Get fit in your living room

It can be hard to find the motivation to stay fit - but thankfully a new generation of games consoles have taken living-room workouts to a whole new level, making exercising at home fun as well as effective.

Woman doing sit ups to games console
Woman doing sit ups to games console

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We take a look at the newest and best games to help you get fit this winter.

EA Sports Active 2 (PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 Kinect)
Still going strong after its November 2010 release, EA Sports Active 2 is a fitness game best-seller. Available on the PS3, Wii and XBox Kinect, the game uses motion sensors (either via the Wii remote or leg and arm straps) to monitor your motions while allowing you to move freely. There are more than 70 activities and exercises to choose from, from pure fitness such as lunges and squats, to boxing and snowboarding.

Stick to the nine-week programme, designed by certified personal trainers to whip you into shape, or customise your workouts depending on your specific needs. A built-in heart rate monitor means you can see just how intense your workout is and various add-ons mean you can try fresh workouts. Unlike the original Sports Active game, this one allows you to track your progress online and compare with fellow users.

Make no mistake though... this one means business!

Zumba Fitness 2 (Wii)
The latest dance craze is no longer confined to your local leisure centre - Zumba Fitness 2 allows you to get all the benefit of the fitness sensation without leaving your living room.

It offers a total body workout with renowned Zumba instructors, a soundtrack that includes Pitbull and Nicole Scherzinger and five different game modes. There's a full tutorial so the game works for everyone from beginners to advanced, Zumba Class workouts come in 20, 45 and 60 minute formats and you can customise your routine by saving your favourite tunes on a playlist.

Even better, you can invite your pals round for a group session in Zumba Party mode.
Released 25 November.

UFC Personal Trainer (PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 Kinect)
An exercise programme with a mixed martial arts theme, UFC Personal Trainer combines aerobic exercise with strength and conditioning training aimed at specific muscle groups. As you are guided to the various training and fight modes, you'll be getting a full-body workout designed to improve endurance and strength.

It's hardcore and not to everyone's taste but it does have the advantage of giving you a simulated fighting experience without the danger!

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 (Xbox 360 Kinect)
The sequel to the Kinect's original, the manufacturers insist the updated version is more user friendly. The activities are many and varied (everything from boot camp to dance and yoga is included) and instant feedback means you know when you're doing it wrong and how you can improve. Just like EA Sports Active, users are able to monitor their progress online as well as challenge friends to see how they're shaping up. Plus the Run the World feature means you can jog through cities such as Paris and New York enjoying the virtual view!

Just Dance 3 (PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 Kinect)
The great thing about dance games is that they don't feel quite so much like fitness workouts. The latest version includes a soundtrack of 49 hits from the likes of Katy Perry and the Black Eyed Peas and you can download extra songs from the in-game store. If you're on your own, the Just Sweat It Out mode is fitness oriented, but other modes mean you can score points for your vocals or invite your friends round to show off your moves in Be Part of the Band mode.

If that's not enough, there's Dance 'Til You Drop mode, which needs no explanation!

Have you tried any fitness video games? Which ones worked for you? Let us know below...