Gamification for Your Exercise

Much has been said about the gamification of conferences, meetings and events. The logic is that when a seemingly boring experience can be turned into one of competition and the pursuit of achievement, participants are thoroughly engaged. This phenomenon is known as gamification. Gamification has proven so successful that it has penetrated other areas of life as well. Those who work in the virtual reality community believe that gamifying exercise will encourage people to stay fit and healthy.

Why VR exercises might go beyond traditional practice

Ask anyone who exercises regularly and they will admit that their exercise routine has gotten a little stale over time. You can only walk across the same landscape or lift weights in the same area until you get bored of the area. Enter the gamification of training through virtual reality. The nice thing about training in a virtual environment is that it’s dynamic. Virtual reality technology is rapidly improving to the point where users can customize their own idiosyncratic training settings. Doing a workout in a beautiful virtual environment that changes from day to day is much more dynamic than the same old gym or running track.

Virtual reality workouts should also be praised for their competitive nature. Many virtual reality exercise apps track user performance data in detail for comparison purposes. Aiming to exceed the previous workout pace, repetitions, or other metrics makes exercising an enjoyable experience. Add that these virtual training sessions allow one to interact with their surroundings, virtual competitors, and even virtual instructors, and it’s easy to see why so many are intrigued by virtual training sessions. It will not be long before VR users can take part in online competitions with other VR users over long distances. Even if it is only a matter of comparing your own VR performance with that of your friends or even complete strangers, quantifying your own physical activity serves as a strong motivator. This gamification is exactly what many need to keep busy with their workouts, lose weight, and tone up muscles.

Why people react to virtual challenges

Virtual reality exercises have the potential to turn idle and out of shape individuals into very healthy fitness fanatics. People really respond to challenges, especially when presented in a fun, video game-like format. See the success of Nintendo’s Wii. This motion-controlled video game technology was a best seller because it got people moving in an incredibly fun way. VR fitness will increase the joy of motion-controlled video game exercises. The main difference between the Nintendo Wii and VR workouts is the addition of the virtual reality headset.

Buckling up a headset is used to remove people from their real environment and to position them in a virtual space that appears quite realistic. When you are immersed in a seemingly real environment, you are much more likely to give your all when it comes to physical fitness challenges. All of a sudden, being active is a lot more fun than hanging out on the couch watching TV or some other passive activity.

Examples of training gamification

Virtual reality fitness apps are debuting right and left. Many use augmented reality while others put the user in a truly virtual environment created with the VR headset. Check out Superhero Workout for an example of workout gamification in action. This fitness app lets the player compete against evil aliens who want to destroy our planet. Superhero Workout uses motion detection technology for the user to fight aliens through exercises such as jumping jacks, punches, crunches and more.

Another fitness app, Zombies, Run !, transports the user into a post-apocalyptic world full of zombies. The player must survive by running around collecting supplies and completing various missions. If he gets caught by the zombies, he loses. These are just two examples of how gamifying physical activity makes it so much more engaging and lovable.

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