Do you listen to music when you go for a run? Or would you rather listen to the sounds of wind rushing by and your feet pounding the pavement? If you take your MP3 player with you, then don’t worry, because you’re not alone. According to a Runner’s World survey of over 10,000 readers, 74% of runners advocate running with music. While this means putting on a pair of headphones for now, VR music can very well take it to the next level.

Why Do We Like Running to the Beat?

Nothing wrong with bringing a little motivation with you
Nothing wrong with bringing a little motivation with you

While there are many people who don’t blink twice at the idea of putting in a mile or two every day, some of us need the extra motivation. For instance, strapping on my running shoes gives me the same amount of joy as an adult as it did when I was a kid. This is coming from someone who enjoys going to the gym. When I do run, I bring along an iPod that is several models behind everyone else’s and turn on the old playlist.

VR itself has shown us how immersion can be used to treat pain. Music works the same way for running. Several research projects have been completed that suggest music can affect fitness performance. Uptempo songs can motivate us to work harder. Additionally, Brunel University’s Professor Costas Karageorghis says music “dulls or masks some of the pain associated with training.” This is why some of us find the run to be that much more bearable when we are listening to music.

Google Cardboard and VR Music

So where does VR music come in? According to Road to VR, Google Play customers are now able to download the Bohemian Rhapsody Experience for free. The search giant partnered with Enosis VR to create an animated music video that is touted to be a “journey through the subconscious mind of Freddie Mercury.” The experience, which can be watched with Google Cardboard, is full of bright visuals, plenty of easy-to-miss details, and the sounds of the iconic song. Google’s Jessica Brillhart predicts “a lot of experimentation” in this medium in the future.

Imagine if VR music found its way to VR fitness. Cardio days on the treadmill would be a great place to start. What if we could take the morning jog to the next step? It’s not difficult to imagine wearing a headset on the treadmill, supposing safety is accounted for. This can be a technology where VR’s immersive and interactive qualities can shine. Sights and sounds. We might even forget that we were on a run in the first place.

There are enough people who don’t exercise because they don’t enjoy it. What would be wrong with helping them into the fold?