One of the best things that came out of 2020 has been the rise in participation of at-home fitness classes, and the realisation that there are truly no limits when it comes to keeping fit. (Translation: No excuses.)
While there’s no shortage of choices – you can do everything from zen meditation, rebounder classes, reformer pilates, HIIT drills etc… – to take up, the novelty value may be wearing off. And let’s keep it real: workout boredom is extremely normal. It hits even the most gungho, #workouteveryday personalities. Which is why it’s important to keep your fitness options open.
If your go-to workout is feeling stale, injecting an element of escapism and gamification might do the trick to keep you motivated. We’re talking about virtual reality workouts – games that challenge you to dash, bash and slash (… you get the drift) things to break sweat.
Just how serious a workout is it?
Can playing certain games rival your intense running or spin class in terms of calorie burn? Probably not, but studies show that virtual reality (VR) workouts can be more effective than a gym workout if done right.
According to the VR Exercise Tracker app that tracks calories burned during virtual reality workouts, the results are impressive. Games such as Beat Saber and Pistol Whip average about 6.55 and 7.17 calories per minute, which is equivalent to playing tennis or a session on the elliptical trainer.
What you’ll need to get started
Then comes the tech. You will need a headset to deliver the full VR environment, the most popular being the Oculus headset (from $549), Sony Playstation VR ($449) and the HTC Vive (from $959). On to the games: The average game can cost upwards of US$20 (S$26.35), be it a standalone game or monthly subscription.
While virtual reality workouts involve a significant cost, chances are, once you are in the game, you’ll find this to be the most worthy 2021 investment ever. Think about the social element – say, inviting friends over or roping in your family members for an evening of VR fitness challenges – and the escapism VR offers. In this travel-starved, wandermust era, virtual reality workouts fill a key void in our lives more so than ever.
In the long term, VR workouts are also an alternative, non-weather-dependent way to keep fit, all in the comfort of your own home.
Ready to get started? Here are some popular games to have on your list.