Your First Month in VR Health

Welcome to your first month in VR. You have unpacked your setup and mounted your sensors on the wall. You turned everything on and sampled all of the free content. How do you really dive into VR fitness and what can you expect in that first month? Here I offer a first-hand insight into how VR fitness can change your life from day one.

Budget for games

At around $ 100, you get some amazing titles that offer an incredible variety of training potential. This ignores the Steam sales which offer even deeper discounts. For less than $ 100, you can get Thrill of the Fight and Holopoint for Cardio, Superhot, or Sairento for lighter experiences, and still have cash left over to consider something like Skyrim or Fallout for a deeper narrative that is less physically demanding is. In fact, easier tracks can be excellent for the first month as you are more likely to play for pleasure and forget about training.

Protip: Learn to wait for Steam Sales if you want more expensive titles. Photo credit: Ars Technica

VR games are surprisingly affordable with no sale. If you save $ 5 to $ 10 every week, you can try a new game or two a month. Those waiting for Steam sales will be rewarded with substantial discounts on relatively new titles. Learning how to budget games is a good idea, but it will also open up a world of diversity for you. If there is one thing to say in advance for VR Fitness: it is anything but repetitive.

You will feel pain

VR fitness games challenge you to exercise in ways that you may not be used to, such as certain sports. You need to bend and twist to avoid a fire falling and spend long periods of time in a squat or semi-squat position. Some games make you hold out your wands for long periods of time. Boxing is extremely strenuous and stressful cardio, and many of the boxing titles evaluate the strength of your punch in determining your winnings.

Even in games that you might not expect, like shooters, you’ll have to dodge the incoming fire and look for virtual cover that can train your legs and core. VR games want you to get up and move around, and developers have faced some interesting challenges.

Stretch it out before entering VR! Photo credit: Sports Science

Stretching and proper preparation are critical to avoiding muscle tension. It’s also a good idea to tackle lighter games so that you don’t always try yourself as hard as you can. You don’t want muscle fatigue and the muscle strain is worse. Another reason to keep a lot of games in your library.

VR fitness is big and diverse

There is a simulation experience for anything you want to do, even if you’re not a gamer looking for a reason to try something new. In fact, light gamers (or those who never gamble) can find the most benefit in VR because it’s so physical. You can interact with the world in very intuitive ways, but there are other benefits as well.

BoxVR offers structures and goals that you can set to motivate yourself to improve. It will be familiar, even exhilarating, to anyone who has ever taken a kickboxing class. Narrative adventures like The Wizards have reasons to return, like increasing the difficulty level or striving to get that top grade.

From shooting to sports, VR has something for everyone. These pre-built experiences are no substitute for triple-A gaming for those who love their desktops. You will improve your experience with arcade-like games that offer challenges and community. Do you love soundboxing? This is true for the community as well, and they are currently competing for high scores on your favorite songs. You can be the hero, the villain, or the best you can be in VR fitness with real impact on your health.

Progression Rocks

Progress is the cornerstone of VR fitness. That’s why players keep coming back. It’s exciting to see this new weapon, this next achievement, or just the next level. That is why gaming only caught on in the first place. People long for constantly changing stimuli. Getting off an exercise bike or elliptical machine is so enjoyable, but getting there is challenging. The experience repeats itself and relies on many external motivators for consistency. The feeling of progression comes from the results you see in your body.

Credit to: Black Box VR

In VR, you don’t have to worry about plateauing when the game calls you to the next objective. You just walk and the results follow next to you. Just make sure you have in stock all of the accessories you need to keep your workout going. Downtime will lower your heart rate and hurt your immersion.

Fitness hacks turn any game into a gym

An unexpected joy I found was turning almost any VR game into a fitness experience, basically at will. My first discovery of this amazing power came while playing Fallout 4 VR. I was crouching behind a rusty car that was hiding from attackers after stepping upstairs to avoid motion sickness from the locomotion system when I realized my heart rate has increased and I’m having a great time! Fallout 4 is pretty much the last title you’d expect to break a sweat, but I do this about two hours a week while exploring the ruins of Old Boston.

I found ways to hack boxing games like Virtual Boxing League to convert downtime into uptime. I crouch in Holopoint to get more out of my legs and go out to room-scale archery games to add a few steps to my daily count. All of these ideas naturally came to mind while playing. Some, like Dodging in my room, even helped me in the game. I can dodge more effectively when I’m a moving target in real life.

Fitness hacks add a new dimension to your gaming experience. If all you want is one day off, you don’t have to do this. These tiny challenges add something that makes beating a level I conquered before a lot more interesting.

Final thoughts

I spent around 80 hours in VR in my first month. I have the feeling that I have gained more energy in my day, that I no longer feel sedentary and I am looking forward to VR experiences. I’m the last person you’ll find in a gym, but for my first month in VR, I tackled body bags like I was addicted in Thrill of the Fight.

When I went into VR fitness, I was concerned that the system would fall by the wayside. I thought just a handful of titles would improve my fitness and that I would play the same five games to get a workout. What I found is that VR fitness is, in a way, like creative fitness. It allows you to get a full body workout, lose weight (I lost 12 pounds when combined with a healthier diet) and I keep coming back. Some days I get frustrated that I’m too sore to go back in or play the exact game I want.

In order for you to take VR fitness seriously, you should have a good budget, a good computer and some games. So, dear readers, how was your first month?

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