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 are plenty of machines designed to accomplish this, but treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals are expensive, bulky, and, let’s be honest, boring.
Step into virtual reality on the Oculus Quest 2 (now the Meta Quest 2) wireless headphones, which can transform a small living room into a personalized fitness center. Virtual reality offers personalized fitness training on demand, in places as diverse as a beautiful beach or the surface of Mars. Boring, it’s not.
Quest 2’s fitness options are diverse and effective, but they all present the same problem: exercising with VR glasses can be uncomfortable. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Get these accessories and you’ll create a welcoming environment for your sweaty endeavors. The best news is that none of these extras will break your bank; big increase in quality of life, small cash investment. And isn’t it worth being healthier?
If you’re getting into VR because of the fitness options, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with some crucial basics. First, here’s how to avoid motion sickness in VR. This probably won’t be much of a problem when you’re working out, because the workout routines have you moving around in real space, not virtual locations. It’s good information for when you start branching out into other VR activities, though. More immediately practical is how to clean your VR headset and lenses – they will get very sweaty, very quickly, and good hygiene will not only keep your spring-smelling headphones fresh, but will also ensure that you always see sharp, clearly defined images.
It’s also worth mentioning that you don’t need to use a Quest 2 to train in VR; technically, the apps work on any headset. Quest 2 is the better option in our opinion because it’s both wireless and affordable, but check out our review of the best VR headsets to help you choose the technology that’s right for you. Then, when you’re ready to sweat it out, check off the items on that shopping list.
1. Ventilated insert
Practice a few times in VR and you’ll immediately discover the biggest problem: sweating. Having half of your face sealed in the headset isn’t a problem for watching movies or playing games, but the heat and sweat from your workout will fog up the lenses in no time.
Look on forums and you’ll find plenty of homemade solutions, from wiping lenses with saliva to sticking maxi pads on your forehead. However, we believe the easiest solution is a vented insert, which allows air to escape from the mask without letting in light. There are many options, but we like this one from Kiwi (opens in a new tab)for its efficiency and ease of installation.
2. Corrective lenses
For a VR headset to work properly, its lenses must be the correct distance from your eyes. The Quest 2 comes with an insert to add a little extra space to help anyone who wears glasses compensate, and it works great for most VR uses. But why not just skip the glasses?
Many companies offer prescription lenses for Quest 2, and for far less than you might expect. Installation only takes a few seconds; simply remove the default lenses and add the prescriptions. The process is easily reversible if multiple people share a headset. We have had great results using VR Lens Lab (opens in a new tab)even with a strong prescription.
3. 6ft Round Yoga Mat
It’s surprisingly easy to turn around when you’re in VR. You might be certain you’ve come to a standstill only to realize 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 playing field, but in our experience having a physical boundary does a better job of keeping you safe where you’re supposed to be.
Practice on a yoga mat and you’ll feel like you’re too close to the no-fly zone. Quest recommends a 6 foot space circle for training, so we recommend this Schriner waist mat, (opens in a new tab) but you can use the size and shape that suits your situation.
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The whole point of using VR as opposed to your phone or laptop is the immersion, so do it right. Headphones cut out the real world and let you focus on your workout, but Quest 2 doesn’t support Bluetooth (officially), so your wireless headphones are off limits.
Wired headphones will work, but we found the dangling cord to be a real annoyance while working out. Custom Helmet, like these from Amavision (opens in a new tab), separate the headphones so that each can plug into either side of the headphones with a very short cord. And at under $20, it’s a no-brainer.
5. AA rechargeable batteries
The Quest controllers tear up the batteries like they’re Godzilla in downtown Tokyo. The batteries don’t even have to be completely dead before the controllers start to lose accuracy, which is frustrating at best and a workout killer at worst. Don’t bother trying to squeeze every last drop of power out of your AAs, just get a bunch of rechargeable batteries and swap them out at the first sign of weakness.
You’ll minimize workout interruptions without having to constantly recharge your copper supply. We love this set from Energizer (opens in a new tab)Comes with 4 AA batteries and charger.