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COVID-19 recorded an increased demand for home exercise equipment as gym visitors across the U.S. found ways to continue their fitness regimes from the comfort of their homes.
For example, NPD Group reported that sales of fitness equipment increased by 130% in March 2020 compared to the previous year. Sales of day bikes increased by 170% and the bench by 259%.
According to eBay sales data, sales of scales increased by 1,355% in March and April 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Americans bought treadmills, dumbbells, turbo trainers, trampolines and cross trainers in an attempt to stay active while staying for sure.
But, as anyone who exercises regularly in their kitchen will tell you, the novelty of home training is soon disappearing. It is tight, lonely, not inspiring and extremely repetitive.
Virtual reality (VR) exercise, which is constantly growing in popularity, promises to alleviate some of these problems. If you are tired of staring blankly at the wall while exercising, there are a number of VR exercise options on the market.
You will first need to invest in VR headsets whose price can range from $ 30 (Google Cardboard) to $ 800 (HTC Vive).
If you want to stay in shape at home without investing in bulky and expensive gym equipment, VR boxing is the ideal solution. These fun and fast workouts are generally quite affordable, and a wide range of games are available, including:
- Box: Boxing – In this budget boxing training you will fight against the opponents of artificial intelligence (AI) or your friends. The game is available for just $ 0.99 through the Valve Index, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
- BoxVR – BoxVR is one of the most popular VR boxing games, offering a range of quick workouts, including multiplayer classes. The game is available for $ 29.99 through Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, Windows Mixed Reality and PlayStation VR.
- The excitement of the fight – The excitement of the fight is your best bet if you really want to perfect your boxing technique. The game is available for $ 9.99 via Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality and Oculus Quest.
With VR cycling, you can instantly transport you and your bike to the French Alps, your childhood village or the busy streets of New York.
VZfit, an accessory developed by VR fitness company VirZoom, connects your exercise bike to the Oculus Quest or Oculus Go headphones. Once connected, you have the option to compete in famous cycling competitions, including the Tour de France, or download any map from Google and ride a bike route of your own creation. Cyclists can also choose to ride alongside other users, which adds more of a social element to your training. A subscription to VZfit costs $ 9.95 per month or $ 99.95 per year.
Other VR cycling tools include HOLOFIT and BigRingVR.
Bruce Smith, a former U.S. national rowing coach, has founded Hydrow, a VR rower who promises to bring the river into your living room.
Users can exercise together with fellow athletes, enjoy unmanaged queues through colorful waterways around the world, or choose from a range of classes – including everything from heart-pumping queues to meditation and restorative sessions.
The Hydrow Rower costs more than $ 2,000, but Digital Basic membership is available to those interested in using the app without purchasing a machine.
Dance Central has become an extremely popular VR game, available through Oculus Quest for $ 29.99. Users are immersed in an invigorating dance club environment where they learn choreography, with varying degrees of difficulty, on a series of top charts and compete against other players.
Holodance and Dance Collider provide similar experiences.
5. Supernatural workouts for the whole body
Launched in September 2020, Supernatural is the world’s first VR fitness membership designed for the Oculus Quest headphones. Users can choose from a range of personalized workouts and guided meditations and then immerse themselves in beautiful VR locations around the world. The subscription to the app starts at $ 19 per month.
Is VR exercise a good workout?
VR games can be fun and exciting, but can they be classified as really to exercise? It all depends on what game you play.
The Virtual Reality Institute of Health and Exercise is working with the Department of Kinesiology at San Francisco State University to award exercise ratings for games by checking players ’oxygen consumption. VR apps and games are rated based on the number of calories a player burns for each minute of activity and compared to real-life exercises, such as boxing or cycling. The institute has even developed VR Health Exercise Tracker, the only app designed to accurately track calories burned through VR exercise.
Editor’s note: Prices are correct at the time of publication, but are subject to change.
Image credit: Jirus Malawong / Shutterstock.com