Best Fitness Vr – Personal trainers and VR fitness experts show their best photos of real sports that are fun and can provide the best workout.
These VR fitness games will take you out of your living room. Instead, you’re throwing punches in a boxing ring or doing yoga on the salt flats of Bolivia.Victor Bordera/Stocksy
Best Fitness Vr
Cutting orbs to the beat of your favorite song, jumping and ducking under beams of lasers, or sword fighting orcs in the middle of the forest – if these exercises sound like more fun than running miles on a treadmill, keep reading.
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With virtual reality (VR) technology, you can break a sweat and burn some serious calories from the comfort of your living room, says Jimmy Bagley, PhD, associate professor of kinesiology and executive director of the Strength and Conditioning Lab at San Francisco State. University, where he studies real health and exercise. Also, the games can be fun.
“Virtual reality games are not always sold as exercises, but our research shows that if you play with them, some can deliver an exercise equivalent to walking on a treadmill or cycling on a stationary bike,” says Dr. Bagley.
To get started with VR, you’ll need a VR headset, like the Meta Quest 2 (formerly Oculus Quest 2), HTC Vive Pro, or PlayStation VR. Then you will need to download a few games.
And remember, if you have a health condition or injury that may affect your ability to exercise safely, consult your doctor before trying VR fitness games or any new exercise program.
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We asked Bagley and other experts in the VR fitness field for their favorite games to play when they’re ready to exercise. These games will get you out of bed and on your feet, and they’ll even get your heart rate pumping. Here’s a roundup of the top picks:
Supernatural was the top choice from Bagley and Aaron Stanton, founder and director of the VR Health Institute, an independent research organization founded in 2017 to study the effects of virtual and augmented reality technology on health. (Bagley and San Francisco State University have partnered with the VR Health Institute for research projects.)
It is a subscription-based workout platform that currently offers more than 500 activities and adds new ones daily. You can do yoga, Pilates, boxing, and more, under the guidance of a real teacher, and in a variety of amazing places from all over the world, from the salt mountains in Bolivia to the volcano in Iceland.
For a full-on workout, you can try Supernatural’s signature game, Flow, where players use their controllers to smash goals to the beat of a song, while ducking, lunging, and jumping to avoid oncoming shapes.
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The exercises are usually between 10 and 30 minutes. “Time flies faster than you think, and before you know it, you’re sweaty and done with your workout routine,” says Bagley.
Bagley calls it “addiction.” With a ruler that looks like a sword of lights – one red and one blue – in each hand, you will cut shapes coming to the beat of the music. The shapes are either red or blue, and your job is to cut them with the matching sword. You will also need to duck and avoid the oncoming obstacles.
“It reminds me of old school Dance Dance Revolution. It can end up being a very strong job,” says Bagley.
Playing Beat Saber is available on multiple platforms, including Meta Quest and PlayStation VR headsets. It sells for about $30.
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If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be in a boxing ring, download Fight Fun and slip on your VR headset.
Stanton says researchers at the VR Health Institute measured how many calories players burned in various games, including Thrill of the Fight. Turns out, this sparring match was one of the most energy-consuming per minute matches they watched. Athletes burned between 9.74 and 15.32 calories per minute, which is on par with the calories burned during a traditional, real-life rowing workout.
You’re constantly throwing punches, kicking and side-kicking for five-minute long matches. Exercise can be very challenging. Stanton says you’ll end up covered in sweat and likely have sore hands after a few games.
When Tim Donahey, an Ohio-based National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer, turned to VR fitness in August 2016 to help him lose the weight he had gained earlier in the year, Holoball was one of four sports in his daily rotation. (Donahey stuck to an hour of VR exercise five days a week for 50 days, documenting the experience on Reddit.)
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Holoball is similar to racquetball, in which players in a colorful room hit neon-colored balls against the wall in front of them. “It’s understandable, so you get used to playing the game right away. But from a cardiovascular standpoint, it gets your heart rate up to the warm zone and keeps you there,” says Donahey.
Playing Holoball is available on multiple platforms, including Meta Love, PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Steam. It is priced at $9.99 to $14.99 (depending on your platform).
In it, you play darts, drawing a real bow to hit the blue targets that are coming your way. Every time you pursue a goal, it turns on a blue light on yourself that you need to avoid, according to Mathias Sorensen, an ACSM-certified personal trainer and curriculum manager at the American Fitness and Nutrition Academy in Pasadena, California. Sorensen, an avid athlete, says he started using VR fitness games in 2015.
Sorensen says he likes the variety of moves – you’ll be running around your living room shooting arrows from different directions, while jumping and ducking to avoid laser beams.
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Here’s your warning: As the levels progress, you’ll encounter ninjas and samurai armed with swords and their laser beams, too, Sorensen says.
If you want a different option for working out, give FitXR a try, Sorensen says. You can choose from boxing sets, dance classes, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) studios on the platform. You will sign up for a monthly subscription to access the workout database. There is a library of on-demand classes, with new workouts released daily. You have the option to choose from different types of music and workout environment.
“It’s one of the most challenging sports you can do for cardio. You’re throwing punches, you’re getting out of the way of incoming goals, you’re pumping all the time,” he says.
Owners face a lot of pressure on the football field. If you wanted to be in their shoes for a day without the pressure of real life, Donahey’s VR fitness choice is Goalkeeper VR.
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You’ll need focus, coordination, and the ability to react quickly as you protect the net from soccer balls headed your way, says Donahey. Expect to jump, slide to one side, or slide on your knees to throw balls with your hands, feet, and even your forehead.
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Classic exercise requires you to drag your lazy behind off the couch and into the gym. But now you can save time and gas money by sticking on headphones and having fun in the comfort of your home!
Can Virtual Reality Really Get You Fit?
If this sounds like something, you’ll want to come in, clear yourself a spot in the front room and dive into the world of VR fitness games as we reveal the best VR fitness games available right now.
Virtual reality allows users to interact with simulations and has been implemented in many industries, including entertainment, medicine and, of course… fitness.
Instead of using a handheld controller like in a traditional game, in VR workouts, you use hardware (the VR headset) to immerse yourself in the surrounding environment.
You’re moving your body to control the game, so you can get your heart pumping in a fun way that doesn’t feel like exercise. You can change the level of intensity and make it as easy or hard as you want – you are in control.
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Also, if you have friends with VR headsets, many games have multiplayer options, so you can play with friends.
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