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VR Fitness Games: Get In Shape With A Whole New Fun “At Home” VR Workouts!

“Fitness is a way of life.” There are several ways to keep your body fit, however, if you do not want to hit the gym, then you can try out something that could be a whole new experience for you in your fitness routine. VR Fitness has been gaining popularity for quite a few years. VR fitness games are new ways of “at-home” workouts, thus getting you in a shape with much more fun than the regular workouts at the gym. Let us discover more about these VR fitness games.

What Are VR Fitness Games?

VR or Virtual reality is a computer-simulated environment. A VR headset or hardware helps you to navigate and interact with the simulation. Virtual reality has its use in various fields like healthcare and research, entertainment, education and training, and of course, fitness too.

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For VR fitness games you need to use hardware or the VR headset and also software or a collection of fitness games to immerse yourself in virtual surroundings. In normal video games, we control our players using a handheld controller. However, in VR fitness, one needs to control the players in the game by moving their bodies. For instance, you might jump over laser beams, be up on your feet hopping for a few minutes, or do a few side lunges and squats while riding a VR roller coaster.

While you are involved in these VR fitness games, you would notice how quickly your heart rate raises. Depending on the type of VR fitness game and how much or how fast you are moving while playing the games, the energy expenditure could be similar to other types of cardio that of a traditional workout, or might be even more intense.
VR fitness can transform the fitness routines of people and can even improve their health and quality of life.

What Does Science Tell About VR Fitness Games And Their Effectiveness As A Workout?

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Science and research studies claim that virtual reality games can be equally intense or even more intense than traditional workouts.

According to a study conducted at the University of Washington, it has been mentioned that VR therapy was highly effective at improving the mobility of the joints and easing pain.(1)

A paper that was published in “Games for Health Journal” in 2018 talks about the effectiveness of VR games.(2) Researchers used three VR games, namely Audioshield, Holopoint, and Thrill of the Fight, to test on 41 healthy women and men who were in the age group 18 to 39. Each participant was made to play each game for ten minutes and researchers measured their heart rate and oxygen consumption. It was found that the physical activity that was needed for all these games, was equal to the energy expenditure that occurs in moderate-to-vigorous-intensity exercise.

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It has been recommended by the CDC or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that we need to have 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week.(3)

The CDC mentions that brisk walking is a moderate-intensity exercise, and jogging or running are a few vigorous-intensity exercises.

A study that was published in 2019 in ‘Psychology of Sport and Exercise”, compared adults from two groups doing bicep curls. Forty individuals went to the gym for exercising and another forty individuals exercised using a VR headset via VR fitness. Both these groups used 20% of the maximum weight that they could lift, and they held the bicep curls for the maximum time they could.(4) The data showed that the group that was involved in VR fitness reported a pain intensity 10% lower than the other group (which was exercising in the gym). They even had a lower heart rate and could keep lifting for two minutes longer when compared to their peers in the gym.

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The “International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health” published a review in 2020 that analyzed studies that already had evaluated the effectiveness of Virtual reality exercises, and concluded that VR exercises helped in improving muscle strength, balance, and overall physical fitness.(5)

What Do You Need For VR Fitness?

VR Headsets:

You should purchase a VR headset (which is the hardware) for your VR fitness. There are different VR headsets and each of them is created differently and might also cost you differently. The Oculus Quest 2 is a VR headset can work as a standalone headset and you get that for a few hundred dollars. However, HTC Vive Pro headsets are pretty expensive and they also require a tethered PC.

VR Fitness Games Apps:

For getting started with your VR fitness exercises, you need to choose some of the best VR fitness game apps. Before buying a game, use free trials. Some games are adventurous, in which you will have to fight with monsters, or be dodging, while others might be those which would allow you to play sports like boxing, fencing, or tennis. The choice is yours!

What Are The Things To Consider While Choosing Your VR Fitness Games?

Below is the list of things that must be considered while choosing your VR fitness games.

Choose A Game That Gives You A Real Workout:

You should choose a VR fitness game that requires sweat-inducing movements and would give you a real workout when you play them.

Check If The VR Fitness Game Is User-Friendly Or Not:

You need to purchase games that are user-friendly and easy to get the hang of the game and no major bugs get in the way while you are playing.

Avoid Games That Might Cause You Motion Sickness:

Some games might get you motion sickness. Do not include such games. This is because working out should not make you like vomiting.

Make Sure The VR Fitness Game That You Choose Adds Fun To Your Workout:

The most obvious thing that you should choose while purchasing your VR fitness game is the level of fun that it offers while playing it. You get better results when you work out entertainingly.

List Of Some Amazing VR Fitness Games You Should Try

  1. Dance Central

    Dance Central is an excellent game for all dance lovers. This amazing VR fitness game would help you do a new dance and help you sweat with your movements. You will be challenging a cast of beautiful characters in this nightclub to various dance battles. As you learn and master different dances, your rivals in the games will turn into your friends.

    The best thing about this game is you can choose your favorite song from a list of songs in the game. This would be a great cardio move for you.

  2. REAKT Performance Trainer

    REAKT Performance Trainer is great for athletic persons. This VR fitness game helps you improve your reaction time in Virtual reality quite easier. The weekly challenges and scoring charts, and trackers to know your performance, makes this game extremely appealing. Moreover, you also train your body and mind simultaneously with this game.

  3. FitXR

    FitXR, which was earlier known as “BoxVR” is another exciting VR fitness game. It requires a monthly subscription. With this VR fitness game, you get three different styles of workouts; dance, boxing, or HIIT.

  4. OhShape

    OhShape is a super unique game that brings its unique spin and you can get your body to keep moving and jiving. This VR game will also make you dance while avoiding obstacles and help you burn enough carbohydrates.

  5. Beat Saber

    Beat Saver is a challenging rhythm game, with a built-in cardio workout. You will be armed with two sabers and must have to swing through incoming color-coded blocks from the front in accurate time with the beat, and that too while avoiding bombs and other obstacles.

    This game has a huge library of songs, including those of renowned artists like Billie Eilish and Lady Gaga. You can also get the benefit of an infinite number of custom songs which could be accessible in the Oculus Quest VR headset. So, with so many features and amazing creations, you will surely feel amazing while playing this VR fitness game.

  6. VZfit

    VZfit is a new VR fitness game that helps you to bike every single mile of the U.S. roads even staying at your home. In fact, you can explore any part of the world through this VR game. The game pairs exercise with Google Street View which allows you to exercise all around the globe. This game offers you full-body exercise and aerobic exercise.

    The best thing about VZfit is that it supports up to five gamers/players per ride. So, you can enjoy this incredible VR fitness game with your friends. You should first start with a seven-day free trial and then purchase the game app.

Try Out VR Fitness and Feel The Difference!

VR fitness can be great if you love gamified workouts or virtual reality games. If you are not physically active then it is good to go for VR workouts as they are more enjoyable than regular gym workouts and you also get similar kinds of results. Moreover, if you hate exercise, then you can start with VR fitness games and get moving to burn some calories while playing and enjoying.

However, you should remain conscious of your fitness levels and mobility. If you have any medical condition or suffering an injury that might limit your ability to exercise then you need to talk to your doctor before beginning the exercise.

References:

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