If you are like me, running in the winter can be a very challenging task but, there is a solution I have found that may change your winter running routine.
Some of the unique benefits of virtual running include motivation through virtual challenges and events, convenience of running anytime, variety of virtual locations to explore, flexibility to customise your running experience and accessibility to those who may have visual, physical, or other impairments.
Lets take a look at what virtual running actually is and its benefits.
What Is Virtual Running?
I am sure you have heard of virtual reality. Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional environment that can be experienced through a special headset.
Virtual running is a form of exercise that allows you to use virtual reality to run in a virtual environment. Just imagine linking your treadmill to a virtual reality headset and running in famous landmarks, national parks, and cities around the world. Virtual running also has a great future to keep it interesting by offering a way to participate in virtual running events, challenges and allowing you to compete with other runners.
Benefits of Virtual Running
Virtual running offers some uniqe benefits over other types of running.
The biggest benefit for me is motivation. In the winter when it is cold and raining, it is easy to skip on one of your workouts. The weather can ruin your workout routine. Virtual running solves this isue as it is indoors, so there is no excuse. Additionally, Virtual running offers motivation through virtual challenges and events, and the support of a virtual community to keep you coming back and sticking to your workout.
Virtual running offers the convenience of running anywhere, anytime, without the need to plan for the weather, or external factors out of your control.
Virtual running provides a variety of virtual locations, allowing you to explore new environments and challenge yourself. It allows you to fully customise your running experience to suit your needs without having to find new places to run outside.
Virtual running offers customisation features to tailor your experience. You can set your pace, distance, and duration, giving you the freedom to run on your own terms.
One major benefit is its accessibility. With my disability I understand how difficult it can be for some people who may have visual, physical or other impairments. Virtual running offers the experience and benefits of running to those who may find it difficult to run otherwise. May it be location or environment, virtual running solves a lot of the accessibility barriers.
How to Get Started with Virtual Running
Getting started with virtual running is easy but, may be expensive depending on the equipment you want to use. All you need is a device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or virtual reality headset, and a treadmill or other indoor running equipment.
Tips for a Successful Virtual Running Experience
There are some tips you should know before getting started.
Set goals is easy for virtual running but an important step to keep you motivated. You can set goals such as a distance or time goal right in the app with built in tracking so it couldn’t be easier.
Always take safety precautions when virtual running. Such as staying hydrated, don’t push yourself to hard and following safety equipment on the equipment you are using.
Join a virtual running group
Joining a running group can be a powerful motivator. There will be many running community's, events and groups online to join. Connecting with other runners and running groups can offer you support, socialisation and education.
Remember to have fun and enjoy the virtual running experience, and don't take it too seriously. Your running journey is life-long marathon, not a sprint.
Virtual Running vs. Traditional Running: Which Is Better?
Both virtual running and traditional running have their benefits, and which one is better depends on your personal preferences and circumstances. Virtual running offers the convenience and accessibility, while traditional running provides the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and experience different terrains and environment. The best option is the one that fits your lifestyle and preferences. For me I prefer outdoor running, but virtual running is a welcome change during the winter.
Virtual Running and Mental Health
Virtual running has numerous mental health benefits, including stress relief, improved mood, and increased self-esteem. Running releases endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals that can improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. Virtual running can also provide a sense of accomplishment and boost your self-esteem, as you set and achieve running goals but, running outdoors offers is a little bit better as studies have shown, connecting with nature helps boost your mental health.
Virtual running offers many benefits. Whether you are a seasoned runner or just starting out, virtual running is a great option to consider If you hate the cold and want to continue running in the winter.