Virtual Reality is widely considered to be the next big thing in tech. With Virtual Reality Headsets, users enter into different environments to seek new, immersive experiences. This has obvious benefits for gamers, but it can also reinvent home-based workouts.
The truth is, most people have a hard time staying motivated to exercise regularly. That’s where VR fitness comes into play. It can gamify workouts, putting you into a virtual environment. The best part is, you don’t have to leave your living room. If you want to combine gaming and fitness, let’s explore new workouts that are engaging and fun with VR fitness.
Working out and exercising in virtual reality
Virtual reality and fitness go together like cereal and milk. The problem with gaming is that it’s a relatively sedentary activity. With VR fitness, people are gaming and moving at the same time. Over the years, VR headsets are getting smaller, lighter, and going completely wireless. The two big players are Meta and PlayStation VR. However, there are smartphone compatible VR headsets as well. They are less expensive and don’t require a gaming console to operate. Instead, it uses your smartphone as a screen.
If you’re new to the world of VR, read this buying guide. It goes into detail outlining how VR works and what you can see and play using VR. This should help you decide which headset is right for you.
Meta Oculus Quest 3 for home-based workouts
If your aim is to replace the gym with home-based VR workouts, check out the Meta Oculus Quest 3. This new headset follows the popular Meta Quest 2 which many people use for VR workouts. However, the slimmer profile makes it easier to wear for extended workouts without fatigue. Users have a wide variety of VR workouts to choose from. There are Zumba dance workouts, boxing, and HIIT (high intensity interval training). It’s a great tool to help you hit your daily cardio goals without taking too much time out of your day. VR fitness apps like Supernatural and Les Mills offer quick workouts under 10 minutes.
After workouts, VR apps can help people relax and recover. There are a host of guided and non-guided meditations apps for the Meta Quest 3. For example, Hoame offers live studio classes and on-demand content. With over a dozen meditation styles, it provides mindfulness practices for virtually everyone.
PlayStation VR2: Fitness on the PS5
For PS5 console gamers, the PlayStation VR2 is an excellent choice for VR fitness. The headset is slimmer and lighter with an integrated vent for air flow. It uses PS VR2 Sense Technology which combines eye tracking, feedback from the headset, 3D Audio, and the PS VR2 Sense controller. While most games will give you a bit of a workout, there are also dedicated VR fitness games. Creed:Rise to Glory – Championship Edition is a great fitness game. The game is to train you for big boxing fights. Hit the speed bag, work on your jab, and throw power punches to a boxing bag. The PlayStation VR2 is a great way to get off the couch, game, and lose calories in the process.
VR/AR at CES 2024
Each year, CES previews the latest tech trends for the year and beyond. CES 2024, showcased the latest developments in virtual and augmented reality. Pimax won a 2024 CES Innovation Award for the Pimax Crystal. It’s the first VR headset with glass aspheric lenses. This produces the highest pixel amount for any consumer VR headset. It has 2880×2880 pixels per eye and is compatible with nearly all VR fitness games. The Crystal is modular, with more options and accessories coming soon.
While VR fitness is confined to indoor environments, new announcements at CES show the future of AR fitness with new smart glasses. XREAL showcased the Air 2 Ultra AR Model. Its dual cameras provide image tracking, hand tracking, depth meshing, and spatial anchoring of digital objects. It also boasts a 52 degree field of view giving the viewer incredible clarity. It’s now available for developers to create AR fitness games and accessories.
Fitness is not just related to the body, but also to the mind. MindLink Air is intended to be the fitness tracker for the brain. It watches what your eyes do to measure how well you focus. The cameras can also identify indications of fatigue or stress. It then guides you to form better habits and reduce eye strain. By looking at us—and our environment—future VR and AR headsets create the next generation of virtual and augmented workout programs.
Spatial fitness is coming to your living room
Spatial computing is the big VR buzz word in 2024. The next generation of headsets blends our physical world and virtual experiences. Essentially, it merges digital information into a spatial context. This has the potential to create smart gyms with immersive workouts. Users can interact with real gym equipment, but with a layer of digital content like real-time dashboards. Coaches and trainers may appear, guiding users through sets and reps while encouraging proper form. The potential for spatial fitness is far-reaching with enormous opportunities to transform the at-home or at-gym workout experience.
Set workout goals for 2024 with VR fitness
Video Games are one of the most popular forms of entertainment today. With advancements in VR, AR, and spatial computing, VR fitness could soon become the next big thing in gaming. Imagine playing video games and getting into the best shape of your life. That’s the opportunity VR fitness offers. As you progress through a game, you get in better shape. By the time you complete the game, you’ll have lost weight, gained muscle, and improved your cardio. It’s no wonder why everyone is getting excited about VR fitness. It combines movement with gaming to keep us fit and active as we play.
Is VR fitness the missing piece in your fitness journey? Like most things, it depends. If you love gaming but want to get more active, then it’s definitely worth considering. Maybe 2024 is the year to give Virtual Reality a try and see if VR fitness is right for you.