Don’t let the coronavirus outbreak prevent you from getting a great workout.
The coronavirus outbreak is proving to be a major disruptor in terms of our day-to-day lives. In order to prevent unnecessary exposure, many schools and businesses have started to close, with those still open seeing low attendance due to self-imposed quarantines.
Unsurprisingly, many public and private gyms have already begun shutting their doors to the public. After all, as hard as gym owners work to keep their facilities and equipment clean, there’s only so much you can when it comes to an enclosed space packed with large groups of people sweating profusely next to one another.
But hey, you don’t need a gym to stay fit! There are plenty of other ways to stay active while under quarantine, such as using VR and AR to give yourself a killer cardio workout. Here’s the thing, VR workouts absolutely work! Doghead Simulations CEO, Mat Chacon, used his own VR platform and social VR to create a virtual gym where he dropped 15 pounds, while Robert Long lost a whopping 138 pounds playing Beat Saber.
The following is a small list of immersive experiences you can use to stay fit while maintaining a safe “social distance.” You’ll have your body sweating up a storm as you jump, squat, kick, and flail your way through these physically-active VR and AR experiences.
Audio Trip by Kinemotik Studios
This game is a total blast. Part rhythmic dance, part Zumba, part boxing, and inspired by the VR classic Beat Saber, Audio Trip is a VR game that is all it’s own. It’s incredibly addictive and has one incredible soundtrack. You’re going to get your groove on and your legs and arms will definitely feel the burn as you work your way through each song. Play against your friends or people you’ve never met. Oh, and five minutes of Audio Trip offers twice the cardio than a night of sweet-sweet lovemaking.
Pistol Whip by Cloudhead Games
Set to a thumping electronica soundtrack, Pistol Whip will give your arms a killer workout as you shoot through waves of bad guys across a series of visually-stunning levels. Ducking out of the way of incoming fire will also do a number on your thighs, offering a far more entertaining alternative to boring squat workouts.
SUPERHOT VR by Superhot Team
I love this game mainly because of how weird it is. It’s part puzzler, part shooter, and to make things really interesting, time only moves when you do. Each level of SUPERHOT VR requires different movements and strategies in order to succeed. Some levels will require you to move fast; other times you’ll need to make small, precise movements in order to solve a puzzle. You’ll definitely work up a sweat dodging bullets in this full-body VR workout. At times it almost feels as though you’re performing Tai Chi.
OhShape by Odders Lab
If you’re not familiar with the absolutely hilarious Japanese TV show Hole in the Wall then do yourself a favor and check it out via the link provided. Inspired by the show, OhShape has you contorting your bodies to pass through a series of specially-carved walls in a unique fitness experience blending dance choreography with cardio fitness. In between poses, you’ll need to dodge and punch specific barricades to the beat of a catchy electronica soundtrack. It’s great for keeping your arms and legs toned.
Beat Saber by Beat Studios
The OG of rhythm VR games and the one that put VR on the radar of the general public, Beat Saber is equal parts video game and Jedi training, offering players a full-body workout that will leave them aching in a matter of minutes. The early levels start you off with some moderate slashing, but as you progress the songs will become increasingly complex. For an even harder workout, 360 mode will have you moving in all directions as you slice through waves of blocks flying at you from all directions.
Tilt Brush by Google
Tilt Brush might not give you a big cardio boost like Pistol Whip or Audio Trip, but creating massive works of 3D art can definitely put you into a Zen state-of-mind, which has been proven to help with anxiety, stress, lowering blood pressure, and many other wonderful benefits. After all, a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body.
HitMotion: Reloaded by New Technology Walkers
HitMotion is a first-of-its-kind AR workout. Half game and half boxing trainer, HitMotion uses the HTC Vive Focus Plus’ passthrough capabilities to immerse you in an augmented workout that will have you throwing jabs, hooks, and uppercuts as you box your way through each round. Your body will absolutely love you for introducing this AR workout into your daily routine.
Price: Free Demo
Platforms: Viveport M
Creed: Rise to Glory by Survios
Are you ready to rumble?! Creed: Rise to Glory has you going toe to toe with Clubber Lang, Rocky, and Creed himself as you battle for eternal glory in the ring. This is an amazing workout for people of all shapes and sizes, offering players an amazing cardio workout no matter what shape they’re in. Raise your arms to block your opponent’s attack, bob and weave to avoid getting punched in the face, and go for the knockout in this highly-praised boxing sim. Get knocked down and you’ll have to swing your arms like a maniac to get back up. Creed is a must-play VR experience guaranteed to leave your arms, abs, and legs aching.
Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series by ILMxLAB and Oculus Studios
The story in Vader Immortal is great, but honestly, the best part is the Lightsaber Dojo. Master your Jedi skills and work up an awesome sweat as you use your lightsaber and the power of the Force to battle Stormtroopers, robot sentinels, and a variety of other foes. Whether you’re chopping down baddies up-close or hucking your lightsaber at distant enemies across the map, your arms will be screaming after just a few minutes in this endlessly entertaining Jedi simulator. Hey, no one said being a Jedi would be easy!
Price: $9.99 per episode
SocialVR in Rec Room/AltspaceVR/VRChat/WaveXR/Bigscreen
Sometimes good health and staying fit means being social. Most VR games let you compete against other players around the world, but having an outlet to casually chat with others is a great way to stay healthy mentally. Battle your friends in Audio Trip and then head on over to Bigscreen to watch a movie in 3D and razz each other about who’s the best player. Or jump into Rec Room for a friendly game of laser tag.
VR and AR won’t replace your gym entirely, but it’s a great option if your local fitness center is closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Using any of these apps on their own for an hour a day is a great way to keep your body active while under a temporary lockdown.
Feature Image Credit: Kinemotik Studios