Working out at home has become especially popular in recent years as more individuals look to spend more time at home or limit monthly costs. Self-motivation is key when it comes to at-home workouts, and while most people don’t prefer to watch workout videos anymore, using virtual reality to facilitate a workout is becoming more popular and accessible.
Virtual Reality at the Gym
Virtual reality classes are available in a small number of fitness centers in the United States. At 24 Hour Fitness in Santa Monica, members can take virtual reality spin classes. IMAX screens and synchronized music create the illusion of cycling through mountains, deserts, jungles, and even outer space. At the Woom Center in New York City, 3-D sound systems and surround screens use vibrations and colors to enhance yoga classes. These classes are made more exciting and immersive through VR.
Virtual Fitness at Home
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise per week combined with twice-weekly strength training sessions for ideal health. According to researchers from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, only one in four American adults meet these minimum standards for physical activity. Virtual reality video games can help people stick to a fitness routine because they are fun, creative, and can be done at home.
To get started with virtual reality fitness games, you need about six square feet of space. Virtual reality headset prices range between $350 to $800, comparable in price to treadmills and stationary bikes. There are a wide variety of virtual reality fitness games available. Boxing-based games including Box VR, Knockout League, The Thrill of the Fight, and The Fastest Fist burn calories without the risk of injuries of real boxing. Beat Saber uses lightsabers to get players moving. Sword Master VR is a first-person combat game that uses swords and shields, and HoloPoint is a combat game with bows and arrows. Hot Squat utilizes virtual reality to tone legs and glutes.
Accessories can be used to enhance a virtual reality workout. Fitness trackers can monitor heart rate and calories burned to determine a fitness game’s effectiveness. Adding weighted vests or ankle weights can make a game more challenging. Disposable masks help keep the headset sanitary.
A study conducted by the University of Bath showed that exercising in virtual reality led to increased exertion and enjoyment. Virtual reality fitness games will revolutionize the way Americans exercise by making fitness fun again.