Virtual Reality Could Be Your New Workout Soon
Rock climbing, surfing and even skateboarding are some of the best ways to work up a sweat and stay in shape. As many adventurers who have to drag themselves to work every day know, however, finding the time to enjoy these activities can be difficult. This doesn’t mean we don’t have to stay in shape, but even finding a moment for traditional exercise can be a chore.
With the quick evolution of virtual reality (VR), though, this might not be a problem for much longer. I enjoy catching the waves as much as the next guy or gal, but virtual reality workouts are definitely the wave of the future.
The Evolution of Virtual Reality Workouts
Countless nights after a trip to the bar have resulted in epic Wii Fit showdowns, but this isn’t where virtual reality workouts began. In fact, there wasn’t even a virtual reality component to the game when it first came out. As with most technologies, virtual reality got its start long before it became the phenomenon it is today. It was a slow evolution, but thanks to continuous innovation, we might just be getting our workouts from virtual climbs up frozen waterfalls soon enough.
It was 1968 when the world’s first virtual reality headset came out. If you took one look at it, though, even the strongest drives towards exploration might not have gotten you into it. The device was so heavy that it needed to be hung up on a ceiling. The “virtual reality” was also only composed of wire frames. Its appearance resulted in what’s likely the coolest part about the whole system—its name: The Sword of Damocles.
Many of us would go on to see feeble attempts at virtual and augmented reality. Anyone who takes a moment to look up the gaming system known as the Virtual Boy, for instance, will notice these attempts were more shallow than a wading pool. Once the new millennium rolled around, though, VR seemed to become a priority, and this is why virtual reality workouts are going to soon change the way we see fitness.
Swift Move Towards Virtual Reality Workouts
There is no doubt some kid out there in Southern California thought about virtual reality workouts years ago, but before reaching this point, there were still some great advancements that opened the door to virtual physical activity. In fact, the 11:57 horror VR app from Wemersive has long been able to keep users in shape thanks to the fact that horror-induced adrenaline rushes burn calories.
Once virtual reality became a viable option for marketers, virtual reality workouts were not far behind. The British Museum allowed people to tour their facilities via virtual reality, and YouTube started letting people travel to great distances and faraway times via 360 videos. Anyone with a sense of exploration could visit anywhere, and for people who wanted the experience of taking chances without earning their license, it was even possible to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
In reality, the only thing stopping time-crunched college graduates from getting an awesome and exhilarating workout from the comfort of their living room or gym was a fitness apparatus to combine with VR technology. For anyone who’s stayed up until 4am looking for inspiration on a term paper, though, this task probably doesn’t seem too difficult.
In fact, the genius who runs SNAKE Productions even figured out a way to combine VR and a Wii Balance Board to create a simulated ride on a hoverboard. Even the best bartenders in the world don’t typically make enough to snag a real hoverboard just yet, but they can certainly have the experience. And since the Balance Board is already used in aerobic classes, this hoverboard VR experience can definitely result in an exciting workout.
The Future of Virtual Reality Workouts
The future of virtual reality workouts is already upon us, and at this point, only our imagination can slow us down. Some companies have already jumped headfirst into the virtual reality workout realm. VirZOOM, for instance, created an exercise bike that works with virtual reality headsets and can take riders anywhere from race tracks to flying high on the mythical beast, Pegasus.
For those who need a bit more than virtual races and riding winged horses, though, Holodia created a similar product that can be used for spinning, running or even rowing. It immerses its users in fantastical worlds as well, and they can even visit these virtual places with friends at their sides. These types of products make it clear that, as mentioned before, only an integrative fitness machine is necessary to create exciting virtual workouts.
Extreme mountain climbers who can’t quite pull off Everest yet? There’s already a Mount Everest virtual reality app in existence, so as soon as someone creates the fitness apparatus that links to it, it’s a go. There are also already wave pools and VR surfing apps, so who’s taking so long to make a waterproof headset and combine the technologies?
The fact is that these technologies are only one small step away from reality. While cyclists, rowers and hoverboard enthusiasts might get the most benefit currently, virtual reality will soon make extreme sports fitness a common experience. And while it certainly won’t replace the real-world experience of taking chances, virtual reality fitness will at least keep us in shape until we’re able to ride the next literal wave.
Have you tried out any virtual reality workouts yet, or is there one you’re dying to see? Let us know in the comments!