In the 21st century, we won’t be spending precious time staring at white walls as we run on a treadmill going nowhere or lifting weights like a cave man or cave lady. Those workouts got us where we are today and still have their value, but virtual reality is now the only all-in-one entertainment and fitness system available. VR games are a great way to immerse yourself in an activity that’s fun but is also a large and inclusive community that can keep you accountable for self-improvement, weight loss, and real fitness results.
VR’s Fitness Potential
What makes VR a legitimate fitness activity is the ability to sit or stand, react, and move around in a play space as you get immersed in gameplay. The full physical and emotional immersion or that feeling that time is flying by because you’re having fun is what separates this tech from the consoles or PC gaming of the 20th century that relied on a controller or mouse and zero body movement. The Vive, Oculus, PSVR and Windows Mixed Reality headsets each have the capabilities for dynamic movement in gaming where you can sit or stand and get heart-thumping cardio exercise or strength training when you add a weighted vest or gloves to the mix.
In VR, the possibilities for gamified fitness are virtually limitless. VR is an amazing experience but is also a great workout that allows us to do things we humans can’t do or wish we could do in our everyday lives. We can become a boxing star in the virtual ring with Knockout League, can play on a team with other mechanized players and fly around in Echo Arena, or transform ourselves into a swole superhuman fighter by working out with Black Box VR cable resistance machine. Indie and major VR studios like FitXR, Survios, and Bean Boy Games are a small handful of the various studios leading the way towards fitness by creating games that are targeted towards entertaining exercise.
The quick answer to whether you can really lose weight in VR is a huge YES. Keep reading to see how 9 fit gamers have achieved weight loss, health, and well being in VR!
New You: Fit VR Gamers
Karen is a Zumba instructor with a love for rhythm VR games like Audioshield and BoxVR that helps her stay in shape and the weight off. She has a busy life but doesn’t let time or her schedule stop her from using her Oculus to exercise in the mornings or on days she’s not dancing her way through a Zumba class.
Here is what Karen has to say about VR: “For me, it’s fun, it’s a great workout, and I get to play with high tech toys at the same time. It’s a win, win, win situation! Just buy a cover for your headset so you don’t sweat inside it too much. Because if you’re doing it right, you probably will.”
Read more about how Karen uses VR as a fitness tool here.
Kevin is an NHS Healthy Lifestyles team member who helps other people reach their health potential through lifestyles changes in the UK. After fighting and winning against lymphatic cancer and living with lung and heart issues, Kevin uses his Oculus to fight back and reclaim his health by playing VR games like Superhot VR and boxing games like Thrill of the Fight and BoxVR.
Kevin has seen real results by staying active in VR where he says: “According to my Fitbit I have smashed 10,000 steps and 60 minutes of exercise for the last 38 days in a row and probably about 90 out of the last 100, so I think it’s fair to say it’s an ingrained habit at this point.
Read more about how Kevin reclaimed his health here.
Sonya, or Hasko7 as her Echo Arena teammates call her, began her fitness journey with VR after fighting through health scares that caused chronic pain and took a toll on her mentally. She found that playing Oculus games like Echo Arena, Robo Recall, and Sprint Vector while sitting helped reduce her pain and helped her lose over 40 pounds!
Sonya shares with us why VR is so inclusive and accessible as an exercise: “As for weight loss and fitness benefits, when you’re playing a game with a lot of movement, such as Echo Arena or Sprint Vector, you will still see an increase in your heart rate whether you’re seated or standing. The standing players obviously have a greater advantage, but for people who need to play seated, this is an excellent option for a greater amount of physical activity than they would get otherwise.”
Read to see how VR has helped Sonya with chronic pain and weight loss here.
Will is a PR Consultant and game creator who credits VR as a weight loss tool that helped him drop 50 pounds! He credits using VirZOOM, a VR stationary bike with arcade games, as the means to his weight loss.
Will has seen some amazing health benefits while using VR: “It’s seriously helped so much, I used to have plantar fasciitis where my feet hurt so much I would limp everywhere, also I had to take my asthma inhaler a ton. Now I barely use my inhaler and my feet feel fine. I also snore way less. Overall this whole experience has been amazing.”
Read more about how Will used VirZOOM to lose 50 pounds here.
David is an Oculus owner and a game developer who played VR games like Soundboxing and The Lab (Longbow) to lose 10 pounds and counting. The adrenaline rush of Soundboxing and the YouTube and beat map customization are what drew him to the rhythm boxing game.
David shared some helpful Soundboxing fitness tips with us: “I play roughly 20 songs of around 3-5 minute length. I also only play songs with 800+ punches, this allows for me to get the most exercise out of my game time. There are quite a few songs that I play that stay over 1500 punches per song. This varies on your stamina, so don’t overdo this part. This is simply because at the end of the song your punches won’t be full punches and won’t mean much.”
Read about how David dropped 10 pounds by playing Soundboxing here.
Dusty is a gamer from the era of the Atari and Commodore 64 who credits VR games like Racket: NX, Soundboxing, Hot Squat and Audioshield for his weight loss transformation. He used his Vive to get in shape, lost over 20 pounds, and managed to avoid having to return back to a commercial gym.
I think we can all relate to Dusty when he says: “I have a gym membership that I never use. I used to workout regularly 8-10 years ago, but I gradually slowed down and never got back into it. I hung onto the membership thinking I’d go back, but I haven’t been in a couple of years. I considered canceling after getting into VR fitness.”
Read more about how Dusty Fohs got fit with VR and lost 20 pounds here.
Here at VRFI, age is just a number when it comes to fitness. Oldboy67, a 67-year-old Reddit user and Vive owner, lost 12 pounds and counting in just two months of playing VR games. He credits active titles like Audioshield, Hot Squat, Elven, and Racket: NX for his weight loss, flexibility, strength, and feelings of accomplishment and well being.
To Oldboy67, VR has improved his overall well-being: “In addition to weight loss and increased fitness, I’ve found stimulating challenges and social connections that I wouldn’t have had without the Vive. It brings joy and fun into my life mostly through the games that join movement with music.”
Read more about Oldboy67’s weightloss and fitness journey using VR here.
Job is a PR and game industry veteran who has now lost over 90 pounds by playing VR games and eating healthy. With hard work and dedication to fitness and wellness, Job played hours of Soundboxing and other games like Sprint Vector, Sparc, Gorn, and Robo Recall for an entertaining full body workout that didn’t involve going to a gym. For extra resistance and to bust through plateaus Job adds a weighted vest and gloves to the action!
Taking control of your own health and well being is something we can all attain. Job shares his message with us: “This is something I’m going to keep doing and I hope that continuing to talk about it can inspire others to seriously consider virtual reality as a tool to find a fitness and wellness routine that will help improve your health and your life. That’s the other thing, too, the wellness aspect. The sheer joy of being inside of a video game and having fun playing it all the time – that’s been a huge boost to the wellness aspect, and it’s tackling the fitness aspect at the same time. It’s truly been wonderful!”
Read about Job’s inspirational 90-pound weight loss by playing Soundboxing here.
Tim is a fitness trainer who set out to do a 50 Day VR Fitness Challenge on Reddit. He tackled his weight loss goals and lost over 14 pounds during that time from working out with games like Audioshield, Thrill of the Fight, Holopoint, and Holoball. He even created community groups on My Fitness Pal and Reddit (r/vrfit) to help others stay motivated with their own fitness challenges.
Tim’s enthusiasm for fitness and health is contagious when he talks about VR’s ability to help people: “I can think of no better way to return this incredible gift than to share it with as many people as I can. Our VR Fitness Group now numbers over 40 members. New VR fitness challenges are starting to crop up and people are seeing results. In the future, I believe that gamers will be some of the fittest people on the planet. The future starts now.”
Read all about Tim’s 50 Day Weightloss Challenge to kickstart your own challenge here.
Virtual reality is bringing fitness, health, and well being into people’s lives by tapping into their true potential and instincts to play and have fun. The only thing left to do is to make goals and take action. Whether those goals are weight loss, endurance, strength building, toning up or gaining muscle, or simply to feel better about your life, VR can help you achieve them!
Go Here To Get Started
If you want to get started on your own VR fitness journey please visit our Affordable PCs For VR Fitness article to see which computers are compatible with your VR headset.
For information on which headset to buy and why, please read our Top VR and AR Headsets Today article.
To stay updated on the latest and greatest VR fitness games check out our Top 15 Best VR Fitness Games For A Total Body Workout.