The New Way To Get In Shape: Video Games
Playing video games is often associated with the reason Americans have some horrible statistics when it comes to obesity and overall fitness, but that could change pretty soon.
As a nearly life-long computer nerd, I thought it was my civic duty to purchase some virtual reality equipment so I could give you an accurate and thoughtful review of the experience. I spent around $400 on an Oculus Rift, one of the three big players in the VR arena. The other two are the HTC Vive and the Playstation 4 VR. I don't own a PS4, so I had to pick between the two PC offerings and ultimately the Oculus was the best fit for me.
I've never been much of a gamer, but this system is likely to change all of that. If you're not familiar with the concept of VR, you wear a headset that immerses you into a different world. With the included cameras, your body movements are tracked so that your motions in reality are reflected in the game you're playing. For instance, if you're playing a boxing game, you're not just pushing the A or B button to throw a punch or the joystick to duck; you're actually throwing punches, bobbing, weaving, ducking and everything else that goes along with the sweet science (other than receiving punches to the face of course).
There are games that will get your heart rate up, make you sweat and of course get you off of the couch. If your kid is a gamer who spends too much time on the couch, maybe this will be a good solution for the whole family. Not a cheap one, but a good one.
One note about the cost: I spent 400 on the system for my PC, but my PC was already equipped to handle the Oculus Rift. If I was truly starting from scratch, I could have easily spent another $1,000 to build a gaming PC.