This past year I decided I wanted to be a bit healthier than I had been. Back in the before-times I would at least walk from the parking lot and up 2 flights of stairs to my office a couple of times a day, but with the pandemic and now only being on site one day a week I was not getting even a token amount of exercise.
I had bought Ring Fit Adventure for the Nintendo Switch sometime in 2020 when I found it in stock, but had only been playing it sporadically. So I engaged in a plan to try to do Ring Fit Adventure every work-day with a goal of losing about 1 pound a month over the course of the year.
I coupled this with slightly modifying my food intake. Simple things like not refilling my cereal bowl at breakfast. Having a lunch of half a sandwich (meaning, a slice of sandwich bread cut in half, not, like, a 6-inch sandwich from Subway) with yogurt, fruit, and/or cashews. And generally eating until I wasn't hungry instead of eating until full.
I still ate plenty of desserts and treats and snacks. And I'd still eat my fill on occasion when a meal was something particularly good, but these small changes were enough to reverse the slow trend of weight gain to instead be a slow, but steady trend of weight loss.
Ring Fit has you do warm up stretches, exercising (which counts time when your muscles are engaged), and then cool down stretches. My goal was to log at least 10 minutes of timed exercising each time I played which, with stretches, usually took about 30 minutes.
I used Wii Fit to track my progress by doing a weekly body test:
My goal was about a pound a month which would put me at 22 BMI. I technically hit my goal in early October, but you can see from the graph that was a bit of an anomaly. However, my progress has been steadily moving in the desired direction (ignoring the week-to-week noise).
You can see the unfortunate jump in the penultimate body test of the year which I'm sure was a result of no exercise that week while we were in Utah and two days of sitting in the van eating junk. But I'm back on track now.
Ring Fit, oddly, doesn't provide graphs (that I can find). Otherwise I'd show a graph of my daily exercise amounts or difficulty level progression or something. Instead I only have cumulative numbers which aren't entirely limited to 2021, but I didn't do very much in 2020.
The star indicates that I've completed all the levels once (i.e., I "beat the game."). I think I started at difficulty level 12 and worked my way up to 24. I exercised almost 56 hours total. That's certainly nothing compared to avid exercisers, but it was 56 more hours of exercise than I was going to get without playing Ring Fit.
I can tell that I've actually developed some muscle mass which means that my weight loss is somewhat masked by muscle gain. There's no great transformation story here. Just slow and steady progress with a small, but consistent, level of effort.
Ring Fit is engaging enough as a video game that I haven't gotten completely bored with it after a full year. It added just enough of a layer of story (such as it is) and common video-game mechanics on top of the Wii Fit concepts to be a nice push forward for the genre of exercise video games.
I'm hoping they release some DLC or a sequel or something to renew the interest level. I'm sure I'll eventually get bored with it even though the point is the exercise and not the game as a game. I'm pretty sure it's been worth the price in terms of improving my overall health regardless.