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Is It Time To Sack Your Personal Trainer?

July 2018Words by Ms Mollie McGuigan

Illustration by Mr Pete Gamlen

Imagine a gym workout that burns 400 calories in half an hour and allows you to explore space at the same time. We might not mean the real space, but such is the advancement of virtual reality and the new breed of calorie-burning games that users have reported being so immersed in their simulated environment they suffer vertigo and motion sickness.

Unlike augmented reality, which puts a layer of data over a view of the real world, virtual reality uses a headset and earphones to conjure up a 3D landscape and allows you to move around it. Add a handheld device with resistance functionality and you have the perfect gear for the fitness devotee.

The results are impressive. According to The Virtual Reality Institute of Health and Exercise, many VR games burn similar calories to runningswimming and tennis. One of the top scorers is The Thrill Of The Fight, which places you in a boxing ring and burns up to 15 calories a minute, the equivalent of sprinting. Holopoint has a similar calorie burn, but through a fast-paced archery game. Want more punishment? Try adding wearable weights to your ankles, arms and torso to increase resistance.