Using virtual reality (VR) with the Healthy Gaming Method can lead to amazing physical and mental improvements. Read to learn more.
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by Scott Johannes, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Health Content Writer
Why read this?
Virtual Reality (VR) can be a ton of fun, but it can it also be used for amazing self improvement, personal accomplishment and life changing enhancements.
The Healthy Gaming Method will teach you how.
This article will help you understand:
Scroll down to get started!
1) What is the Healthy Gaming Method?
Have you ever been told to do certain things because they would improve your health, but they were boring and thus you weren’t motivated to do them?
Whether it is exercises to burn fat or movements to reduce pain in the shoulder, typical exercises are boring and repetitive. As a Doctor of Physical Therapy, I know this, as I’ve prescribed plenty of them in the past. I know they’re boring too, and data shows most people don’t stick to them.
In contrast, have you ever played a game you really, REALLY loved? Did you lack motivation to play it? Did you need to gather up your will to force yourself to do it?
Probably not, because just like kids playing, you were having so much FUN that the motivation to play wasn’t an issue.
So how do we combine the two? Is there a way to design games that you love to play, with exercise and movement within the experience? This would solve the motivation problem, while simultaneously giving real outcomes such as improved weight loss or less pain in that shoulder of yours. You would be lost in a game having tons of fun, but also grinning on the inside knowing you are making important progress towards your health goals.
You literally would be gaming yourself to health.
Virtual reality (VR) is your tool for making this happen, and millions of people are already doing it.
VR headsets have an amazing and ever growing library of games. There are games for a variety of abilities and ages, making VR headsets usable by a wide range of people.
VR games are amazingly fun, which keeps you motivated to come back and play more.
VR games are also incredibly effective at getting the body to move and exercise while playing games, which can cause progress towards the health results you want.
In short, you basically play games and have fun, and you are rewarded with improved health because of it. Pretty fantastic right?
Here is a summary. (Requires a compatible VR headset)
The method sounds simple enough, because it is. The method simply causes you to use VR content you love and causes outcomes in self improvement areas that you need.
Next, we will cover why the method works. Let’s go!
2) Why the Healthy Gaming Method works
Taking on a new habit is hard, whether the goal is weight loss, pain control, mental wellness or something else. Often achieving the new habit requires repetitions of boring tasks like exercises, and research supports that many people don’t do them even when they know they are beneficial.
The Healthy Gaming Method changes the way we think about achieving these same goals.
Normally self improvement areas happen like this:
- Problem occurs
- Find boring exercises that might help
- Stop doing exercises due to lack of motivation
- Problem doesn’t go away, you feel defeated and frustrated
The Healthy Gaming Method changes everything by tapping into the fun factor of VR apps.
You don’t have to worry about motivation because you can trust the VR apps you use will have you so immersed and having fun that motivation won’t be an issue. You don’t have to force yourself to do anything, you just play and enjoy the experience.
Using the Healthy Gaming Method, know that whenever you are not motivated to play, it isn’t your fault. You aren’t lacking personal drive, you simply need to find a new VR app to enjoy and motivate you to play again.
You also don’t have to worry about doing the hard work of trying to figure out what VR apps help for what health topics. We write articles that suggest VR apps for specific health topics. All you need to do is try them out and find ones you enjoy!
3) How to start using the Healthy Gaming Method
Using the Healthy Gaming Method is easy. All you need is a VR headset to get started, and then follow the directions below.
First, identify a problem area you want to work on.
It could be weight loss, pain, flexibility, anxiety, endurance, strength, or something else. Ask yourself, “If I could improve __________, that would be amazing.”
Second, search for VR apps that can help with that problem area.
There is a wide library of VR apps for VR headsets, and selection differs from headset to headset. Finding the right one is critical.
Third, try one of the apps you found.
Make sure you review the return policy. Do you love it? Does it strongly hold your attention? Do you feel a powerful drive to play it? If you answer yes to all three, you may have found a winner.
Fourth, play it!
Play it according to the starting recommendations below. How long and how often you need to play will differ based on the problem area being addressed and may vary. Feel free to alternate with other helpful apps you have found.
As a reminder, get cleared by your primary care provider before starting any new activity program. Stop play immediately if you feel any worrisome symptoms, including pain, dizziness, lighthead, shortness of breath, vision changes, or weakness. The games you play should make you feel BETTER, not worse!
|Fitness||Moderate intensity play: 30 mins a day, 5 days a week|
Vigorous intensity play: 15 mins a day, 5 days a week
|Weight Loss||Moderate intensity play: 30 mins a day, 5 days a week|
Vigorous intensity play: 15 mins a day, 5 days a week
Increase play time or intensity if you are not seeing results in 30 days of play
|Other Health Topics||Start at 15-30 mins a day, 3-5 days a week, unless the game tells you differently|
After you find a VR app you enjoy, keep playing according to the schedule it until you are no longer driven to play it. It is common to feel like there is something personally wrong when you feel a lack of drive or motivation to play, but be ensured you are not the problem. It simply means you have outgrown that VR app and it is time to move on. You can always return later if desired.
Lastly, go back and find new VR apps to try.
New VR apps are coming out all the time, so there is always something new around the corner. Check back on our articles often, we are always covering the latest content!
You now know how to crack the motivation code of self improvement, and are ready to begin the Healthy Gaming Method.
You are ready to have an amazing time playing VR games, knowing that you are also progressing your health.
Now go game yourself to health!
What to do now
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