Virtual Reality: Taking Fitness to a Whole New Level

Virtual Reality: Taking Fitness to a Whole New Level

You’ve probably heard it a million times since Nam June Paik uttered the words decades ago. “The Future is Now” has become one of the most commonly used phrases in history. Many generations have believed their futures were what this famous artist was referencing. And it was, in way, but as technology improves -- as our bodies and minds grow more entwined with fitness tracking apps and virtual reality -- we’re feeling the future more powerfully than ever before. 

From hover boards to self-driving cars, the future is now and it engulfs every aspect of our lives. Social media continues to skyrocket, everyone knows how to use a smartphone, and even the way we keep track of our health and our futures involves the use of technology. 

On that note, it is no surprise that virtual reality is finally here and better than ever. PlayStation, Oculus, and Google have all dipped their hands in the pool that is VR and, in turn, have revolutionized the way we watch films, play games, and even exercise. In fact, the use of VR in fitness has become an ever-expanding market full of opportunities and, with the VR technology now targeting larger markets and becoming more and more accessible to the public, this new way of staying fit is both creating immersive fitness content as well as making healthy living more attainable and the future continues to expand with its implications. 


Virtual Reality Makes Fitness Immersive

For some people, exercising can seem like a boring and tedious process full of bland gyms, expensive equipment, and the same old locations and trails time and time again. However, by using a virtual reality headset, you can simulate all kinds of sports, activities, and adventures in the comfort of your home and immerse yourself in a far larger world of fitness and activities without the price tag that commonly goes along with it. 

Imagine riding your exercise bike in the middle of the Tour De France or playing a round of golf on the Emerald Dunes course. With the help of VR technology you can do just that minus the plane tickets and travel expenses. Using a quality bike simulator you can pick from thousands of different locations across the globe and enjoy a new trail every single day and, similarly, with the help of a golf simulator, you can improve your techniques on your choice of hundreds of different courses and be ready for that next golf outing with the guys in no time. On top of this, there are countless dance and fitness classes that you can take using the VR tech to take your fitness game to a whole new level and feel the burn in your muscles without the burn in your wallet.


How Virtual Reality is Making healthy Living More Attainable

Virtual Reality is not only more immersive than other fitness alternatives but, due to its immersive capabilities, can actually make healthy living more attainable for thousands of Americans that are either afraid of being judged at the gym or simply are bored by the thought of exercising in a bland fitness center every day. By allowing individuals to never leave their homes and yet still get in that essential exercise needed to improve their health and their lives as a whole, it is highly likely that the use of VR technology in fitness may increase the daily activity Americans partake in and lead to a healthier America entirely. 

On top of this, using virtual reality tech in schools and homes across America may actually improve the health of our younger generations and lead to a decrease in child obesity as a whole. By making fitness fun, kids can play their favorite games and get a workout in the process. The implication of VR fitness in common children and teen games may be seen more often in this next year and will soon be a wonderful way to get the unmotivated child in your family active and healthy in no time. 


What’s Next for VR’s Implications in The Fitness World in 2017?

Let’s face it, virtual reality and fitness are a match made in heaven. Immersing yourself in your workout can keep you motivated and fit year in and year out. The truth is, the future of virtual reality is immense and always expanding. In this next year, we will begin to see the implementation of virtual reality in every aspect of our lives and the fitness side of VR will only continue to grow and improve through this. Perhaps, schools will use the VR equipment in gym classes to motivate their students on a more generational level and, similarly, it may become easier to use VR headsets in your daily life with the future of VR leading towards portable prototypes. No matter what happens in the next year, we can rest-assured that virtual reality and fitness will continue to intertwine and create some amazing ways for us to stay fit and have fun in the process. 

This feature was written by Brooke Faulkner. Brooke is a fitness enthusiast and mother of two in Portland, Oregon. She loves video games almost as much as her boys do, and when she's not writing she can usually be found playing Wii tennis. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.