I acquired an Oculus! 5 Methods I’m Utilizing It & Why I’m Loving it | by Joyce Chuinkam | Apr, 2021

Obviously pretty excited about my new toy!

have an oculus. It was an impulse buy. I’d heard so much about it, specifically for fitness, and one afternoon without thinking about it, I thought – why not?

With the gyms closed and neighborhood crime increasing, walks around the block were no longer ideal and my activity options ran out.

I got Quest 2 because I learned thataIt was all encompassing. This meant I didn’t need anything other than the device that came via email (and a smartphone and FB account to set it up). What also attracted me was that it was completely wireless – no cables or wires running through the room.

I never thought I’d own a VR headset. Ever. I’m not a gamer. But when I heard how it has helped communities of people stay active, especially in the midst of the pandemic – especially when I’m having fun – I had to explore. It didn’t disappoint. Granted, the initial challenge was to incorporate it into my day. It took about two to three weeks to try it on here and there before finally getting into it, and it’s hard to put it down.

A few weeks after my Oculus arrived, LA County made the announcement – the gyms were reopening. Whomp.

Even though things are reopening, I’m still excited about my VR headset as things are going to look a little different for a while. Your mask must be on during exercise, some gyms are full of people hungry to get going, so waiting for machines is longer, waiting for machines to get off is therefore more intense when people are breathing Hals (under the masks of course) counts every second remaining in your kit and the extra seconds it takes to disinfect the station.

My virtual fitness world has a lot less pressure than the gym.

  1. Dance breaks every hour: One of the more difficult things about working from home was getting away from your desk. According to data collected by FitBit, there was a 12% decrease in steps in the US within the first 30 days after the COVID outbreak. In the months that followed, the data showed that the number continued to rise as we introduced a more sedentary lifestyle. For one thing, I love getting started – not a quick strength walk or a flick of my wrist until I’ve hit 250 hours an hour. Fitbit enthusiasts can tell you what it means to close those rings at the end of the hour. The Oculus made it easy especially with FitXR. There are dance classes of just 3 minutes that I take to complete all of my steps for an hour, increase my heart rate, and improve my typical dance moves.
  2. Fun and unusual movement: I would never think of doing half of the moves I do in these classes on my own. Sure, I could watch a YouTube video and follow the steps (and I’ve been trying to learn the latest TikTok challenges), but I miss the feeling of being in a dance studio with other people. Also – YouTube doesn’t have a scoreboard and I like to play to win;). When I started doing the online HIIT workouts that my employer offered at 7 a.m. on weekdays, I loved the new experience.

We have been incarcerated for over a year and many of us have stayed the same routine ever since. It’s getting old.

Maybe I’m so excited about the Oculus because it’s new? I dont know. What I know is when I’m in the headset it doesn’t register as an exercise for me – just as a movement. Which is what I believe a true fitness lifestyle should be.

  1. Immersive physical and mental teleportation: Numerous studies have shown that symptoms of depression are more common (up to three times higher) than before during the COVID-19 pandemic. PSA: If you felt blue, you are not alone!

Before COVID-19 estimates from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2017-2018. During the COVID-19 estimates from the study COVID-19 and Life Stressors Affecting Mental Health and Wellbeing (CLIMB), collected from March 31 to April 13, 2020. Depression symptom categories calculated using the patient health questionnaire – 9: none (0) –4), mild (5–9), medium (10–14), moderately severe (15–19) and severe (20). Weighted percentages of the population of non-institutionalized US adults aged 18 and over.

While there does not appear to be sufficient evidence of this type of VR practice in relation to mental illness, VR-based treatments for various mental illnesses have seen positive results. Recently, VR exposure therapy (VRET) has become popular in the treatment of anxiety and depression.

It is therapeutic to be completely immersed in a world outside of my apartment (while I am still in my apartment). As someone who literally spent the first 3 months of the pandemic indoors and went out for groceries once a week for the next 9 months, it’s nice to feel that the landscape has changed. I don’t spend too long in the VR world, however.

After a while, I get sweaty and uncomfortable.

Of course, I can’t talk about VR without mentioning dizziness, which is a common problem for many who have suffered from motion sickness in their lifetime. There are forums that talk about it better than I do, as I’ve never had such a problem myself, either on airplanes, in cars or in my headset.

4th It doesn’t bother the neighbors: Speaking of going anywhere and nowhere at the same time – neighbors. Attention city dwellers.

Are you struggling to exercise from home because of the lack of space or equipment?

Are you worried about harassing your neighbors with the effects of your burpees?

When you hit the gym, hesitate to try the new Zumba class or introduction to the boxing session because you think people might make fun of you?

Then the Oculus could be for you. I love that I can change the settings to reflect the limited space I have to work with. I love that none of my workouts involve any equipment or jumping, and as someone who absolutely hates looking like an idiot, I love to fail privately when I try something new and suck it all over. So for the first time in a boxing hall? No problem, it’s your living room too. Nobody is watching.

5. 30 day fitness challenge: All of this leads to my final point; A brilliant idea, I had to challenge myself to something new and uncomfortable. I will start 30 days of VR Fitness for myself from tomorrow, April 1st, 2021.

During the month of April I would like to train in virtual reality for a total of at least 30 minutes 5 days a week.

The destination is approximately 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon. (I find anything that takes more than 15 minutes at a time to drive me.) I’m very excited about this goal because I’m excited to see how I end up feeling. everything (I don’t know how much change will be visible).

During the challenge, I will adjust my diet and plan to lift the weights that I have been laying around my apartment. If it turns out to be something magical (or not) watch out for another post from me tell you all about it!

VR for fitness isn’t a new idea that popped up during the pandemic and I wish I had come across it sooner. Over the past decade, variations of VR have been used in rehabilitation medicine (e.g. Parkinson’s disease) and behavioral medicine (e.g. autism). Researchers and health professionals have documented that combining VR with exercise equipment (also known as VR training) can serve to enhance the psychological benefits of exercise and increase the likelihood of long-term adherence to exercise (Zeng, Pope, et al., 2018).

So not bad for an impulse buy, right? Cheers to creative ways to find joy in 2021!

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