Take your fitness routine to the next level with our guide to the best VR fitness accessories.
It’s a familiar challenge – finding a way to get a good cardio workout at home. There’s plenty of equipment designed to do this, but treadmills, bikes, and elliptical trainers are expensive, bulky, and, let’s face it, boring.
Enter virtual reality on the Oculus Quest 2 (now the Meta Quest 2) wireless headset that can transform a small living room into a custom-built fitness center. VR offers personalized on-demand fitness training in locations as diverse as a beautiful beach or the surface of Mars. It’s not boring.
The fitness options on Quest 2 are varied and effective, but they all come with the same problem: exercising in VR goggles can be uncomfortable. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Get this accessory and create a welcoming environment for your sweaty endeavors. The better news is that none of these extras will break your bank; great gain in quality of life, small investment of money. And isn’t a healthier you worth it?
If you’re jumping into VR for the fitness options, there are a few important basics you should learn. First, here’s how to avoid it Motion sickness in VR. That probably won’t be a big problem when you’re working out, since training routines involve you moving in real space, not virtual locations. It’s good info if you start branching out into other VR activities, though. Immediately is more practical How to clean your VR headset and lenses — You’ll be sweating profusely very quickly, and proper hygiene will not only keep your headset smelling like spring, but also ensure you’re always seeing crisp, well-defined images.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t need to be using a Quest 2 to train in VR. Technically, the apps work on any headset. Quest 2 is the best option in our opinion as it’s both wireless and affordable, but check out our review The best VR headsets to help you choose the technology that’s right for you. Then, when you’re ready to work up a sweat, check off the items on this shopping list.
1. Vented insert
Train in VR a few times and you’ll immediately discover the biggest problem: sweat. Having half your face sealed in the headset isn’t a problem when you’re watching movies or playing games, but the heat and sweat of your workout will fog up the lenses in no time.
Check forums and you’ll find plenty of homemade solutions, everything from wiping lenses with spit to sticking maxi pads on your forehead. However, we think the simplest solution is a vented insert, which allows air to escape from the mask without letting any light in. There are many options, but we like them this one from kiwi (opens in new tab)for its effectiveness and ease of installation.
2. Corrective lenses
For a VR headset to work properly, its lenses need to be the right distance from your eyes. The Quest 2 comes with an insert to add a little extra room for anyone who wears glasses to compensate, and it works well for most VR applications. But why not do without the glasses right away?
Many companies offer Quest 2 prescription lenses for far less than you might expect. The installation only takes a few seconds; Just take off the standard jars and add the recipes. The process is easily reversible when multiple people share a headset. We’ve had great results with VR Lens Lab (opens in new tab)also with a strong recipe.
3. 6ft round yoga mat
It’s surprisingly easy to flip when you’re in VR. You could be sure you’re dead, only to find you’ve traveled several feet to the side. The Quest 2 has visual cues to let you know you’re close to the edge of your pitch, but in our experience a physical boundary is better at keeping you where you’re supposed to be.
Work out on a yoga mat and you’ll sense when you get too close to the no-fly zone. Quest recommends a 6-foot space circle for training, so we recommend this great mat of Schreiner, (opens in new tab) However, you can use any size and shape that makes sense for your situation.
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The whole point of using VR as opposed to your phone or laptop is immersion, so get it right. Headphones shut out the real world and let you focus on your workout, but Quest 2 doesn’t (officially) support Bluetooth, so your wireless earbuds are a no-go.
Wired earbuds work, but we found the dangling cord a real nuisance when working out. custom headphones, like this one from Amavision (opens in new tab), split the earbuds so they can be plugged into either side of the headset with an extra short cable. And at less than $20, it’s a no-brainer.
5. Rechargeable AA batteries
The Quest’s controllers rip apart batteries like they’re Godzilla in downtown Tokyo. Batteries don’t even need to be completely drained before controllers begin to lose accuracy, which is frustrating at best and a training killer at worst. Don’t bother squeezing every last drop of energy out of your AAs, just get some rechargeable ones and swap them out at the first sign of weakness.
You keep training interruptions to a minimum without having to constantly replenish your copper supply. We like this set out energiser (opens in new tab)which comes with 4 AA batteries and a charger.