It can be hard to get motivated to go to the gym, and personally I find it even harder to get motivated to do a workout at home. After a long day at work, cooking dinner, playing with Mollie and putting her to bed, sometimes the last thing I feel like doing is putting my gym stuff on just to head into the living room to do a workout. Unfortunately, like most people I just can’t get to the gym as much as I would like to so I need to find ways to squeeze a workout in either at home or when I am with my family and they need to be fun and interesting to get me motivated.
A couple of weeks ago Mollie had a birthday and was given a copy of Just Dance 2016 for the Wii U. I had heard about this game and thought it would be a good way for her to combine computer gaming with exercise for those rainy days where we just don’t want to leave the house.
If you haven’t heard of Just Dance, it is a computer game that plays songs and you follow the dance moves on screen. You get points based on how well you copy the moves and you get bonus points for singing along. We had great fun playing it together; there is a huge range of songs on there, old classics, new chart hits and even a few Disney songs (yay!).
While we were skipping through the menu of the game, I noticed there was a workout mode called Sweat. I just had to give this a try; it could be the perfect fun at home workout for me. Here’s how I got on with it:
Let me start by saying I am the least co-ordinated person in the world. I can never remember my left and right which doesn’t help and I struggle to keep up with any dance routine. However I do love dancing and when the right song comes on I think I’m Beyoncé, so was happy for an opportunity to dance like a popstar in my living room!
The workout mode consists of a few different modes. There are set playlists for you to work out to, there is a non-stop shuffle where you can dance uninterrupted and you can even create your own playlist of your favourite songs to work out to.
I decided to try the playlist mode. You can choose from 3 different playlists, short, medium or long. The short mode consists of 3 songs, 6 for the medium and 10 songs for the long. Each one shows you the length of time it will take and how many calories you will burn. I decided to try the medium length playlist as I thought 20 mins would be enough for me. I actually ended up doing this twice as I forgot to write the songs and calorie burn down and assumed it was a set playlist and could go back to it, it was not, it changes every time so in the interest of research I did another one!
So the playlist I had chosen consisted of:
- Drop the Mambo (Diva Carmina)
- This is Halloween (from Nightmare before Christmas I think!)
- Gangnam style
- Land of Loco
- Want U back (Cher Lloyd)
You follow the dance moves either by watching the main dancer on screen or by looking in the corner of the screen and following the icon. If there is more than one dancer you follow the one you have chosen. I recognised most of the songs as they started playing which makes it so much easier to follow. Drop the Mabo was good fun, Gangnam Style was involved a lot of jumping around and I felt like a bit of an idiot copying the dance moves of a pumpkin for This is Halloween (but I got 4 stars for it so must have been quite good at this one!).
After each song you get a star rating for how well you followed the moves and a calorie count of how many calories you have burnt. Mine were as follows:
- Drop the Mambo (Diva Carmina) – 3 stars, 16.79 calories burnt
- This is Halloween (from Nightmare before Christmas I think!) – 4 stars, 12.72 calories burnt
- Gangnam style – 4 stars, 22.14 calories burnt
- Gentlemen – 3 stars, 36.79 calories burnt
- Land of Loco – 3 stars, 12.41 calories burnt
- Want U back (Cher Lloyd) – 2 stars, 27.53 calories burnt
So in total I burnt 123.38 calories and the workout took 19 minutes. I’m not sure how this calorie counts is worked out or how accurate it is; at best I guess it is just an estimate. As you can see, the songs vary quite a lot in how many calories they burn, for a good workout I think I will be trying out a few and putting together a playlist based on the ones I like the most and the ones that burn the most calories.
I was slightly disappointed that the playlists seemed to just be songs that are already in the game, I was expected something a little more work out based, perhaps with a warm up song and a cool down chill out track at the end to do yoga style stretches to, but I guess you could create something like that within your own playlist.
Just Dance is just like any workout, you get out what you put in. if you stand stationary just waving your arms in the air when instructed, then you will not get a lot out of it. If you pretend the living room is your stage and really get into the groove then you will work up a bit of a sweat. I gave it my all and by the 3rd song I was starting to feel quite sweaty (bearing in mind I had already done one playlist of 6 songs so technically I guess this was my 9th song). By the end of the playlist I was feeling a bit out of breath (cardio isn’t really my strong point!).
So is it worth investing in? Well no, not if you were to buy it solely with working out in mind. It is a lot of fun to play and I did work up a sweat but I don’t think I will be cancelling the gym membership anytime soon. However, if you’re looking for something for something fun that the whole family can enjoy or something different to do when your friends come over, then yes buy it because this game is great fun. I know it will be getting a lot of use in our house both with Mollie and without!
Have you ever played Just Dance? What do you think of it? Are there any fun ways you like to get a workout in at home? Would love to hear from you in the comments!
*Just Dance 2016 is available for Wii U, Xbox One and Ps4