Video games sure have come a long way from the days of Atari, Commodore 64 and the classic Nintendo Entertainment System. Like all technology, the evolution of the medium comes in waves and the big wave of gaming today is all happening in virtual reality. But VR games aren’t just used for gaming like so many of their predecessors–just ask VR gamer Dusty Fohs.
Don’t worry if you don’t know that name. The truth is that Dusty is a typical VR enthusiast and gamer like you. He’s been an active gamer for years. He lived through the days of sitting idly in front of the TV while playing conventional video games and now he’s an avid virtual reality gamer who has a blast in VR while simultaneously losing weight.
Fohs weighed 204 pounds when he started playing VR fitness games. He is now down to 184 pounds. That’s a whopping LOSS OF 20 pounds thanks to virtual reality video games.
Before you cast some doubt on the impact of the VR gaming on this fat loss transformation, Fohs unequivocally credits VR gaming with the shedding of his excess flab. He is quick to note that he lost the initial 15 pounds extremely quickly after using VR fitness based games. His goal is to drop another 14 pounds and reach a healthy weight of 170 pounds and he believes virtual reality gaming will take him there–all this at the age of 50!
Perhaps the most interesting component of Fohs’ weight loss is the fact that he actually intended to play virtual reality games just for fun. That’s right, he originally had no fitness goals, but when his employer’s annual fitness challenge came about where the goal was to burn 4,000 calories each week, he knew he had an ace in the hole with his VR fitness gaming. According to Fohs, the calorie goal is “almost exclusively [reached] on VR. It’s working wonderfully.”
Fohs has about 50 virtual reality games. Most of these games require extensive movement and moderate athletic ability. Fohs starts out each VR fitness session with some stretching. He then jumps into Racket: Nx followed by either Soundboxing or Audioshield. Fohs describes these three titles as the “core games” of his virtual reality gaming regimen that “get me burning 500-600 calories an hour.” Fohs also mixes in Fruit Ninja, Quivr and Raw Data gameplay. He also plays a game of Hot Squat during each virtual reality gaming session.
Is this a case of a regular guy who wasn’t ever active losing a few pounds but still eating poorly? No. Fohs told us: “I ate well before and haven’t altered my diet. I very rarely ever eat fast food or processed food. I hardly ever drink soda, even diet. I don’t crave sugar and never buy sweets. My problem is portion. I’m a big fan of the See-Food Diet. I see it and I eat it. Snacks don’t last around me. If I open a bag of chips or a pint of ice cream, it’s getting eaten in one sitting. If I buy a box of cereal, it might last two days. I eat healthy, but I can really eat.”
Is working out a new thing for this gamer? When asked whether he has a fitness club membership, Fohs replied, “I have a gym membership that I never use.” In terms of workout history, Fohs says, “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. Now that I’m actually working out almost daily, I want to extend my motivation to get into the gym for weights. I hate cardio with a passion. I can’t jog far at all. Treadmills and ellipticals bore me to death with the same repetitive movement over and over. They’re like hamster wheels for humans. I’m much more motivated to go to the gym knowing I can skip cardio.”
What does he love about the cardio he gets from VR today? Fohs admited that “A huge plus is the type of cardio VR offers. There aren’t a lot of good options for upper body unless one plays a rigorous sport or hops on a rowing machine. VR keeps the player on their feet and moving, but the focus is on upper body. Sure I want nice legs, but I’d rather work my core, torso and shoulders. With VR I can work my upper body to the point where it’s sore. Cardio doesn’t build too much muscle, but my upper body is much less fat and more toned now.”
It’s clear that virtual reality fitness games are responsible for Fohs’ considerable weight loss and consistent calorie burning. This is one of those legitimate feel-good stories that doesn’t have a “but…” or catch of any sort. This is the real deal.
Fohs’ dislike of traditional forms of exercise like jogging and repetitive actions performed on gym machines is especially poignant. It speaks to the masses who detest boring workouts that often result in a physical fitness plateau. Virtual reality is an incredibly creative and enjoyable solution to this problem. Anyone who has grown tired of the same old gym machines, jogs, sit-ups and push-ups should give virtual reality fitness games a chance.
If there was anything that Fohs would change, it was being constricted by cords: “Cables. So. Many. Cables. I’ll be happy when wireless technology evolves even more, but powering a headset without a cord will be tough. I also think the controllers for the Vive could be more ergonomic and friendlier to sports activity. They feel fine until sweat starts to kick in. They’re not designed for a sturdy grip. I recently ordered some silicon skins for mine. It’s been said that they improve grip. They arrived today, so I’m eager to try them out.”
“I feel great,” Fohs said when asked about his progress. “I know working out is supposed to release endorphins that make us feel good, but something about VR seems to almost make those endorphins double up. I feel unusually good. But first and foremost, I now exercise. A lot. I feel stronger, look better. My posture has improved to a point where I feel taller. My old clothes now fit just fine. I can run up flights of stairs and not be out of breath.”
“I actually want to exercise now. This isn’t like me. This is better.”
VR fitness games are experiences that you actually look forward to. Think about that for a moment. When was the last time you genuinely looked forward to going to the gym or running around the block that you’ve circled a couple thousand times over? As virtual reality gaming continues to improve, traditional exercise will feel increasingly antiquated and that’s a future we can all happily look forward to.