How I started doing sports for 2-3 hours a day

How I started doing sports for 2-3 hours a day

The remote mode of work and hobbies related to a sedentary lifestyle have put my back in an unfavorable state. Three or even five sessions of physical activity per week in the absence of the need to constantly move is not enough for normal functioning.

Something had to be changed. The neurosurgeon advised to get a dog so that it would not be possible to avoid a walk at least once a day. I went another way, which I want to tell you about.

VR games – expectations and reality

Back in 2014, I watched the Virtualizer project, expecting that in a few years I would put such a thing at home and play computer games and do physical education at the same time.

The market never developed to the point where you could go to a store in Moscow, try on a few copies and order them home. All we have is to order Chinese analogues for 2+ million rubles at your own peril and risk (example). And this good will take a decent space. Is it necessary at all?

I have enough VR gaming experience now to assume that such a path is not particularly necessary. I went to play in VR arenas and also played HalfLife Alyx, Skyrim,
Fallout 4, Asgards Wrath (AAA VR game) and I was getting bored fast. The wow effect of the first few minutes passes, your legs get tired, and you don’t really want to listen to dialogues, craft or just wander around the location in this mode.

In my experience, the usual game while sitting at the computer is much more exciting.

Games in VR as a sports simulation

The key to VR gaming is to look for simulators, not games.

What I didn’t expect when buying a VR helmet was the realism of some of the sports simulation games, including golf, boxing and table tennis. The last one turned out to be so exciting that I do it for 2 hours a day, working out the elements with the robot, playing in free mode and ranked.

I have always dreamed of having a tennis table close at hand, and this dream came true in an unexpected way. What could be better than a computer game, the skill of which is translated into the real world?

Boxing is also believable in everything except the contact of the glove with the surface. 4-5 rounds of 3 minutes each, and the T-shirt can be squeezed. It was nice to see that after a month I can easily last 2 bouts of 5 rounds, whereas in the beginning I was barely surviving 3.

This is how my day off now looks like through the eyes of a fitness bracelet that I specially bought a week ago to measure physical activity.

The screenshots show a day off. I went to get groceries (15 minutes), the rest of the time I played (4-5 hours).

Below I want to tell you more about the games that I am ready to recommend.

Eleven Table Tennis is not a game, but a simulator

Eleven Table Tennis is so realistic that it is useless to convey it in words – you have to try it.

You can play via Steam (PCVR) or directly on the helmet. The last option is better: there will be fewer lags, more frequent updates.

There are VR and AR modes. C AR you see your flat, where the table and the opponent appear. The ability to replenish the VR Fails Compilation collection is greatly reduced.

To increase the realism and broadcastability of real-life equipment, I recommend purchasing an adapter in the shape of a tennis racket. I use this one, bought on avito:

168 grams together with the controller, 650 rubles.

The adapter can be configured independently, choose from the existing ones (for example, popular adapters like SolidSlime are sewn into the game) or download settings knowing their id (I got mine from the seller).

The game allows you to change the speed, rotation and throw coefficient, which allows you to “fit” the VR racket to the one you play with in real life.

  • Speed ​​- how fast the ball bounces.

  • Rotation – what rotation can be given to the ball.

  • The ejection coefficient is how strongly a twisted ball bounces in the direction of rotation (for example, if the surface of the racket is perpendicular to the floor, then top spin – up, back spin – down).

Rothe bot (the machine that shoots balls at you) can also be configured and even download blanks (settings -> advanced -> backups -> ball machine -> write ID “4008.1” youtube-instruction).

You can view the statistics of ranked games at https://elevenvr.net, here is mine https://elevenvr.net/eleven/dumch.

It may seem that table tennis cannot be played with high ping. In fact, if you figure it out, you can get used to it and customize ping-ball for yourself. Long explanation in text, there are videos: 1 and 2

The Russian community is active and supportive. https://t.me/eleventabletennis publishes news and tournaments, there is a link to the chat, where you can ask to print an adapter on a 3D printer, ask for game tips, arrange to play in an online room or in real life.

I went from 1500 to 1800+ using the google dock tutorial found in the above mentioned telegram channel.

Thrill of the Fight is the best boxing simulator

The most physically exhausting of all the games I’ve tried. The pulse always reaches 160. Below I will write some recommendations.

We set the mode of augmented reality so that the opponent appears right in the apartment – and we negate the possibility of punching the wall or the monitor. You can pre-launch the mode with a bag and see how the speed and force of the impact is transmitted in VR. In the mode with German, you can see which points are better to hit for the greatest effect.

It is better to stick to the technique in order to increase the degree of transferability of skills to real life. Here is a good video on the topic:

I also recommend that you take seriously the warnings about the possibility of injury. Accelerated hooks at full force will almost certainly injure the shoulders.

As far as settings go, I only removed the auto hit power setting, which changes the power readings based on the strongest hit. With this auto-tuning, you can constantly hit weakly, and the hits will still deal damage. And vice versa, constantly strong blows are nullified.

Games with rhythm and music

The sports effect is achieved due to the need to quickly move the hands and squat. There are a huge number of such games, “google” the phrase “vr rhythm games” or “games like beat saber”.

I managed to try Beat Saber, Synth Riders, Hole in the Wall, Box vr, Audioshield, Pistol Whip. The latter turned out to be the most interesting, and no game has ever made me squat so much. You don’t even notice how your legs start to burn. With experience comes an understanding of how to move with the least physical costs, and then it is worth increasing the level of difficulty and changing the settings. For example, increase the speed of movement or the number of bullets.

Games with joystick movement

When in the real world you are standing, and in the virtual world you are moving. Good examples that give some sports effect – Blade and sorcery, Battle talent, Dragon Fist, Rumble (for Avatar lovers), Stride.

Personally, I decided that I don’t consider this category of games because it starts to get boring, and there were times when I smashed not only opponents, but also furniture in the apartment.

Other games and their “sports” effect

In the open spaces, I came across the VR Institute of health and exercise, which has a list of games with measured calories burned per minute.

Thrill of the fight – 8-10 calories/min;
Eleven table tennis – 4-6 calories/min;
Pistol whip – 6-8 calories/min.
Audioshield modded – 10-13 calories/min.

How the measurements were carried out, you can view the methodology page.

The data is similar to what I was able to measure with my fitness band, except I was looking more at heart rate readings. Thrill of the fight often raises it to 160+, while tennis – no more than 145. Audioshield modded is probably comparable to Pistol whip with complicated settings, and it is also believable.

The disadvantage of the site is that not all games are presented, some are morally outdated, the same Audioshield, in my opinion, is more like a demo than a full game.

What to buy to play comfortably?

Below is a list of must-have purchases for VR sports, sorted by priority (approximate prices in parentheses):

  1. Virtual reality glasses. Meta Quest 3 (Q3) is the best, in my opinion, choice for the price/quality ratio (55k r).

  2. Mount for glasses. I have a Bobovr m3 pro for Q3. It is more convenient and faster to put on, it holds better, besides, the kit includes a battery (7k r).

  3. An additional battery can play not 2-3, but 4-5 hours in a row (3k r).

  4. Racket adapter if you are going to play table tennis. A stick adapter if you are going to play golf (500-7k r).

  5. Socks with rubber soles. I played tennis barefoot and rubbed corns (500 r).

  6. Rechargeable batteries, so as not to constantly buy new ones (700 r).

  7. WiFi router 6e if you are going to play PCVR games (7k-30k).

FAQ

– Will it make me sick?
— On Meta Quest 3, in games like table tennis, golf or boxing, it definitely won’t. If you set the mode of augmented reality, the tennis table (or sparring partner) will be in your command, which you look at through the cameras. In this mode, it is safe and does not shake.

– How quickly will it all get boring?
— I think that simulation games like Eleven Table Tennis don’t get boring, just like table tennis doesn’t get boring in real life.

– How much space do you need to play?
— For games like Eleven Table tennis and Thrill of the fight, you need at least 2×2 meters. There are games (Pistol whip) where 1.5 x 1.5 meters is enough.

— Is PC or PS necessary?
– Android based helmets (Meta Quest, Pico) can run games themselves. I play tennis and boxing without a PC. Helmets like the Valve Index require a PC.

— Is it possible to download pirated games?
— In PCVR mode: you can download a game from any source and add it to Steam as a Non-Steam Game. In helmet launch mode: Developer mode must be set and any APK can be installed. In the same 11 table tennis, even the multiplayer on the pirate works.

Finally

Engage in physical activity comparable to playing some sports, perhaps playing VR sports games. The main advantage of this approach is that the games are fascinating and you start to lead a sports lifestyle imperceptibly for yourself. In addition, it saves time and money on the way to the gym.

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