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Oculus Quest 2 is the virtual reality device that has got me exercising every day! If you know me, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of virtual reality. I’ve been using my Oculus Rift since I got it in 2016 and I would use it for exercise fairly often, but it was nowhere near as convenient or as frictionless to use as the new Oculus Quest 2.
I love my Quest 2 so much, I can’t really shut up about it even after 2 months of owning one. I can use this device anywhere in the house or even out in the garden, but only during the evening when the sun has gone down as I don’t want to risk damaging the screen by exposing the lenses to direct sunlight!
If you’ve never experienced virtual reality before, you should consider jumping in right now as it’s about to go mainstream. Oculus Quest 2 has been a massive success and will bring virtual reality to millions of people. It’s been selling out everywhere!
Virtual reality is simply mind-blowing to most people who haven’t tried it. And no, I’m not talking about those cheap VR boxes that you put your phone into, those aren’t true VR. I’m talking about a high-end modern VR headset such as the Quest 2.
VR has helped me so much during this time when I’ve had to stay home for the past few months. It has allowed me to meet other people and feel like I am actually with them in person. You just feel far more connected in VR than what you can experience just by calling someone on the phone or speaking on a video call. VR is the closest thing to reality. It’s the next best thing.
It has allowed me to watch movies in a huge virtual cinema with other people. Something none of us have been able to do for months now in real life.
It has allowed me to take my mind off stressful things in life and enjoy gaming while being fully immersed and forgetting about the real world. Whether it be on the virtual battlefield in Onward, slicing boxes in Beat Saber to Kpop songs, solving mind-bending puzzles in games like Shadow Point or Myst. Or getting my heart pumping in Thrill of the Fight or Creed.
Virtual reality also has shown in studies’ to be hugely beneficial for preventing and helping with anxiety and depression.
In my own case, I can say that VR has helped me mentally. I feel very fortunate to have access to this technology during this time. Many people don’t realize how good VR is today. It’s just so impossible to describe to someone who has not tried it before.
Using Oculus Quest 2 every day as part of my daily exercise routine
The great thing about Oculus Quest 2 is that it has no wires and can be used as a standalone device or you can connect it wirelessly to a PC. I love this freedom as it allows me to pick it up anywhere in the house and go where I want with it.
Although I have no real problem sticking to my diet and eating healthy, I’ve not always stuck to an exercise routine long term except for maybe when I did sports when I was younger.
As an adult and having to work and do things that take up quite a bit of my time, I fall out of my exercise routines quickly even if they do make me feel good and improve my fitness.
But since having an Oculus Quest 2, I’ve had absolutely no problem exercising almost every single day. The good thing about using Quest 2 is that it tricks my brain into not thinking about it. I’m just way too busy having a lot of fun!
Also, since the recent update from Oculus, they’ve now included something Oculus Move. This allows you to track how many calories you’ve burned and how long you’ve been active.
While I’m not a huge boxing fan, one of the games I’ve used for exercise the most is “The Thrill of the Fight”. Most people I’ve put into this have been worn out by the first round. It’s probably one of the best apps you can use for fitness in VR. You’ll be sweating buckets in no time – so make sure you get your washable VR Cover!
But let’s talk about some games for fitness!
Best Games For Fitness On Oculus Quest 2
#1. The Thrill Of The Fight
The Thrill of the Fight is easily one of the most intense games on Quest 2. Nothing else gets your heart pumping and you sweating as much as this boxing sim. If you’ve ever done ‘shadow boxing’ before, it’s similar to that, but a lot more fun!
You have many opponents that you face up against and varying levels of difficulty. Each of them has its own style and attributes that can make them more challenging.
Aside from having good punching technique, speed, and power behind your punches, you will find it progressively easier as your fitness improves.
When I first started using this sim for exercise, I would easily get out of breath and not able to win against the harder fighters. Over time I noticed how my fitness was improving and within a few weeks, I could go many rounds on endurance mode and do more than one fight per exercise session.
There’s a lot this game can do for you and some things it can’t do. It’s not a replacement for proper training, but it can help someone who has already had some kind of boxing training keep their body conditioned, improve their footwork, and understand what puts them off balance. It can help improve your coordination and see some of your mistakes.
#2. Dance Central
If you’re into dance and rhythm games, you’ll love this one! It puts you on the dance floor with a dance partner that you’ll have to try to keep up with. The game has over 30 songs available to dance to and it has two different modes, normal and pro.
The game does have a bit of character interaction throughout, but one of the fun things about the game is trying to beat scores of your friends and people around the world. I haven’t made the top 10 yet for any song, but I have made it to the top 50 worldwide!
You can also have a dance-off with your friends and family if they own a Quest 2 and the game!
#3. Pistol Whip
The two previous entries are more focused on the body and arms, but pistol whip will also get you ducking and squatting down to avoid bullets and enemies. It has awesome music and a bit of a story to go along with it, so you’ll forget you’re even exercising!
Don’t be surprised if your legs feel a bit sore the next day. It really can give your legs a bit of a workout, especially if you’re already conditioned and exercising your leg muscles.
#4. Creed: Rise to Glory
Creed is a fun arcade boxing game that can also give you a nice workout. Rather than going for something realistic, this has game mechanics that can increase or decrease your in-game stamina based on your scores in training prior to the fights.
If you’ve been a fan of the Rocky movies, you’re gonna love this one. It features many of the characters we’re all familiar with and also captures the feeling of being in a Rocky movie with its training montages and the music to go along with the fights.
The game also has a multiplayer mode, which is something that’s missing from The Thrill of the Fight.
#5. Beat Saber
Beat Saber is the most popular VR game across all platforms and probably one of the first games people usually try when they get VR.
The great thing about this game is that it’s always being updated and there are lots of new DLC coming out for it featuring music from popular artists and bands like Linkin Park, BTS, Timbaland, Green Day, and more. It also comes with a lot of great songs with just the base game.
At easy modes, the game isn’t much of a workout, but if you’re playing on expert or expert +, be prepared to put in a lot of hours to beat them!
The game is just plain addicting as you try to move up the leaderboard. I made it to #4 on hard mode for a BTS song called Dope. Unfortunately, I’ve been dropping down the leaderboard since I got it but I will reclaim my position in the top 5!
The game mainly involves swinging your arms, but you get more points for a larger swing. You also get more points for getting a clean slice on the block.
Enjoy slicing blocks while ducking and dodging to some great tunes!
If you really go for it and try to get a high score, you will get a decent workout from this game.
Oculus Move tracks your exercise
One of the new features for Oculus Quest is Oculus Move. It’s quite simple, it tracks the calories burned and activity time by application. After inputting your gender, height, and weight, it can give a fairly accurate idea of the calories you’ve burned and also alert you when you’ve reached your daily goal.
As you can see in the screenshot below, The Thrill of the Fight got me most of the way there to my daily target. I did a couple of dance routines in Dance Central and then finished off with a match on the table tennis game.
One thing I learned today is that your activity is not saved to the cloud. So if you do a factory reset (as I have) on the device, it’ll wipe out your history. And of course, you’ll need to set up Oculus Move again for it to run in the background.
Oculus Quest 2 is a game-changer for working out in VR
As I said earlier in the article, I’ve been a huge fan of VR for a long time but it’s only now since the release of Quest 2 that I can recommend VR to anyone. It’s so simple and easy to use and it really can improve one’s quality of life because it allows you to do things you can’t do.
VR really does trick the subconscious part of your brain into thinking that it’s in a different environment entirely. If you’re having a bad day, popping on the headset can really make a difference. It’s not about escapism, it’s a tool that can complement reality and enhance our experience and life.
Being able to gamify exercise has been a real benefit to me and I’m sure it would be for you as well. It has helped condition my body and got me to a decent level of fitness.
Also, VR has never been so cheap as it is today and it’s well worth the investment even just for using it for working out. The 5 games that I listed today are only a slice of what you can play that’ll give you a good workout. I’ll update this article with more of my favorites later on. You can also head over to the Virtual Reality Health and Fitness Institute for exercise ratings on lots of games.
Below is a video from Cas and Chary, where they talk about the benefits of VR for working out.
Working out in VR will be a thing. It will be a massive thing that a lot of people do in the future. If you want to get started right now, you can find the Oculus Quest 2 here on Amazon (US) or here (UK).
For extra comfort, I recommend picking up the elite strap or a 3rd party strap so the headset feels better balanced and much more comfortable to use for extended periods of time.