Can Virtual Reality Make You Fit?

Many have wanted to escape their reality amid a challenging workout. Huffing and puffing on a stationary bicycle (or another piece of gear ) surrounded by hordes of other sweaty people counting down the moments until they have met their objectives, is seldom an exciting experience.

And while virtual reality platforms, where an individual’s environment is substituted with an electronic one, are only just scratching the surface of the fitness world as of 2019, 2020 looks promising for VR.

In 2018, VR users increased by 30%, primarily because of the popularity of the PlayStation VR. The launch of the Oculus Quest in 2019 is to be another enormous leap forward as it removed the requirement for a powerful PC. 

Fitness games are more supplemental than they are a primary form of exercise, but the novelty can do a lot to break up a monotonous workout regimen. The idea being that you could be transported to a gorgeous place like the Swiss Alps to your next stationary bicycle ride, instead of having to stare at the sweaty back of a fellow gym-goer is attractive to many.

However, it’s not only the ability to “escape” the real world, which makes virtual reality platform’s an exciting new world for practice.

As a result of internet-connected nature of VR headsets and other devices, tracking and monitoring key health metrics also becomes more available for users.

Pros of Using Virtual Reality for Fitness

The beauty of exercising in a 3D virtual environment is that you can move and interact within the game itself. These technologies, which turn the workout experience into a digital contest. You can play with yourself, with friends, or meet entirely new people; exercising and having fun while helping to distract you from the job you are actually doing.

As of 2019, the amount of full-fledged VR games designed especially for exercise is comparatively low, but there are games which, by their very nature, need full-body movement within the virtual environment, turning them into a workout.

Cons of Using Virtual Reality for Fitness

To replace your real-world environment using a virtual 3D environment, you need to put on a headset. 

It’s not that wearing a VR headset is heavy and takes a strain on your neck; it’s more that it’s just clunky with a device strapped to your face. Often, the VR simulation is good enough to fool your brain into thinking it’s real, and it’s immersion-breaking when you go to touch your face and forget you’re wearing a headset.

The headset also limits your view of your real-world environment and, to avoid hurting yourself or your surroundings, you need to have a substantial amount of cleared space.