Working out in virtual reality is certainly more fun than traditional exercise. It is also apparently even more effective. A new study found it leads to more burnt calories and increased total exercise time compared to old-fashioned gym work.

It’s not just in your head

In a report published by the Journal of Human Sport of Exercise, researchers found that those using VR headsets for working out had increase heart rate. All participants were college students over the age of 18. They were also able to deal with “lower levels of bodily sensations” during VR sessions. This allowed them to work out longer. Participants in the study completed two tests, with the first involving a normal exercise bike. The latter added the VR headset while using the same equipment.

In regard to the latter factor, the visual and spatial differences provided by VR can actually have an impact on your physical sensations. It was possible to decrease sensations by moving stimuli farther away. The study used outdoor scenery such as a sunny sidewalk for stimuli during the sessions. A headset can show these images regardless of the actual weather. This means those without regular access to sunny weather could potentially benefit from it.

Of course, VR Fitness Insider is well aware of the benefits virtual reality can have on exercise. Our sibling company Black Box VR has locations in San Francisco and Boise that allow you to experience this for yourself. In Jordan, the luxury gym VOY offers its own unique approach to VR fitness, and Icaros is developing equipment to enhance how you perform VR workouts. Combined with virtual reality fitness software, it has the potential to completely revolutionize the home gym experience.

If you’re playing popular VR games on consumer headset, YUR has you covered, as well. The company’s software is integrated into your existing lineup of games. This provides fitness tracking in games that may not be traditional fitness titles. There are certainly plenty of games to choose from, as we outline in our top 25 VR fitness games of 2019. More are coming every day, and headsets like Oculus Quest make getting started in VR fitness easier than ever before.