Virtual Reality (VR) Games- Are They the Future of Fitness

Virtual Reality (VR) Games- Are They the Future of Fitness

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The proverb, necessity is the mother of invention fits in the current COVID-19 situation, and if the word innovation with VR workout is added to it in the same breath, then it won’t be wrong.

COVID -19  The Game Changer

In early March 2020, looking at the growing number of COVID-19 cases, the government, and most organizations asked their employees to work from home. With this one thing became apparent, the pandemic is going to stay for long, and we would not be returning to our offices anytime soon, nor would we be leaving our homes for a while.

While it came as a shock, the news of gyms and recreational centers being temporarily closed gave another cultural shock. Because now staying in shape and healthy will become even more difficult.

Read More: Best Crossfit Workout Apps For Fitness Enthusiasts

Luckily, living in a digital world makes it easy to stay in shape and fit without going to the gym. But how is it possible?

Virtual Reality Is The New Trend

Thanks to the trending Virtual Reality technology, you can now enjoy VR workout with VR fitness games. The benefits of exercising offered by BoxVR best fitness game, Beat Saber workout and other VR exercise games help stay fit without the fear of stepping out.

Virtual Reality (VR), as the name explains, is virtual, yet the benefits you can incur from it are real.

To make you understand this here we will talk about the benefits of VR workout, best VR fitness games, pros and cons of virtual reality gym, and more.

But before getting into details, let’s take a brief look at the history of VR fitness games and where it stands today in the world of fitness, workout, fitness games.

History of VR Fitness

VR fitness originated from the concept of exergaming, which means playing video games by applying full-body motion. In simple words, the participants are required to be physically active or do an exercise to play the game. The earliest form of this was released in 1980 – Foot Craze for the Atari and Power Pad for Nintendo.

History of VR fitness
Image Source: Pinterest

Unluckily, they did not become popular until Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution was released in 1998. This was just the beginning of fitness games, and then came Wii Fit, a game-changer in the world of exergaming.
wiifit

It influenced exergames to the extent that it is now popularly used in many health clubs as virtual reality fitness. Soon after this, EA Sports Active and Nike+Kinect Training for Xbox joined Wii Fit in workout games.

Up until this time, there was no sign of VR fitness games. But in 2012, with the release of Oculus Rift, things started to change, the struggling VR technology suddenly became mainstream.

Around 2015, when The Washington Post and the BBC released immersive VR experiences, people started looking forward to it, and the market was flooded with VR games and Oculus quest fitness. People started playing and enjoying them, and VR became an integral part of fitness, workout in many lives.

The following graph shows growth in Virtual Reality headsets and how it has grown leaps and bounds :

virtual reality headset shipment

This is how the journey of VR workout, fitness started.

Now, in the following part of the article, we will look at how effective VR fitness is, companies shaping the reality of VR, benefits of VR fitness games, success stories, best VR fitness games like boxVR, Beat Saber, and more.

Read More: Best HIIT Working out at Home Apps

Video games exercise the mind, but the body is left behind, however with VR fitness, we can enjoy both.

Infographic: VR Workout, Best VR Fitness Games & Safety Measures

VR and Fitness

How Is The Operative VR Fitness?

As VR becomes more available, the question will it be the future? Due to the current change in lifestyle, will virtual reality be the new fitness norm? or will we see virtual reality gym? all come to mind.

It seems the media is also looking for the answer to these virtual reality fitness questions. In an article published on CNN, the answer to all these seems to appear and it is big Yes.

According to the study conducted on 41 men and women between 18-39, it has been found that 30% of VR fitness games help do a pretty good workout. Another finding from the study shows that even if you put less than half the effort you put at the gym, you can stay fit using virtual reality gym and VR workout games.

Another study was done by Psychology of Sports and Exercise on 80 participants, with 40 men and 40 women. It shows that virtual reality exercise games makes you fitter and also reduce the feeling of pain and effort while exercising.

These studies prove that VR Fitness works, and they encourage people to exercise more.

In addition to this, as we sit and discuss the reality of VR, workout games, VR exercise games fitness, companies like –

  • Black Box VR
  • Icaros
  • YUR (Why You Are) and
  • Fitness VR

These are working towards shaping the future for VR fitness games.

Read More: 10 Best VR Games For Oculus In 2020

The Bitter Truth of the Fitness Business

Financial studies show that each year people across the globe spend more money on gym membership, dietary products, and service than on anything.  Yet the rate of obese, depressed, out of shape people keep on increasing, why?
The Bitter Truth of the Fitness Business

Truth to be told, we all know what is to be done, but not all can be consistent. Every new year, people make resolutions to get in shape, they join the gym, pay annual membership fees with high hopes, but after a few weeks, they often drop out and resolution keeps on getting shifted.

Food apps like UberEats do additional damage, and what we do is sit in front of our screens to stream movies, play games, and check social media accounts. This consumes all our time, and we stop paying attention to what is important thereby ending up struggling to get off that couch.

This is when VR gym, VR fitness games, Vr workout games, VR exercise games,  come for our rescue.

VR Workout To Salvage

Virtual Reality is more interesting and captivating than any small screen you always have your hands filled with. You just need to give it a try. Whether you love playing games or interacting with others, you can enjoy all this with VR workout. You can even keep up the promise of staying fit without struggling too much.

For some, this might sound like an addiction to technology, but that’s not the truth. If we build and use it correctly, VR workout games could be the ultimate solution to stay fit, turning game warriors into athletes.
VR To Salvage

Alongside this current coronavirus outbreak is forcing everyone to stay away from people and at home, this is creating a physical and emotional disconnect and leaving us with a lingering sense of unrest for the future. Therefore, to stay mentally and physically fit we need to workout and try to maintain sanity. With VR workout games, VR exercise games all this can be achieved.

Why VR Fitness?

Benefits of VR Fitness Workout and Exercise Games

  • VR workout is fun and it enhances the experience of exercising.
  • Virtual reality fitness allows social interaction as multiple players can participate at one time.
  • It allows participants to make individual choices when playing the self-paced game.
  • Uses video game motivation to allow participants to play their favorite games while being active.
  • Pushes you beyond limits.
  • Help find inspiration.
  • Aids a fitter body and a healthier mind.

Pros and Cons of Virtual Fitness Workout

Pros:
  • Appeals more to the young generation who are interested in gaming, technology, tracking performance, etc.
  • It helps break the monotony no need to do some exercise each day.
  • Makes exercising fun and challenging
  • Hide insecurities about how you look and feel behind Avatars
  • Connect with anyone across the globe
  • No need for the equipment to get free or sanitize it as it was used by someone else
  • Endless virtual landscapes
  • No more excuses
  • You don’t get the feeling that you are working out.
Cons:
  • Cost is the biggest drawback of VR fitness workout exercising games. Oculus Quest starts at $ 399, pared-down Oculus Go starts at $ 199, PlayStation VR bundle $299, and HTC Vive more than $600.
  • If you use a computer-based VR system, then you need a high configuration system.
  • Need to wear a headset while exercising. This restricts your view of the real world.
  • More exercising means more sweat, therefore to protect VR headset, you will need to invest extra in cleaning wipes or protective covers
  • Need quite a good amount of open space for VR exercise games

As more and more people are being aware of VR Fitness, popular and best VR fitness games like BoxVR, Beat Shader, and more are being mentioned on subreddits and various other places.

Earlier to all this, the idea of VR fitness workout, VR exercising games seemed nonsensical and people use to joke about it but after listening to the success stories and seeing the change, they are understating how VR fitness workout can change things.

Here we share a few success stories of people who lost a good amount of weight after playing VR fitness games and doing Vr workout.’

VR Mindfulness and Acceptance

Success Stories

Tyler lost 65 ponds with BoxVR

Bill lost 90 pounds with Beat Saber VR Fitness game

Even the mainstream media has started to believe it, and you will find several articles on it.

Tracking Apps

Tracking Apps

Speaking of VR tracking apps, VR Health Institute, recently released a VR Exercise app.  Using this app users can keep a track of their VR workout and know about the best fitness game to get back in shape. Based on it, here we will share the best VR fitness games you can play and burn calories.

Top 10 Best VR Fitness Games

1. Audica – Musical VR Exercise Games
Audica - A rhythm shooter game from Harmonix

Genre: Action/First Person Shooter/ Music and Rhythm

Console: Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality, and PlayStation VR

Price: $29.99

A rhythm shooter game from Harmonix. It will make you dance on the beat and shoot targets. Choose expert difficulty for HIIT workout and get in shape.

2. Audio Trip – VR Dance Fitness Game

Audio Trip

Genre: First Person Shooter/ Music and Rhythm

Console: Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality

Price: $19.99

Audio Trip is not any action VR game. In fact, it is an action rhythm game for those who love dancing. This VR fitness workout exercising game motivates you to do stretchy aerobics while you dance playing this virtual reality game. It is the best leg workout.

3. Beat Saber – VR Rhythm Game

Beat Saber

Genre: Rhythm game/virtual reality fitness game

Console: Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, Windows Mixed Reality, and PlayStation VR

Price: $29.99

Beat Saber is the most popular and best VR workout fitness game. As you slice beats in specific directions this VR exercising game will make you sweat.

Beat Saber will make you push all the limits.

4. Blade and Sorcery – Medieval VR Workout Game

Blade and Sorcery

Genre: Combat sandboxing game/action

Console: Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality

Price: $29.99

An immersive and innovative physics-based VR medieval fantasy workout game that will make you a powerful warrior. This game focuses on simulation rather than abstract gaming.

The VR workout game will give you complete freedom in the way you fight.

5. BoxVR – Best VR Workout Oculus Quest Fitness Game

BoxVR

Genre: Sports/Music and Rhythm

Console: Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and Windows Mixed Reality

Price: $29.99

Box VR includes 12 adrenaline-pumping VR workout games this is what makes it one of the best VR workout and fitness exercising games. This VR game will help get toned arms and legs.

Just challenge yourself to weave, dodge, squat and see the difference this VR exercising game will make.

6. Creed: Rise to Glory – Best Oculus Quest Fitness
Creed: Rise to Glory

Genre: Fighting game

Console
: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, and PlayStation VR

Price: $19.99

Creed: Rise to Glory is a pulse-pounding VR workout game that will bring all action and drama of your favorite Rocky film at your home. With this amazing VR fitness exercising game, you can experience intense boxing experience that will let you fight, train, and win.

7. Echo VR – Multiplayer VR Workout and Fitness Game
Echo VR

Genre: Adventure

Console: Oculus Rift and is coming soon to Oculus Quest

Price
: $19.99

Echo VR will make your experience an Echo Combat. In this VR workout fitness game, you will play as a futuristic battle-ready robot to get fit and in shape. Echo VR brings Echo Arena and Echo Combat together. This is one of the best shooting and VR workout games.

8. Holopoint – Daily exercise routine VR Fitness Game
Holopoint - Daily exercise routine VR Fitness Game

Genre: Archery, Action, Indie, Sport, First-Person Arcade

Console: HTV Vive, Oculus Rift

Price: $14.99

Perfect VR game to break a sweat with HTC Vive. Instead of standing at one spot, you will be ducking and dodging and doing everything to keep yourself safe. Better for an entertaining daily exercise routine.

10. Hot Squat 1 & 2
Hot Squat 1 & 2

Genre: Sports

Console: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index

Price: FREE

Love squatting, Hot Squat is the perfect VR game for you. Even if you don’t love it, you will start liking it. Compete against friends and the world to get the highest count.

11. Knockout League
Knockout League

Genre: Single-player, Arcade style boxing game

Console: Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, Windows Mixed Reality, and PlayStation VR

Price: $ 19.99

This intense arcade-style boxing game is built from the ground up for virtual reality workout fitness. In this Knockout League VR workout exercising game you will dodge flaming uppercuts, give tough competition to your opponent using your head and hands.

What is the Future of VR Fitness Workout

As the demand for VR gadgets and VR fitness games is rising the pace of its innovation is also growing. Keeping this in mind, here are a few predictions for the coming few years:

  • 2020 will be marked as the year for the rise of VR fitness.
  • More VR arcades and location-based experiences like Sandbox VR will be seen.
  • Integration of VR fitness hardware into health clubs and gyms with premium membership plans.
  • Apple will soon enter the VR, AR market. Take over Nextgen VR is its example.
  • Oculus Quest 2 with improved 5G, visuals, etc will soon be released.
  • More competition in the VR headsets market.
  • High-end VR headsets at lower prices will be sold.
  • VR fitness-focused apps will be launched. They will cover all possible workout types.
  • VR fitness education programs will be developed to teach people about nutrition, recipes, mental health, etc.
  • Integration of VR fitness apps and devices with My FitnessPal, Apple HealthKit will soon be seen.
  • No longer VR fitness will be limited to confined places.

Wrap Up

We hope everyone who is reading this is safe and doing well. If you have a VR headset bring them to work and play these VR workout exercising games. These best VR fitness games are soon going to be the trend and virtual gyms will take over.

A few years ago, VR workout, VR fitness exercising games did not seem like something people would like but now they have become mainstream. The way they are evolving, it looks like this innovation will fuel all fitness industry with virtual reality gym, VR workout, VR fitness exercising games, and physical gyms will have to do something extra to attract users.

VR  workout does offer an innovative way to achieve fitness even when staying at home.

What are your thoughts on it? Do share in the comments section below. Also, if you want us to do any VR workout game review or write more about VR fitness, Oculus quest fitness please let us know.

What Do You Think?
Responses

One COMMENT

  • Michael Gschwandtner
    It does not come with a wind machine and zero budget for fitness models, but if you want some help in your quest you could try a free VR Workout game I developed for my own daily workout.

    2 months ago Reply

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