With a new year comes new challenges for keeping active and fit. More than ever it can be difficult to hit the gym or even get out for a simple outdoor run. The answer for many may come with new innovations in Virtual Reality and the broad potential of VR fitness.
The brilliant thing about virtual reality is its capacity for transforming your perspective in the comfort of your own home. If you are stuck in a rut of home workouts or simply looking for new methods of motivation, VR fitness can offer fresh and exciting environments and activities that inspire movement. With games and apps specifically gearing toward keeping fit, you might just find your new favourite workout in VR.
Getting a great workout in virtual reality
It may be difficult at first to picture just how effective VR fitness can possibly be. Virtual reality technology is improving at a steady and impressive clip. However, earlier home VR headsets were often cumbersome. They were generally also tethered by large cables and subject to external sensors that limited movement.
Today, this simply isn’t the case. There are plenty of options that allow for a much greater range and freedom of movement. From wireless VR headsets that do not require a connection or PC support to smartphone compatible VR headsets that leverage the power of the smart device already in your pocket, virtual reality has never been more accessible.
Games and applications for VR fitness
Of course there are plenty of VR fitness apps and games that are suitable across any type of VR headset—wireless or not. Many VR games involve a significant amount of movement. The health benefits and potential for physical fitness in games and apps that have players jumping, ducking, bending, and moving their arms regularly are noteworthy.
Beyond this, even more VR games and apps are available that specifically target health and fitness. They offer new and exciting ways to motivate users to keep a regular fitness routine. Furthermore, they can help combat boredom by combining workout routines with fun activities and goal-tracking rewards.
Games like Beat Saber can deliver a great fitness routine while keeping players coming back for more. It falls into the genre of rhythm and beat games, where players must strike incoming blocks to the beat of popular music whilst also dodging incoming obstacles. An online leader board also means healthy competition with friends and the online community.
Furthermore, other games and apps can simulate workout spaces, provide unique adventures and environments, and much more. Combining VR fitness with elements that make other games and apps so much fun can make working out more of a pleasure than a chore. Excellent gameplay in combination with elements like leaderboards, fitness goals that tie to in-game rewards, and more blur the lines between exercise and entertainment.
Staying fit with Oculus Quest 2
A great example of a VR solution that’s perfect for your fitness goals is the Oculus Quest 2 Wireless VR Headset. I actually had the lengthy opportunity to test out and review the Oculus Quest 2. You can read much more on my in-depth thoughts and impressions of this VR headset right here.
Needless to say, my opinion of the Quest 2 is very high indeed. It has incredible features such as a lightweight design and built-in passthrough camera sensors. Best of all, it’s completely wireless, and an all-in-one VR solution. It does not require a connection to an existing VR-ready PC—it operates as a completely standalone VR experience!
These features are among those that make the Oculus Quest 2 just one of the many great virtual reality options for VR fitness. I have to say that Beat Saber is one of my favourite experiences currently available for the Quest 2 platform. When the game you can’t wait to dive back into just happens to promote healthy physical activity, it’s tough not to keep a daily commitment to exercise.
This is just a drop in the bucket of games and applications available for the Quest 2 that either lean toward mobility, or gear all-out toward VR fitness. Authentic fitness apps like VRWorkout and OhShape offer a genuine, authentic, fitness-oriented experience. Meanwhile, games like Dance Central, or a number of games that simulate every sport or activity from boxing to racquetball and more, are going to help you work up a sweat, whether that was your primary goal or not!
Check out Supernatural for the Oculus Quest 2
Perhaps one of the VR fitness solutions with the most hype leading into 2021 is currently an Oculus Quest exclusive. The popular new VR app Supernatural is a membership service with access to daily workouts and face-to-face coaching—all set to much of today’s hottest new music. It even boasts the title of one of Time Magazine’s “Best Inventions of 2020”!
With a Supernatural subscription, Oculus Quest owners can access hundreds of on-demand workouts in a range of intensities, themes, and styles of music. They can also workout and meditate against the backdrop of incredible and breathtaking locations from all over the planet. A companion app also lets users browse the workout library and track progress and rewards. They can even connect and compete with the Supernatural community at large.
Supernatural aims to target every area of fitness. High intensity cardio, flexibility, muscle strengthening, and mood and energy boosting are all goals of the Supernatural workout. It’s a great example of innovation in VR fitness. It also espouses the potential that exists for leveraging good health practices in virtual reality.
Meet your workout goals for 2021 and beyond with VR fitness
The rise of virtual reality technology is opening doors not just in gaming, but other aspects of daily life as well. With keeping active being so important to both physical and mental health, VR fitness is among the most intriguing areas of innovation. It’s more difficult now than ever to make it to the gym every day, if at all. Yet active VR games and apps open up new options in the comfort of our own homes.
Not only does VR fitness afford alternatives for workout locales, it offers incentive and motivation as well. Engaging VR apps and exciting games break from the stagnant and repetitive nature of much traditional exercise. Even those who traditionally do not enjoy working out may find that many VR fitness solutions are equally beneficial and entertaining.