Can’t Motivate Yourself to Go for a Run? Play These Video Games Instead

Can’t Motivate Yourself to Go for a Run? Play These Video Games Instead
Image: Nintendo
At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW - prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

Video games are fun. Exercising? Not so much. But the good news is there is a way to get more activity into your day and video games can help with that. We all remember the days of the Wii Fit, which was designed to promote activity and fitness at home, long before lockdowns were a thing.

In the years since there have been plenty of games released that will get you up out of your chair and moving. Let’s run through some of our favourite fitness-type games.

The best games that will get you active

Nintendo Switch Sports

nintendo switch sports rewards
Image: Nintendo

The spiritual successor to Wii Sports, Nintendo Switch Sports is the latest sports simulator game that gets you up and moving. Between smashing backhands in tennis, rolling strikes in bowling and kicking goals in soccer, Switch Sports wraps exercise in the facade of gaming, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

We’re not talking the equivalent of a cardio workout or anything here, but Nintendo Switch Sports still gets you standing, moving and laughing — which is, after all, the best kind of activity.

Buy it here.


Just Dance

just dance
Image: Ubisoft

Just Dance brings the best of activity and gaming together. Using a selection of charting music tracks and brilliantly choreographed moves, the Just Dance series is one of the more fun ways to sneak some activity into your routine.

You don’t have to be a pro-dancer either. Just Dance has different difficulty options, plus you can challenge your friends in multiplayer so you can dance terribly together.

Buy it here.


Ring Fit Adventure

ring fit adventure nintendo switch
Image: Nintendo

While it’s not quite the Wii Fit, Ring Fit Adventure is the Nintendo Switch’s answer to an all-out fitness game.

Ring Fit Adventure gives you a circular accessory for your Joy-Cons and drops you into a fantasy world where you need to complete activity challenges in order to defeat a bodybuilding dragon. There are activities like on the spot running, stretching and squats, all of which will get your heart pounding.

Ring Fit Adventure is one of the Switch’s best-selling games of all time, so go ahead and see what all the fuss is about.

Buy it here.


Beat Saber

beat saber fitness games
Image: Beat Games

Beat Saber is no doubt one of the best VR games on the market, and it gets points for activity as well. Similar to the style of Guitar Hero or the Tap Tap games, Beat Saber asks you to hit the beats of a song at the right time in order to earn points. The difference? You’re smashing through coloured blocks with a lightsaber, and it’s all in VR.

Buy it here.


Pokémon GO

pokemon go fitness games
Image: Niantic

It may be old news now, but Pokémon GO is still one of the best mobile games that also promotes fitness. In order to build your collection of Pokemon and stock up on items, the game asks you to walk around your neighbourhood (yes, the real one, outside) and tracks your progress via an inbuilt map.

The further you go, the more chance you have of stumbling upon different Pokémon types, finding new gyms to battle and picking up rare items. It really is an incredible blend of physical activity with gaming.

Download it here.


Do you have any video games that motivate you to exercise more? Let us know in the comments!

Log in to comment on this story!