At Home Workouts
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Zumba Fitness Rush
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Kinect Sports: Season Two
Dance Central 2
Zumba Fitness Rush
(Majesco Entertainment, $50)
Image: Courtesy of Microsoft
The basics: The latest Zumba game guides you through 24 styles of dance, ranging from Meringue, Salsa, and Cumbia to Bollywood and Bachata. These steps are mixed into 42 routines led by six different instructors, whose 3D avatars appear on the screen in front of you. After choosing one of 10 venues—yacht, roof top, nightclub, music video set, and so on—up to two players are ready to groove. Select a single song and create a 20-, 45-, or 60-minute block of routines. You may also practice at your own pace with Learn the Steps, a tutorial that breaks down all the moves in a particular track and gives you feedback on whether your arms and legs are moving the right way. A running tally of the calories you’ve torched is kept on-screen.
The body benefits: “Zumba works each muscle group as you dance,” says Gina Grant, one of the game’s choreographers. “There’s also a sense of freedom and exhilaration you get from the experience that can have a positive impact on your overall mental health.”
How it compares to a gym workout: Just like the Zumba classes offered at gyms and dance studios, the video game version lets you work at your own intensity, picking low, medium, or high. Rush is also a great place to start if you’re too shy to shake it in public. “The tutorial lets players learn at their own pace to build confidence so they can feel comfortable bringing those moves into a class environment,” says Grant. Once you’re ready to go public, use Rush’s class locator tool to find an instructor in your city. Bonus: The game also comes with a 7-day pass to 24 Hour Fitness so you can try a live class for free.