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Virtual Reality Fitness? ‘Yeah, It’s a Workout’

0 2 years ago

But now, newcomers have yet another high-tech option that’s helping some of them off the couch to move their bodies at home, rather than venturing outside the front door.

I’m the laziest person you will ever meet,” says Amanda Bousfield, 45, of Toronto. “I had no use for exercise. I knew theoretically I had to do it, but I didn’t want to.”

The stay-at-home mom had battled her weight all her life and says she was feeling “broken mentally” when she tried something new about a year ago:

Virtual reality fitness.

Now, she exercises almost every day immersed in a breathtaking virtual reality (like a mountaintop) while coaches guide her through workouts choreographed to hit songs from her youth.

“It was like a lightbulb went off,” she says, when she slipped on the virtual reality headpiece and started moving. “Like, ‘Why am I sitting here thinking about the worst things in life when I could be doing this and thinking about the better days?'”

That was 40 pounds ago, and she’s encouraged enough to try other exercises and improve her eating habits.

Bousfield is one of a growing army of virtual reality athletes working out on various applications and platforms that bring a similar experience. The Oculus brand — part of the Facebook metaverse — had a huge holiday season, selling its virtual reality (VR) headset at a price — $299 — that makes it affordable for many people to try video games, explore different parts of the world, or take part in other virtual fun, including exercise.

Appeals to Many No-Gymgoers

Bousfield loves the Supernatural app and others like it. These are not mere video games but legitimate workout tools, users say. Trainers and doctors agree that virtual reality is appealing to a part of the population that resists traditional exercise and finds a gym intimidating, with its noise and buff members.


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