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Ring Fit Adventure – Making Exercise Fun!

I have always been in an on-again-off-again relationship with consistent exercise. For weeks at a time, I am either fully invested in physical activity, getting in at least an hour’s worth of hardcore blood pumping per day, or my limbs are glued to my bed with my eyes never wavering from Netflix’s screen. This relationship existed pre-quarantine, yet there is no denying that the past months of chaos have added to this rockiness. However, I have recently found something promising in terms of mending this flawed relationship, and it is called Ring Fit Adventure, a video game for the Nintendo Switch. This game has both my mind and body engaged, and I truly believe it will help stabilize my connection to exercise.

Ring Fit Adventure comes with a flexible ring that resembles an oversized steering wheel and acts similar to a resistance band; there is also the leg strap which is directed to wrap around your thigh. The Switch’s joy con controllers slide into both of these pieces of equipment in order to monitor your movements. Beginner exercises with the ring include pressing in on it or pulling it. As you gain more experience, the game later prompts you to either hold it at your waist, above your head, or even like a bow. These variations help to target different muscle groups in your arms, shoulders, back, and waist. The leg strap also tracks your movement when performing exercises such as running, squats, or knee lifts, to name a few. These motion detectors have been highly improved upon since the Wii Fit game, which could only sense your weight on the board beneath you.

nindendo switch with a black background
Photo by Matteo Grobberio on Unsplash

Not only has Nintendo improved on such motion detectors, but the entire game is even more interactive than I’ve ever seen for a fitness game. In contrast to the original Wii Fit, Ring Fit Adventure has a whole storyline emulating a typical adventure game; many aspects of it remind me of Legend of Zelda. To get started with your adventure, you can choose the level of difficulty and also select any assistance variations – both of which you can always go back and modify. For instance, if you have bad knees, it lets you opt out of high impact exercises on this area, like running or squats. Once you select your settings, your adventure can begin!

The adventure storyline is broken up into “worlds,” each including mild levels and then harder boss levels at the end. The levels before the boss fight include variations of scenic paths with cascading waterfalls, tranquil lakes, lush trees, and colorful sunsets. While running along the path (jogging in place in front of the television), you encounter monsters that have to be defeated by a series of workout moves before you can move on. The paths are also sprinkled with golden coins and other prizes that require you to push in or pull on the ring in order to collect them. Be sure not to miss these, as golden coins offer you more advantages throughout the game, such as buying ingredients to make smoothies which boost your hearts during battles or buying color-coded clothing to increase certain attack powers against enemies. A key incentive with this storyline is leveling up – the more working out you do, the higher level you become – which grants you more exercise options along with many other treats (smoothies, coins, clothing, etc.).

The boss levels are found at the end of these worlds, in which you attempt to defeat the main antagonist with a more intense workout. The harder the exercises are, the more damage you do to him. These battles often leave me sweating with an increased heart rate. After your battle, the game even measures your heart rate, the number of reps for each exercise you employed, and your total active minutes, all which provide you with insight to how hard you worked. This is also when the game alerts you that you have leveled up, accordingly gifting you with coins and new exercises – a great positive reinforcement technique to have you coming back to play more.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Alternatively to the storyline, there are mini games! These are perfect for when you don’t have enough time to commit to a full warm up, exercise, and cool down – perhaps in between classes. They usually take just a minute or two, but the effects are real. You may not work up as deep of a sweat like you might while playing the storyline, but with just one mini game, your muscles will be on fire. For example, the Crate Crasher mini game was the first one I tried – it requires you to push in on the ring in order to shoot out a swift gust of air that breaks through stacks of wooden crates. The more crates you crash, the higher your score. I played this three times in a row my first time, already competing against my own high scores, and my arms immediately felt like noodles! What makes these games even better is that it tells you what muscle groups the exercise is targeting, emphasizing that you don’t need to know anything about exercise to enjoy this video game – it will inform you on everything before and while you play!

The best part of this whole game, in my opinion, is that you don’t need to have any previous knowledge on fitness or different exercises to play. It seems this game is designed for people who aren’t as motivated to workout on their own (although those who are into fitness would definitely like it, too), as it teaches you important information on form, healthy eating, and more. Instead of solely viewing this game as a workout, I have been picking up the ring just to take a break from school work and have fun. Ring Fit Adventure even reminds you that exercise doesn’t have to be work… it can be fun, too. My relationship with exercise seems to have been fully repaired, and I think it will be permanently, thanks to this game.

Stephanie Morley

West Chester '21

Hey, my name's Steph Morley! I am a senior at West Chester University and I am majoring in Psychology. I love to write, read, bake/cook, binge tv shows, and do makeup. Her Campus has been such a great way for me to get more involved on campus, meet some incredible ladies, and have some of my work published. I love what Her Campus stands for; it is an amazing platform for college students to share their stories, opinions, and more.
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