Exploring VR Train for Enjoyable and Health

Workout with VR in the comfort of your own home. Eren Li via Pexels

I don’t like exercise. I’m not a fitness fanatic, and I’ve found almost any excuse not to work out. Then I got a virtual reality headset.

I must confess I am not big on virtual reality, either, so when one of my college courses required me to purchase the headset, I was miffed. But, to my surprise, I found myself quite enjoying using it to explore the art museums and other far-off places as part of the curriculum. After finishing the course, I decided to look at what else this VR stuff had to offer. Nowadays, I don’t use the headset much for casual gaming or exploring museums—rather, I’ve begun to use it most for exercise.

If, like me, you have trouble getting into a workout routine or committing to a gym, or if the idea of ​​using expensive exercise machines stresses you out, then VR might be a good solution.

There are a lot of things I love about VR exercise. As an introvert, one of my favorite benefits is the privacy: there is no gym anxiety or social aspect to reckon with. I don’t even have to leave the comfort of my home. I also love the flexibility with my schedule. As a busy college student, I appreciate that how much easier it is to find time for a quick VR workout than it is to set aside time each week to go to the gym. I use the Supernatural app the most, as it offers a range of boxing workouts, guided meditation, and stretch exercises. Some are as short as 11 minutes, while others are closer to half an hour.

The immersive aspect of VR exercise is what sets it apart from working out to a video. I’ve tried the route of workout videos and had a hard time sticking to it, but VR’s immersion keeps me coming back. When it comes to exercise, if there is not some aspect I enjoy, I won’t do it—I know this about myself. It turns out turning exercise into a sort of game was the ticket for me. Despite viewing exercise as a necessary evil, I actually enjoy working out with VR.

At around $200 annually, or approximately $20 per month, Supernatural is on the more expensive side as far as exercise apps go, but it is still less than most gym memberships. For me, it’s worth it. Boxing to rock and rap music is just too much fun—and unlike a gym membership, I actually use the app. But as VR becomes more and more ubiquitous, options are becoming more plentiful as well. FitXR offers high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts as well as boxing at $9.99 per month. Beat Saber has a one-time cost of $29.99 and offers a similar workout to Supernatural. There is a range of affordability and workout types out there.

If you have a VR headset, I recommend checking out what fitness apps are available to you. Many have free trials, so you can see what you like best without committing right away. And who knows? You might even find yourself having fun.

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