I’ve been a freelancer for about four years now, and I’m willing to bet some of you reading today’s post are freelancers too. First off: congratulations! You’ve chosen a difficult profession, you manage your workload and life balance, and you’ve stuck with it. These weren’t easy choices.

And fitness doesn’t need to be either. I’m no stranger to the challenges that come with fitting fitness into your freelance lifestyle:

  • Work/life balance – What’s that?
  • Down time for business can lead to low motivation
  • Finding time and money for a setup
  • Space can sometimes be a constraint

But the benefits of fitness are real, and real important to us freelancers. By nature, we tend to be less social than our full-time counterparts because we usually work out of the home. We often spend a lot of time in our chairs, so VR fitness is a great way to get physical exertion every day. Games are fun and engaging, and they have lots of built-in mechanisms that keep players motivated. It’s almost like the calories you burn playing are a side effect when they’re really the goal.

Today, I’m going to give you advice and tips on overcoming the obstacles in your way. I’m going to help you establish a routine for yourself that both challenges and excites you. I’m going to show you that becoming fit is a motivator, not just a goal. Along the way you’ll learn VR is one of the best ways to use any space, even your tiny midtown apartment.

With a bit of discipline, and the right game library, you can find success. Let’s rock!

Get Off Your Chair with VR Fitness

Step one: Find the Right Title

Before you work out, you need to find the right title or titles for you. I like a nice VR fitness game library with at least five to seven choices, but you can settle on two or three to start. There are sales all the time for both Steam and Oculus, so keep your eyes out for great deals on the games you’re craving.

Next, subscribe to VRFI. Just do it! We’re a fun publication always trying to drop new ideas on you about how to use VR as a fitness tool. We also cover some of the fun science things happening in VR and VR sports. We’ll help you find a favorite genre, maybe even a favorite developer, and we’ll ultimately point you toward your first fitness game.

Here are a few suggestions I’ve grown to love over the years:

  • The Thrill of the Fight
  • Holopoint
  • Beat Saber
  • BoxVR

My advice for you non-gamers and newbies out there is this: find your favorite action. What do you like to do in VR? If you like melee combat, Blade and Sorcery or The Thrill of the Fight are good places to start. Archery lovers will want Holopoint or In Death to have fun getting fit. It’s all about your favorite fitness activity, so think about your favorite sports. Chances are there are games out there that mimic those actions.

Step two: Schedule manageable sessions

The next challenge is finding time. Because the time is there, you just need to find it. My advice is to figure out the best time slot that will drive your commitment. Mine is from 5-6 in the morning. My kid is in bed, the house is quiet, I can put on headphones and workout in the cool morning air even during summertime.

Some of you out there are night owls, others might want the mid-day pick me up. Any of these choices are fine. I try to look at finding time as an examination of my day: when do I have some downtime I can fill with something that betters me?

Step three: Follow Through with written goals

Do you keep a list to get your work done? I did and still do. We recommend adopting a fitness journal to any of your existing lists. Your fitness journal can be simple. Start by tracking what you eat, the times you workout, and the games you play. Our advice is to also track your heart rate to gauge the intensity of your session. You might feel winded, but it’s nice to have the numbers to back you up.

Jot down some specific goals with measurable steps to success. Perhaps you’ve heard of SMART goals? The idea is simple: create goals that you can hold yourself accountable for achieving, and that are based in reality.

Use Fitness as a Motivator

We’ve all been there. When business is bad, motivation drops. That’s when your fitness routine is at its most beneficial. Games shouldn’t be distracting you from the process of finding and accomplishing your tasks, but they can help you overcome some of the frustration that comes with rejection and stagnation.

Working out is also great for anxiety. Push past your emotions and work it out in game. You’ll feel better physically and emotionally, in fact, staying fit actively fights depression

VR fitness games make structuring your sessions and finding motivation easy. You can shoot for a certain achievement, or try one of our challenges:

If you hit a plateau, or you just want a change, try one of VR’s many rhythm games. We recommend either Beat Saber, Soundboxing, or Synth Riders as excellent fitness and dance titles. PowerBeats also has a fitness angle, and is at a higher intensity geared toward experienced rhythm gamers.

Make Fitness a Complement to Work Life

Finally, make fitness a part of your daily life. I still eat junk food too, butI’ve switched my snacks to healthier options like fruit and crunchy veggies midday (here’s a recipe for hummus that is similar to the one I use, use it as a healthy dip). And bear in mind every little bit helps. 15 minutes in Thrill of the Fight is equivalent to a 15-minute rowing session and makes for a nice break.

“No one has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for someone to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which the body is capable.”

― Socrates

It helps if one of the goals you set is to go outside more. Longtime readers might know how much I love hiking. What gets you outside? Some of my friends like camping, mountain biking, paintballing and even just traveling. Whatever reason you have to leave the house is a reason to get fit while you’re doing it.