VR Exercise Routine – three Video games That Are as Enjoyable as They Are Bodily
VR is used in everything from art and design to education, research and entertainment. An unexpected by-product of immersing yourself in VR is the ability to reverse the notion that in-home entertainment is necessarily sedentary. With the right games and techniques, VR can actually be an excellent workout. Here we share a VR training routine that is as fun as it is physical.
Yes, there are special VR apps that are specially designed for fitness. But if you’re anything like me, the biggest challenge is not being able to exercise, but maintaining a constant level of motivation. Fortunately, exercising is easy when it’s a by-product of something that is inherently fun – the difference between weightlifting and exercise.
So I’ve put together a three-game VR training routine for myself, where none of the games are explicitly designed for fitness (meaning they’re primarily focused on fun), but when combined with the right settings and techniques, a solid one Thing can be train; Here are my FitBit stats after a session.
Of course, what you get out of a workout depends on what you’ve entered. Yes, you could play these games without trying almost as much, but I played for both fun and fitness so I really got into my moves. Below, I’ll explain the techniques you can use to get the most out of each game and make the most of it.
Since not all of these games are available on all VR platforms (we’ll see where to find them), you can create your own combination of games and time spent.
Take a large cup of water (you’ll need it for breaks) and buckle your headset on firmly – here’s the overview:
Arms: 1 hour – hit the saber
Available for: Rift, Steam, Quest, PSVR
Hit saber is a rhythm game that emphasizes movement over timing. With a growing number of built-in tracks with elaborate beatmaps, playing is easy and fun and very exciting to work your way up from Easy to Expert +. The intensity of the tracks varies even with the same level of difficulty. You will get a feel for which will take the greatest effort. [Read Our Beat Saber Review]
Settings & technology
Play on the highest level of difficulty that you are comfortable with. Expert + will be the most physical, of course, and ideally you should prepare for it, but even if you play hard or expert, the right technique will get your blood pumping. I strongly recommend playing with “No Fail” enabled. That way, you can focus on fitness and flow instead of being interrupted by a song’s failure.
The key is big swings. Keep your feet planted; Focus less on your wrists and more on moving your arms. I find that the best way to have fun, if you put in the effort, is to try and swing each block with as much force as possible while still managing to get to the next block on time. The key is to move your swings smoothly from one block to the next. This is a fun challenge that requires you to strategically plan your moves to see how you can most efficiently move from one swing to the next, even when making big, hard swings. When you really get into the zone, you should feel this satisfying flow state that will take hold.
You should take the headset off for a five minute cooldown and water break if you are really out of breath. See if you can prepare to complete an entire “album” before taking your break (albums come in different lengths, so choose carefully).
Legs: 30 minutes – gun whip
Available on: Rift, Steam, Quest, coming soon on PSVR
Gun whip is a rhythm shooter that focuses on flow and goal management rather than precision. Enemies appear as you move through the level and it’s your job to send them out while avoiding their incoming fire. Pistol Whip can be a great leg workout and is a perfect addition to Beat Saber. [Read our Pistol Whip Review]
Settings & technology
Similar to Beat Saber, I strongly recommend playing at the highest possible level and with “No Fail” activated. This ensures that you won’t get interrupted or frustrated by failing a level. A higher level of difficulty requires more movement and ensures a better workout. I also recommend the “Dual Wield” mode, which puts a weapon in each of your hands instead of just one. With two cannons, it’s easier to find the satisfactory flow state that will keep you going.
The key to good pistol whip workout is to keep your feet planted as often as possible. From here, you’ll have to move your torso to dodge the incoming fire while returning fire to kill enemies. Moving in this way puts a lot of strain on your legs. Don’t be afraid to come down really deep to dodge. Not only is it an effective dodging technique, it will flex the leg muscles as well.
Listen to music and keep your body in tune. The combination of shooting and dodging into one continuously flowing movement is the key to fun and fitness in this game.
Cooldown: 30 minutes – until you fall
Available for: Rift, Steam
Until you fall is a rogue-lite hand-to-hand combat game in which you fight as much as you can until you inevitably perish. With each run, you earn money that you can use to buy and upgrade weapons to make yourself stronger for your next fight. Being a successful knight requires patience and strategy, which makes this game a great cooldown as you can flex your brain as your muscles relax. [Read Our Until You Fall Review]
Settings & technology
Just like with Beat Saber, the key here is to do big swings. However, this is not just for your workout. Bigger swings to fall mean more damage to enemies, killing two birds with one stone.
In the game, you can choose from a handful of weapons that you want to hold in each hand. If you choose one of the ‘Talisman’ items (which give stat boosts but cannot block or attack) you can focus all of your physical exertion on one arm. Try to change the talisman into your other hand each time you die. This forces you to practice coordination and muscle memory in your nondominant hand, which will help you later in the game when you are back to using a weapon in each hand.
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Mix it up
The above is just a rough suggestion. Adjust the times to suit you. If you want even more workout for your time, consider adding 10 crunches every time you need to take off your headset to drink some water. In Till You Fall, consider adding your own fitness penalty for dying (e.g., 10 jumping jacks) to raise the stakes and make you fight harder to survive.
Wipe it off
Don’t let your headset become a mess! After a good session, be sure to remove the headset’s face foam and squeeze it well with a damp paper towel in your hand, followed by a dry paper towel for any moisture remaining. Feel around the other straps on the headset to see if they need wiping too. Your controllers may also need some attention.
Do you have any suggestions for other great VR games that are both fun and fitness? Drop them in the comments below!