Law student Lori Knox focuses on personal and professional goals while she maintains good health through home workouts with the Oculus Quest that fit perfectly into her busy lifestyle.
The Quest was released in May 2019, soon after Knox finished her first year law school exams, which she describes as the hardest thing she had ever done in her life – until her recent second year exams. A lifelong gamer who started playing Nintendo when she was 8-years-old, Knox purchased the standalone VR headset as a reward for herself and quickly discovered the benefits of VR fitness.
The 36-year-old New Jersey resident has always appreciated the importance of physical activity and good health, but points out that she “found other things to do besides working out.”
“You only have 24 hours in a day. Hopefully eight of those are spent sleeping and the other 16 need to be carefully budgeted,” she explains. “All of your time is precious so it’s hard to justify solo activities sometimes.”
She committed time to her husband, her family, and her work as an IT project manager and business analyst. She also did some freelance tech writing.
“I love IT and the people I worked with,” states Knox and although that hasn’t changed, her life has.
In 2016, Knox’s sister Barbi passed away from cancer. The two were incredibly close and Knox says it was “like losing a limb” as a huge part of her identity was suddenly gone.
“Barbi was kind and gentle and also human,” Knox says with obvious admiration for the sibling who left her too soon.
Several years before her cancer diagnosis, Barbi’s boyfriend physically assaulted her. She required hospitalization for a lacerated liver and she suffered PTSD for years afterwards. Like many victims of domestic violence, Barbi didn’t want to press charges.
“It was lawyers who came to my sister’s rescue and protected her,” explains Knox. “It was a criminal prosecutor who helped her see that the person responsible was held to account. It was a civil trial lawyer who helped my sister find eventual closure.”
Knox wanted to do something significant to positively impact the lives of others in honor of her sister. Knox had seen how people in the legal system had helped Barbi and she wanted to be a positive force in the world as well so three months after her sister passed away, Knox decided to apply for law school. She took the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) and was accepted.
By the end of her first year of law school Knox was 35 pounds overweight. Despite access to the free gym at Rutgers School of Law, Knox says it was impossible to carve out the time necessary for a workout routine. After all, going to the gym requires more than simply a half hour workout. You also have travel to the gym, time spent in the locker room to shower and redo your makeup, etc.
“I just didn’t have that time available,” states Knox, adding that “it was also boring and it was hard to talk myself into going, knowing that I wouldn’t enjoy it.”
The 5’2” Knox was wearing a size 16 and when it came time for moot court in spring 2019, she couldn’t find a suit that fit. She realized that she needed to find a way to focus on fitness that aligned with her busy lifestyle.
“When I used the Quest for the first time,” she recalls, “I got very excited!”
Initially she thought some of the games, like Beat Saber, looked “super lame,” but then she tried them and realized that not only were these VR games fun, but they were also incredibly physical. Soon she was playing Beat Saber, BoxVR, and Dance Central.
Always conscious of time, Knox scheduled a workout into her morning routine. She started playing VR games in the morning before anyone else was up. That was her time.
“In coordination with diet,” she says, “I lost all the weight I had put on over the past few years.”
By the end of last summer, thanks to watching her food intake and exercising exclusively in VR, Knox had lost 30 pounds and was within a normal BMI for the first time since high school. She now wears a size 8 and has maintained her healthy weight for nearly 9 months.
Knox says she likes VR fitness because there’s barely any preparation and you’re ready.
“I can roll out of bed… I don’t even have to put on shoes,” she states. “When I’m done I can throw my clothes in a hamper, put up the headset, and go hop in the shower. The Quest is so easy to use.”
Part of the reason many people have turned to the portable headset for exercise is because it’s fun. Although many people are utilizing games like Beat Saber, Pistol Whip, and Oh Shape as part of their regular workouts, they were meant to be games. They just have the fortunate side effect of helping people achieve better health and fitness.
As always, Knox has an incredibly full schedule and her daily 30-minute workouts each morning fit perfectly into her routine.
“Hardware and software should fit into your life,” Knox states.
“If I have to change my life to use a particular piece of hardware, it probably means that hardware isn’t advanced enough for mass adoption,” she adds. “When there was a piece of hardware that I could just turn on, that’s when I bought it.”