VR Workout, Month 2

Lola the dog laying on the VR pad I use for my workouts

As of today I’ve been working out in VR for 2 months. So far it’s still going well.

I aim for 4 days/week and I’ve always done at least that many and I think a couple of weeks I hit 5 days. And sometimes I wind up doing what are essentially semi-workouts just by playing certain games for fun (on PSVR2 Beat Saber, RagnaRock, Synth Riders and even Until You Fall can all get the heart pumping pretty good).

The Quest 2 is my ‘workout headset’ still thanks to the Meta Move app that’ll track calories burned and amount of time spent moving. The lack of a cord helps too, as do all the 3rd party accessories I have for it. My Fitbit ~sometimes~ tracks this stuff. If it was a little more reliable I might use PSVR2 for working out though I find the PSVR2 in general is harder to keep clean and I do sweat a LOT doing these workouts.

While weight loss isn’t my primary goal (though lord knows I could stand to lose a LOT of weight) I am losing some. Closing in on 9 lbs which seems like an OK, but not remarkable, weight-loss pace. Friends who are into fitness keep telling me to ignore the scale since muscle weighs more than fat so I might actually gain weight at times.

Lifestyle changes, beyond the actual workouts, are mostly incidental. Old me would get off work, walk the dog, come in and open a beer and fire up a video game until dinner. I’d often have 2-3 beers before dinner (we tend to eat late, around 8 pm). New me gets off work, walks the dog, comes in and does a VR workout and the way the timing works out I’m just about done and recovered by the time dinner is ready. So I just don’t have the ‘free time’ for drinking as much beer as I used to. 🙂 So we’ll call that a healthy side-effect.

But I do catch myself thinking more about what I eat and have thoughts like “Do I really need to eat this or am I just bored?” Instead of potato chips I’ve been snacking on carrot chips, just as one example. Turns out I just like to crunch things. I was also falling into the habit of having a rather stiff nightcap before bed to prevent me from laying there wide awake stressing about work. Now I’ve been turning towards gummies laced with CBD and/or hemp-based THC. (Marijuana is not legal in my state but hemp-based THC is, at least for now…that’s a whole other post though.) Anyway this is an improvement in terms of calories, though I won’t go so far as to call it a healthy choice. I sure sleep like a baby, though.

Earlier this week I took a big step and bought my first actual fitness app, Les Mills Bodycombat. It is a BIG jump from Beat Saber and Audio Trip to Les Mills. I’m a little hesitant about it all because I think the reason I have stuck with working out for 2 months is because they’ve been fairly low impact workouts. After doing Les Mills I am like a wrung-out dish cloth. Fitbit loves it and tells me I’ve been in ‘the zone’ but I’m so tired after doing Les Mills that the rest of the evening is basically spent laying around recovering. I’m afraid that is going to burn me out, so I’m still pondering how to work that in. What I’ve been doing is a little Beat Saber to loosen up, then jump to Les Mills and do a couple of 8-10 minute sessions, then over to Audio Trip to kind of cool now and loosen up some more.

I always feel good the next day in that “sore muscles but for a good reason” way, so that’s a bonus. But I’m starting to feel like my whole life is built around these workouts and I know I won’t keep that up. I’m thinking maybe I do 2 workouts/week that are based on games, and 2 that incorporate Les Mills. Still pondering, though.

Also of all the fitness apps on Quest 2, I picked Les Mills because a) it didn’t have a subscription like a lot of the fitness apps do and b) it was something different. It’s basically all shadow-boxing whereas Beat Saber is slashing at things and Audio Trip is kind of dance/rhythm oriented. It feels pretty good punching stuff in Les Mills even though what you’re punching is virtual.

The Climb has been left behind for now, and I haven’t been fitting in much Pistol Whip but if I do this 2 & 2 idea I’ll probably work that in with Beat Saber and Audio Trip for the ‘gaming workout’ days. It’s a really fun game so if nothing else, I’ll just play it for fun.

So I guess that about sums it up. This is the kind of post that is mostly just written for my future self to look back on and think either “Look how far I’ve come” or “Why did I quit doing this? I was feeling so good about myself!” Hopefully the former.

Because I DO feel good about myself, and in general I just feel good. I feel stronger, I feel more nimble and my mood is generally much better. Both my mom and my grandmother got very sedentary in their later years and I saw what a negative impact that had on them. (All the men in my family tree died way before this became an issue.) With Lola slowing way down I was walking less and less and feeling stiffer and weaker and, y’know, the groan that escapes just from getting up from a chair or something. I was doing all that. I was feeling like an old man. I’m feeling much better now. So I hope I can keep this up.