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3 Reasons You Should Start Working Out in Virtual Reality

The days of virtual reality being only an expensive headset are changing (and for the better, we’ll add). Virtual reality no longer means just a video game, dizzying equipment, or the other things you might think of. Instead, virtual reality is shifting to be in the electronics we use on a day-to-day. VR is now available on many laptops and phones and is being added to more and more virtual training apps. 

Even if the technology is there, you might still be on the fence about it—which is why we wanted to highlight three main reasons we (and many others) love working out in virtual reality. 

What does running virtually mean?

Woman running on her treadmill in her home gym.

Running virtually is exactly the same as running outdoors with others or on your own, except you can run anywhere, at any pace, and at any time. If you’re wondering, “How do I do a virtual run or walk?,” you’re not alone! Many people don’t quite understand how it works, but once you start, you’ll find that it’s very easy and straightforward.

One of the easiest and most fun ways to run, jog, or walk in virtual reality is to download a free online running app like Vingo onto your computer. Using the app, you can workout on your treadmill while exploring virtual routes in real-world locations like Iceland! You can also exercise with others who are using the app, so it’s easy to invite friends or family members along for the run.

If you have a cadence or speed sensor, you can run or cycle anywhere you’d like with Vingo and your avatar will automatically move at your speed. If you have a stationary bike or treadmill with built-in sensors, you’ll also enjoy automatic grade, incline, and resistance changes based on the route you choose. However, if you don’t have a sensor, don’t sweat it! You can still enjoy running or cycling virtually, you’ll just need to manually change your speed on the screen while you go.

Why are virtual workouts effective?

First off, it’s entertaining

Computer Screen with a Woman Doing Yoga

If you’re looking for a workout to not feel like a workout look no further. We love VR workouts because they have you move your body and challenge yourself without really even realizing all the work you are putting in. Here are some of the ways VR workout entertains you. 

Explore different worlds

Part of what makes a virtual reality is its otherworldliness, whether that means a world that looks and feels like our own or something entirely different—either way from home, access to far-off destinations. 

With Vingo, we’ve created different worlds for you to travel in. So while you run, you can explore a volcano or look at the sunset on a beach. You can travel and work out at the same time! 

Immerse yourself 

Nowadays, it’s easy to get distracted by doing just about anything. Instead of seeing each text message, calendar invites, and work email while you work out, virtual reality immerses you in that present moment. You are not just watching something. You are a part of it while you work out. 

Try different activities 

One benefit of VR workouts is they allow you to try new workouts or activities from home. So if you have always wanted to try something but haven’t been so sure, this is an easy, comfortable way to try something—and without a weird person from the gym staring at you. 

Works your body and brain 

Unlike other types of workouts, one benefit of a VR workout is it’s stimulating to the mind and the body. Your brain is engaged in the world it’s interacting with, often with other features as well, while your body is consistently moving. 

*side note: great if you “hate” working out

The idea of lifting weights for hours or running aimlessly may not sound fun—and many of us might not like working out. But the great thing about VR is that you can move without really realizing all the movement you are doing. Even research points to VR as able to moderate the sensations of working out and the discomfort that can come with working out. 1

Secondly, it’s social 

Two People on a Yoga Mat Looking Down at a Computer

Part of the entertainment value of VR is its social qualities. Unlike watching a workout class, or even being a part of an online fitness community, in a VR workout, you’re truly in a community and can connect with people in a different way. For example, with Vingo you can, 

Chat with people in real-time 

Using voice chat features, talk with people as you see them on the road. Say hi to a friend on your run, or meet a new cycling friend on a bike ride. This way you never have to work out alone, and you can meet new people. 

Build an international community 

No matter where you live, connect with family and friends in a VR world or meet people from all over the world. Be exposed to different types of people and fitness abilities. 

Catch up with family and friends 

Make it a friend or family affair and meet up over virtual reality. This is great for those that live in cold places that make it hard to meet with friends for an outdoor workout activity and more social than just meeting up at a class. With VR, you can meet up with your family and friends at any time in the app. 

Lastly, it decreases your risk of disease

Doctor Using Hand Pulse Machine on Patient

Just like any workout, really, working in virtual reality will help you prevent disease. By moving at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week, you can prevent your risk of diabetes.2 While the same movement puts you at less of a risk of heart disease as well.3

Key takeaways:

VR isn’t what it was a couple of years ago. Gone are the days (are mostly gone, that is) of dizzying headsets and expensive equipment. VR is becoming more accessible and approachable and changing the way we can workout.

As VR gets added to more laptops and computers, you can see for yourself why many want to work out in VR. VR workouts are fun, entertaining, and social—and still have all the benefits of a workout.

Tired of hypercompetitive fitness apps?

Enjoy Vingo’s judgment-free community!
marker Explore new worlds on many different terrains
marker Personalize your avatar with cool clothes and gears
marker Experience Vingo anywhere on any exercise bike or treadmill

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Sources

  1. Matsangidou, M., Ang, C. S., Mauger, A. R., Intarasirisawat, J., Otkhmezuri, B., & Avraamides, M. N. (2019). Is your virtual self as sensational as your real? Virtual Reality: The effect of body consciousness on the experience of exercise sensations. Psychology of sport and exercise, 41, 218-224
  2. Center for disease control. (2020, Feb). Prevent high blood pressure. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/prevent.htm
  3. Fihn SD, Blankenship JC, Alexander KP, et al. 2014 ACC/AHA/AATS/PCNA/SCAI/STS focused update of the guideline for the diagnosis and management of patients with stable ischemic heart disease: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines, and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Circulation. 2014;130:1749-1767. PMID: 25070666 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25070666/.

Photo Sources

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Vingo is now on iOS!

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Vingo is now on iOS!

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