Virtual Reality Workouts: A New Game in Town

virtual reality workouts

There’s a New Game in Town

At the end of last year I talked about the most important things we learned about health in 2017. Well now I’d like to talk to you about a new and exciting way to get fit in 2018: Virtual Reality. The technology, as you may know, has been around for quite some time. Only recently, people started realizing they could use it to lose weight and get fit.

Using gaming systems for exercise isn’t exactly new. With games like Dance Dance Revolution and Wii fit, people have been using video games for years to burn calories. What makes VR so different is its immersive quality. When you’re bowling a ball on the TV it’s not quite as exciting because it’s pretty obvious you’re still in your living room. What sets VR workouts apart are the headsets. You wear a headset to block out the rest of the world and only see the game world. So now, you’re not bowling a fake ball in your living room, you’re actually in the bowling alley getting strikes and spares.


VR Fitness Classes

Workout studios are quickly following this trend. By installing IMAX theatres into their studios trainers can give their students an immersive workout without the headset. The Observer explains that when Bree Branker instructs her cycling class, she encourages the class to imagine that they are actually pedaling through rough terrain. “The true virtual reality kicks in when the life-like landscapes come into view, urging riders to spin up hills and adjust their torque accordingly, and then coast down into cityscapes, swerving from side to side,” explains Margaret Abrams.


Benefits of VR Workouts

If you’re feeling bored with the gym or it’s too cold to go outside for a run then VR workouts can add a fun element to your routine. According to the Washington Post, with the assistance of a stationary bike, one game makes you feel like you’re riding a pegasus. For that same reason, these games may appeal to individuals who have a hard time getting the motivation to exercise. You may not even feel like you’re actually working out.

Interested in the prospect of losing weight by using VR, Tim Donahey (a new father), put himself to the test with a 50 day challenge. He sought to lose two pounds a week with VR as his only means of exercise. And it worked! After using only VR for workouts and following a healthy diet Tim lost about 14 pounds in 50 days.


Drawbacks of VR Workouts

Virtual reality can help mix up your routine. VR might make you feel like you are outside enjoying a nice long bike ride but you’re not actually getting any fresh air. There are a lot benefits to actually enjoying your workout immersed in nature. You simply can’t get those benefits when you’re inside.

Virtual reality is not for everyone. For some it may cause motion sickness. This unpleasant experience is certainly not conducive to exercising.

As with any new exercise, remember to consult your doctor. Also remember that exercise alone will not make you lose weight. A healthy diet is key to a healthy BMI.


Photo credit: Envato Elements


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