Why Virtual Reality And Exercise Go Hand In Hand

The HTC Vive can be used as a workout machine.

I’ve been using the HTC Vive for at least two hours a day for the past week and a half. My favorite experience has been socializing with others in virtual reality playgrounds, such as AltSpace VR. I actually have friends now from Holland and Portugal, even though I’ve never met them in person.

The most surprising result of using the HTC Vive is the fact that I lost three pounds in the past nine days without even trying and attending the gym as much as I usually do. This is because I’ve been working up a sweat in virtual reality. For the most part, the culprit has been a game called Holopoint.

'Holopoint' gets your heart rate up very fast.

Holopoint is a bow and arrow shooting game where you have to shoot as many three dimensional squares as possible without letting their projectiles hit you. You’re not safe if you shoot the squares; their projectiles still come after you. In order to avoid all this, you have to run, duck, twist, fall on the floor, etc. It’s a simple game, but very intense. There is a warning that displays that the game could be dangerous for people who have heart issues. It’s hard to explain, but this game will get your heart rate up within minutes.

So far, I’ve never been able to get past the 5th wave and maybe that’s a good thing since I almost feel like fainting by the time I get to this wave. I usually play the game twice in a row and am in a complete sweat when I am done. There are other games that promote exercise, but they are not as intense.

'Space Pirate Trainer' is like 'Asteroids' on virtual reality steroids.

The game Space Pirate Trainer is good for getting light exercise done. If I want to keep my heart rate stable after playing Holopoint, I will play Space Pirate Trainer. You are on a Star Trek-like ship and have to battle enemies that keep getting bigger and bigger. It’s like Asteroids on steroids with you actually in the middle of the game. You can move around in your space to shoot the enemies and when either hand goes behind your head and back down, a shield is brought up. The game does strain the arm that you shoot with a little bit, but it’s the moving around and ducking that gives you exercise.

I am calling it right now: Using virtual reality games or experiences for exercise will definitely be a “thing” in the next couple of years. It’s already a thing in my small apartment, and my body is definitely reaping all the benefits.

About Daryl

Daryl Deino has been a technology enthusiast since 1995 and has written for several newspapers and technology sites. Please reach him at [email protected]
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