physical activity as regularly as we should. We might experience bursts of motivation, but they too often fade as we lose interest in our mundane fitness routines. Video games, on the other hand, keep us engaged for months on end, giving us something to look forward to at the end of a stressful day. If you relate to this sentiment—you’re in luck! There is now a slew of video games that incorporate exercise into gameplay, all while maintaining that addictive quality that keeps us coming back for more. If you’re looking for the ultimate exercise hack, you’ll find it in this new breed of video games.

Gamification as a Means for Motivation

Gamification is the application of game-design elements, mechanics and principles to non-game contexts. It is a remarkably effective strategy for motivating individuals to engage in activities they might not have otherwise considered. By incorporating elements such as challenges, rewards and competition, gamification taps into fundamental aspects of human psychology. It transforms mundane tasks into engaging experiences, triggering a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. The inherent desire for achievement and recognition drives people to complete tasks, overcome obstacles, and actively participate in activities they might find less appealing in a traditional setting. Whether in education, fitness or workplace environments, the element of fun and competition introduced through gamification serves as a catalyst for increased motivation and participation, turning routine tasks into exciting endeavours.

How Games Can Encourage Exercise

So, how do these video games work? Basically, fitness-focused video games and gamified exercise apps leverage interactive challenges, rewards and competition to motivate individuals to be more physically active. These platforms transform workouts into entertaining and goal-oriented experiences, providing a sense of achievement and progression akin to advancing levels in a game. Whether it’s dancing to the beat, completing virtual obstacle courses or participating in fitness challenges, video games and gamification create an immersive environment that encourages individuals to stay active. The element of competition, whether against oneself or others, fosters a desire to improve and surpass personal fitness goals, turning exercise into a dynamic and enjoyable activity for individuals of all fitness levels.

Games for Fitness

Nintendo Switch

Since the massive success of Wii Fit, loads of fitness games have been made for Nintendo Switch. This platform is popular for fitness games due to its unique blend of versatility and innovation. The Switch’s portability allows users to seamlessly transition from traditional gaming to fitness activities, making it exceptionally accessible.

Ring Fit Adventure

Ring Fit Adventure is a fitness-themed role-playing game (RPG) that capitalises on the Switch’s motion-sensing capabilities and detachable controllers, turning physical movements into in-game actions. Within the game’s narrative, you get to team up with a sentient pilates ring to track down and defeat an evil body-building dragon called Dragaux. You spend the game fighting enemies, rowing through rivers and zip-lining through the sky, all while meeting your fitness goals.

Just Dance

If you didn’t have Just Dance as a kid, do yourself a favour and try it now. This motion-based dancing game focuses on following the choreography to hit songs, with options to play solo or with multiple players. If you want to try other dancing games, there’s also Zumba: Burn It Up!, which has its own collection of songs and accompanying choreography.


Arms is a 3D 1v1 fighting game that features a large range of eccentric characters. Each fighter has different mechanical arms and abilities, from fluttering ribbon arms and spring-loaded arms to arms with guns instead of hands. It’s stylish and fun and takes advantage of the Switch’s motion controls.


Apps are an excellent option for a few reasons. They involve minimal costs, for one thing, and are completely portable—meaning you can play any place or time. The great thing about these games is that they track your everyday movements, including all that incidental exercise you do when running for the bus or going for a coffee.

Fantasy Hike

Fantasy Hike is a popular walking tracker that notes all your movements. Beloved by fantasy nerds and adventure lovers, this app translates all your steps into movements for a halfling avatar. As you walk, your avatar will venture through a beautiful fantasy land, travelling from a comfy halfling hole all the way to Mount Fire.

Hops — Journey of Tree Spirit

There’s also The Hops app, which tracks your daily exercise and converts it into energy used by a sweet little tree spirit. More specifically, you gain energy by completing certain fitness goals, and this energy allows your tree spirit to explore more and more of its world. You can also customise your tree spirit and build materials such as wood, stone and rare rubies.


For something a bit different, Treeceps treats working out like levelling up in real life. You can develop a rich virtual world by completing exercises, from daily walks to workouts focused on strength and resistance training. The app also provides advice and lessons about safe and effective strength training.

Changing the Game

After years of trying everything—home workouts and gyms, local teams and spin classes, or repetitive running routes that bore your brains out—it can be hard to stay hopeful. You might feel like there will never be an exercise routine that works for you. In response, we’d encourage you to take a chance on video games. It might seem a little silly and trivial, but these games can give you the serotonin boost you need to stay motivated. Don’t give up—a healthier and happier you awaits!

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