The COVID-19 situation has caused a number of countries to go into lockdown, or at least impose restrictions such that people are forced to limit their daily outings and stay home instead. With no real end in sight to the lockdown, and my realization that even as an introvert, this is just way too much home time for me, I’ve grown exceedingly appreciative and grateful for video games, my Nintendo Switch, and Ring Fit Adventure.
Switches have been selling out fast over the past couple months or so, and even if you could find one in the wild you’d probably have to buy it at an insane markup. Having had my Switch since launch, the deluge of video game releases have certainly been effective in curbing my boredom and keeping me from going quite mad in my own house.
But then there was another problem: how do I stay in shape while spending the bulk of my time at home?
The solution turned out to be pretty simple as I laid my eyes on Ring Fit Adventure while browsing the Switch catalog one afternoon. It’s not a cheap game; coming in at a couple hundred dollars, you’re investing in the game, along with the included accessories: a leg strap and a Ring-Con. Desperate for something new to keep my attention while allowing me to maintain my fitness at the same time, I ordered it without a second thought.
This past week, I’ve settled into a new routine: wake up, take a quick shower, pop in Ring Fit Adventure, and complete a level or two. It’s surprisingly worked wonders for my mental health. Being cooped up in a house for almost the entire day for an indefinite period of time has definitely taken its toll, and being able to release that stress in a productive and healthy manner helps.
What’s most impressive about Ring Fit Adventure is that you get to choose the level of exercise you want to attempt. So far I’ve been going at a steady pace with the ‘moderate’ level, and just a couple of five-minute workouts are enough to get me to break into a sweat. As you progress, you’ll encounter monsters and unlock new workout routines to help deal damage to them. Each time you beat a monster or clear a level, you earn experience points. I’ve never felt so rewarded for exercising — it feels good.
Ring Fit Adventure gets progressively more intense as you make your way through the vibrant worlds, and before you know it, you’re constantly doing high knee lifts, ring presses while jogging to lift your character over obstacles, and exhausting ring pulls to collect as much money as you can. Random enemy encounters can be an exhausting affair, and boss fights are a glorious HIIT session where every knee-to-chest lift you do deals damage to their health bars.
This game appeals to the part of my brain where all the synapses start lighting up and firing when my exercises get converted to experience points, which then fill up my progress bar to let me level up. I get drunk off unlocking new workout routines to exploit enemy weaknesses, and the feeling of leveling up my character’s stats as I get more and more resilient with these workouts is indescribable.
A good workout in the morning helps to set the pace and tone of the rest of my day, and if I start feeling restless, I hop into the game to knock out another level and I’m good to go again.
I don’t want to recommend or push Ring Fit Adventure as a worthy substitution for your expensive gym membership, but if you’re cooped up in the house because of a COVID-19 lockdown, this could very well be the remedy you need to keep your body in shape. Now, back to knee lifts.