Traditional exercise is no longer the only option when virtual options can be more interesting.,
Just because you are using the TV, a console, your phone, laptop or gaming PC does not mean that you are condemned to be a couch potato.
Here in the UK Joe Wicks has seen his profile grow rapidly thanks to daily workout videos on You Tube. After 111 minutes the view count was up at nearly 88k views. Joe has an easy going personality and is establishing a world wide following.
Of course, there are other alternatives out there. The overall point is that digital and virtual does not mean inferior or have to play into stereotypes of goth gamers blinking when they finally emerge into daylight.
Gyms have shut. Outdoor exercise is curtailed. Team sports are a goner.
You know those runners you see from time to time carrying hand weights or wearing ankle weights? Well that is a principle that can be carried over into day to day gaming life. Doing the same things but with weights attached will result in a mini work out. And more if you exaggerate the heck out of your movements.
As if to underline the fact that VR can improve fitness, there is an organisation dedicated to that outlook.
We all hope that lock down is temporary. Equally there is much thought as to how people’s perspectives and habits may change when it is lifted. (At the time of writing in mid April 2020). The point is that either way, VR is here to stay. So exercise and VR can co-exist and even inform and bolster one another.
There are any number of apps to monitor movement, calories, hydration, sleep and so forth. Quantitative measurement if you will. Then there is the quality side of sleep, mindfulness, meditation, hydration, nutrition and more.
We all have our basal metabolic rate. The amount of energy (calories) that it takes for us to simply be alive. Games can be allocated MET scores. The factor by which playing them is likely to be raised in comparison to being at rest (that BMR thing again). So if you are interested in a particular game you can find out its MET score and take it from there.
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Alternatively you can rely on your own bio-feedback awareness. Aerobic exercise where you can manage sentences and carry on a conversation is going to burn calories and arguably fat at a steady rate. Anaerobic exercise where you are barely able to gasp out groups of words is going to burn more calories in the short term.
Footie, or soccer if you prefer is going to up your MET rate to a factor of ten. Brisk walking by a factor of around 5 times BMR.
This table is from this article, so you can have a quick tally up.
You can get tracker apps if you need them, to keep a tally.
Now then. This whole thing about virtual exercise options is simply an indicator of how the lines between analogue and digital lives are blending and where one melds into the other is becoming more difficult to make out.
The ubiquity of games and gaming VR, AR, and all of the apps, and applications has begun to remove some of the “us and them” lines.
Breaking down barriers when we are prevented from going about our usual business has to be a good thing. Wouldn’t you say?
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Traditional exercise is no longer the only option when virtual options can be more interesting. was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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