Forget the gym – can VR become the future of fitness?

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I saw the future of fitness. January next year, you do not have to worry about going to the gym gym will come to your side. More specifically, CGI simulations of a futuristic city will be presented to you, in which you will be struggling with rogue robots and exerting energy and adrenaline.

Of course, if you are a fan of Zumba and Pilates in your village, it may not sound like you have a cup of tea. But if you do not like gym or class, and do not like jogging or cycling, it can save you Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and many other obesity-related unpleasant things.

For laymen, virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional environment that can be accessed using the screen on the inside of the screen and the earphones on the sides. Users are immersed in a digital environment where they can interact with a hand-held controller or with a sensor-equipped glove.
His idea has existed for decades, when Nintendo’s Wii Fit was introduced in 2007 and it sold 22.67 million worldwide until 2012, but at the same time bone free Wii users quickly set out to play tennis and sit On the couch – the controller on the one hand is the cookie on the other – today, we are at the cusp of the wave of VR innovation.

Oculus Rift is one of the most technologically advanced systems that offers a sensory experience that so appeals to you. Fitness elements are almost accidental. The company that makes it – Oculus – was bought by Facebook for $ 2.3 billion in 2014. Users can explore the fascinating landscapes, climb virtual peaks, use virtual Google Earth to zoom in on any part of the planet, or sit on Apollo missions.

Potential is huge: Job Stauffer, a California writer and player, claims he has lost 50 pounds on another virtual reality system HTC Vive in five months, playing a game called “Sound Box” that players can use Time music beat.


I am a basement of a minimalist open-plan office in London. I tested two systems, using a heart monitor and Fitbit to measure heart rate, effort level and calorie burn. I am a intensive gym six days a week with a very high level of physical fitness so I used a 10-kilogram vest and a 1-kilogram weight on each wrist to increase my resistance.

First; Samsung VR Gear (115 pounds, amazon.co.uk). The kit consists of a headset and a motion-sensing hand controller to manipulate the virtual hand that appears while wearing the sun visor. You can catch, punch, shoot and swipe. The visual “Experience” plays on Samsung Galaxy phones (not included), clicks on the headphones and connects to the lens, which is positioned to create a 360 ° 3D view. The screen tracks your movements as you move your head, so you can look around as you would in the real world.
I chose a sports challenge that involved capturing American football in all directions. It’s easy to play and involves a full range of body movements. After a few games, my heart rate slightly increased from 56 minutes of calm to 65 minutes or so. When I increased my weight and recorded my level of effort at 52%, my heart rate rose to the early 1970s. This is interesting for those who regularly practice intensively.

Next, I put the Oculus Rift headset (£ 399, johnlewis.com) and needed to connect to a PC with a decent graphics card and processor. The difference between two sets is obvious. The graphics are far superior and both controllers allow richer, more intuitive interaction. After a short virtual tutorial of a floating robot, I started playing Fruit Ninja and had my fitness epiphany.
He started the game as a slider game by the player in an addictive smartphone application to chop the floating fruit. Among the VR Fruit Ninjas, players are placed in a virtual martial arts arena, holding Samurai Swords in their hands. When you try to slice, the fruit flies in all directions. The better, the more fruits appear, and at some point it becomes a torrent, and you find yourself completely immersed in a curving perspective, crouched on the sides of your body, arms waving wildly like a crazy drummer.

With weight, I quickly get tired and sweaty. My heart rate rose to the 90s, my level of effort reached 72% (which for my part is the level of fat burning activity, not cardiovascular). It is silly fun and incredibly addictive. An hour and a half meeting made me exhausted.

Finally, I’m immersed in the Robo Recall game, which is a game set in a richly designed futuristic urban landscape where robotic security forces are already rogue and the player’s job is to shoot them, hit them, wrestle or rip their limbs. The graphics are very good and the game needs a lot of physical action again. Ducks and diving, twisting and turning – the more you move, the better experience. The storyline forces you to stay within the experience, and threatening elements can also help improve adrenaline levels and heart rate.
VR is still some way to go. There are restrictions and safety considerations. If you start moving in a virtual space, it’s easy to hit real-world objects and using VR headsets outside is not safe or desirable. But these are all problems to be overcome. Virtual Reality is most likely to become an addictive gateway to kidding certain segments of the Wii for steroids. People who like physical exercise and physical activity can still exercise in the real world, but the graphics on the treadmill are not good, sadly there is no rogue robot in sight.

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