VR Workouts, Month 3

Still working out in my Quest 2 at least 4 times a week. I figure if I can make it through July and August the rest of the year will be cake. It is HARD to walk the dog in the heat and humidity, get home dripping sweat and then strap on the old Quest. Ideally I would shuffle my routine and workout in the morning but I am kind of a night owl and @PartPurple is a HUGE night owl. Going to bed earlier in order to get up earlier would be a struggle since I’d have to convince her to get onboard (if I go to bed before she does, I always wake up when she comes to bed then can’t get back to sleep).

Anyway that was probably TMI.

But for now everything is going to plan. I took another big step this month in that I started using Supernatural VR, a subscription-based fitness app. Last month I’d graduated from active games to an actual fitness app, so why the change? Les Mills Bodycombat (the app I had been using) is a solid app but it felt like a bit too much for me. Every workout left me completely wrung-out to the point where I’d basically be done for the rest of the day. It felt good but I knew I wouldn’t sustain it; it was just too intense for my astoundingly out of shape body.

Supernatural has a lot more options. It has 4 main activities: Flow (which is similar to Beat Saber only with routines designed for exercise), Boxing (similar to Les Mills), Stretching and Meditation. I haven’t done too much with the last two. Supernatural has about half a dozen ‘coaches’ that lead you through the routines, so you can pick a personality or two that resonate with you. It also has a much broader range of workouts and you can filter by duration, intensity, style of music, etc. And there’s a lot more variety in the music that they offer. There’s a ton of ‘environments’ that the workouts take place in. Like, I dunno, The Great Wall of China, Petra, or the Scottish Highlands. This is all just eye/ear candy but it keeps things fresh. There’re also a ton of accessibility options so you can tailor the experience to your abilities and fitness level.

The BIG downside of Supernatural is the cost. It’s $20/month, or if you buy a year in advance that brings it down to about $15/month. That felt too rich for my blood until someone in the Facebook group (yes, I actually joined the Facebook group) mentioned getting health insurance to pay for it. I checked my policy and they do reimburse for gym memberships and specifically mention online fitness courses. So I HOPE they wil reimburse me for Supernatural (I signed up for a year) but I can’t submit until I’ve demonstrated that I’ve actually used it for (I think) 35 workouts. So it was a bit of a gamble.

And honestly now I’m kind of hooked even if I don’t get reimbursed.  Mostly it is the variety that keeps me engaged. They release new routines every day (I think?) so it always feels like there’s something new to do.

I also bought a cheap heart monitor that syncs with Supernatural so I can see how hard I’m working. My Fitbit measures my heart rate, but it doesn’t sync with SN and of course I can’t read it while wearing the Quest. The monitor, which is in the form of an armband, was only about $30 so seemed worth the investment.

Anyway enough of sounding like a Supernatural infomercial.

So back to how I’m doing. I’m generally doing well. I’ve had a few times where I was in pain, generally my lower lats will get so tight that it hurts to move. I have learned to stretch frequently which is helping and I also think just getting stronger is helping. I also had a scare with my Achilles tendon but going easy on squats and side-lunges for a few days was enough to let that heal.

I’ve lost a little over 14 lbs without really changing my diet much. Or if I have changed it, it is not in a way that feels like any kind of a sacrifice. I don’t feel like I am “on a diet.” I still have a long way to go but it feels like I’m making progress and I still do not dread doing the workouts. In fact yesterday was a “rest day” and now I’m actually looking forward to my workout later today.

And not to sound like a broken record, but overall I feel better. Mentally I feel better. I feel stronger. I’m not huffing and puffing going up and down stairs. I feel more alert, more present. Just a ton of positive changes. So yeah, I’m gonna keep doing this for a while.