The industry of virtual reality and augmented reality is an exciting one! The technology is being introduced into the fitness industry, and it’s showing some potential. Although both VR and AR are being experimented with, it is virtual reality that seems to have taken the fitness industry by storm. VR technology will immerse users in a virtual world that could cause them to forget they’re even working out. In 2017, a record-high of $3 billion dollars was invested into the VR market. It’s expected by 2021 the VR market will reach a level of $215 billion. These numbers are very impressive and display the industry’s promise. VR fitness is starting to attract new age groups, especially youth. This is because most of the younger generation are interested in video games. They’re enjoying incredible virtual experiences while they compete or train with other users around the world. The gaming industry has typically been dominated by a male audience. However, with VR for fitness and health, more women have expressed interest. There is currently a lot of positive feedback from people getting in shape using various VR games. However, the feedback has been based mainly on cardio training.

The drawback to using VR for fitness is that it is solely based on cardio. When it comes to fitness and living a healthy lifestyle, variety is key. Most of those who work out enjoy variety in their routines. People who go to a gym train there because of the choices they have and selection of equipment. For example, you have free weights, swimming pools, and machines. These are some activities that cannot be replicated in virtual reality. For example, if someone may want to bench press weights. This simply isn’t replicable in a VR system. Due to these hurdles, virtual reality can’t replace the gym. Another obstacle to overcome is the equipment. Virtual reality requires you to wear a headset. However, it isn’t practical to wear a piece of equipment over your head 4 or 5 times a week for a workout. Another setback is the weight of the VR headset. An ideal headset would be one that’s wireless, light, and comfortable. A headset that was built similar to snowboarding goggles could be worn for a long duration of time.

While virtual reality has encouraged more people to work out lately, it certainly can’t replace the gym. Virtual reality lacks variety, and requires the usage of a headset that makes working out at home harder than it is at the gym.