Thursday, 11 February 2021 15:30

The VR Workout

By Megin Potter | Sports
Photo by Adam Potter. Photo by Adam Potter.

Escape the ordinary, get connected, and join the next generation of fitness. 

My 12-year-old son worked up a serious sweat and woke-up sore the next day after playing Rec Room on his Oculous Quest 2 – the virtual reality headset that was on the top of all his friends Christmas lists a couple of months ago. 

After a year spent mostly at home because of the pandemic, I’ve learned that there are only so many YouTube video workouts and walks around the neighborhood that one can do. 

It’s time to get out of the workout rut with the mental stimulation that technology provides. 

ALWAYS INTERESTING
I’m the type of person that gets bored easily and am always trying out new activities and fitness ideas. 

When I saw my son take off his VR headset, smiling, exhilarated, and his forehead drenched in sweat, I knew it was my turn to try the virtual reality workout for myself. 

In VR, your body becomes the controller. There are a number of different brands of headsets available, but after some research, we decided on the Oculous Quest 2. 

You’re sure to find something that interests you because there are loads of games and workouts available through the Oculus app, as well as both free and paid VR compatible games through online platforms like STEAM. 

VR gaming has come a long way in the last few years but the first step to having a good VR experience is a high-quality gaming computer to plug it into. An open area 6 1/2’ in diameter is recommended to play in, and gamers must remember to be careful of getting tangled in the cord. 

For these reasons and more, I recommend playing VR with someone else nearby at first to help guide you. Playing VR games is an opportunity for the younger generation to teach the older – a refreshing and empowering role reversal.

EXERCISE BY ACCIDENT
Besides being fun, one of the real benefits of the VR workout is that you forget you’re working out. 

Entering the VR world is like being taken somewhere else. It’s an immersive escape where you can completely block out the sights and sounds of what’s actually around you. It’s relatively easy to get the hang of it, convenient and private. 

A simple, free game like Rec Room includes the Stunt Runner obstacle course, bowling, rock-climbing, basketball, dodge ball, disc golf, and more. 

Because you can link up with others the online community, VR gaming is a fun way to connect with your friends while staying socially-distanced. 

After 45 minutes playing Rec Room, my shoulders are definitely feeling it, but I barely felt like time was passing at all – a far cry from watching the clock and counting down the seconds while planking. 

Will VR workouts completely replace other fitness activities for me? No, but adding more VR experiences into my life is definitely something I’m looking forward to. 

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