VR Fitness vs. the Gym

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Everybody wants to be fit. The problem is most of us fail to keep up with regular exercise. If that is the case, then what is preventing people from hitting the gym and exercising regularly? The answer is simple. It’s the boredom caused by the repetitive work that is keeping people away from the gym. If gyms can provide a more interactive and stimulating environment of one’s choice like a game of Texas Hold ‘Em, then more people might make a habit of regular gym workouts.

What if one can explore the ocean, fly over the most daunting hills, kayak through clear waters or run through thick forests while they sweat in the comfort of a fitness room? Can virtual reality do some magic here? Perhaps it can as it is slowly but steadily creating a new reality in poker and gaming world. And surprisingly, so is the case in the fitness industry, too. VR now finds itself at the center of fitness options since it provides users an opportunity to work up a sweat without the ever-repeating monotony of an ordinary gym workout.

Razer-OSVR
“Razer OSVR Open-Source Virtual Reality for Gaming” by Maurizio Pesce is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Using a combination of headsets like HTC Vive, controllers and sensors, VR fitness options can immerse users in a digital environment that is highly interactive while they burn calories. But will users be able to target specific muscles or do specific weight, strength and resistance exercises as they can in “normal” gyms? With virtual reality, fitness gyms like Black Box VR, which uses VR fitness elements in a real gym setting, one can target specific muscles as well as do dedicated weight, strength, and resistance exercises. And like “normal” gyms, weights and tensions can be adjusted to help the users feel the burn of calories.

Though VR fitness options offer a lively and interactive gym experience, which is designed to help people enjoy exercises, it has got flaws, too. These flaws are obvious when we compare it to normal gyms. The first drawback is that while the “normal” gyms allow enthusiasts to have customized training of their choice as per the availability each day, VR fitness, as of now, offers only configurations that are predesigned. The next drawback is that, as it stands today, the facility is so expensive that it is out of reach of the common man. Also, VR fitness is yet to allay all security fears. And finally, unlike the “normal” gyms, the development and availability of VR fitness exercises for butt and legs are low.

But as industry experts bet, VR fitness is expected to overcome all its flaws. With more and more VR fitness providers entering the market, the customization level and user-friendliness of this technology will only improve while the prices come down. Though VR fitness may not be an immediate alternative for bodybuilders, the immersive environment facility will be an attraction for the public who dream of staying fit but hate the monotony of regular gyms. As the VR fitness options can make workouts more enjoyable in the near future, VR fitness can be the one factor that brings people to fitness centers, just like blackjack does for casinos.

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Author

Steven Paterson

Based in California. I am Scottish, I like Scotch and, oh yeah, a little VR too.

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