Subscriber Stories: The Start of Josh’s VR Weight Loss Journey

One of the things I am most excited about with this blog is sharing stories of those I meet along the way. So today, I am happy to be writing my first subscriber story! I met Josh, from New York, through the Virtually Healthy Community on Facebook. He shared with me that he just last week decided to really focus on his VR weight loss journey.

“I have always been overweight. The last 10 years, I have put on 100lbs. My worst was 360lbs. A few years ago I got into a kick and just ate really well and walked. I got down to 300lbs, but I just couldn’t break that,” says Josh. “After a slight injury from a motorcycle accident, my progress stopped. Same thing as always, only took a little bit to kick me out of what good I had done. Now I’ve put on 20lbs over the summer.” He goes on to say that his main problem has always been commitment, and his hopes are that with VR, he can keep his motivation level up.

Josh says that he has always been a gamer, and is excited about the potential for virtual reality gaming as a fitness tool. He first experienced VR after playing Beat Saber at a local Comic Con, and he recommends that those who are intrigued by but have not yet tried VR do the same. He says, “Virtual Reality set ups in the Northeastern New York region seem to be popular attractions at Comic Cons. For a few dollars you can try a VR experience and see what you think. That was my first exposure to Beat Saber. Five dollars and one song later, I was hooked.”

Josh tells me his favorite calorie-burning games include Beat Saber and BoxVR. He uses a Samsung Gear S3 watch to track calories while playing. Over this week, he says he averaged around 150-155bpm during sessions of both games, with peak heart rates of about 190bpm. During these sessions, he averages about 300 calories burned per 30 minute session. That is an impressive average of 10 calories per minute! Eventually, he would like to see integration between VR systems and popular fitness trackers to have specific selections for VR workouts.

When asked what he loves about VR as a fitness tool so far, he replied that it’s convenient and fun. Especially when compared with traditional workouts. “I enjoy the spontaneity of being able to work out from home. I live about 15 minutes from the closest gym, a Planet Fitness. It’s nice not losing time traveling, not having to change in the locker room, or wait for a shower. I would rather work out in the evening, but once I get home I never want to leave to go to the gym. When I go after work it is usually very crowded. Convenience is a great plus of VR. The next is fun. I love Beat Saber and I enjoy working out with Box VR.”

Josh is at the beginning of his weight loss journey with VR, but he hopes to lose 130lbs. His plan is to do 15 minutes of BoxVR every other day, followed by 30-45 minutes of Beat Saber. He is also making diet changes, trying to eat less and track his calories with a food tracker. His hopes are that he can keep his motivation up to stick with his plan, by being a part of this blog, as well as with support from the Virtually Healthy Online Community. Aside from weight loss, he hopes to see reaction time improvements from his VR use.

Josh is excited to keep up his VR use and see results. “I’m 36, and I really don’t want to start another year saying: this year is the year I finally get this weight under control. I think there is a real future in VR being a fitness tool. And I would love to be a good example of that.” In talking with Josh, I can tell that he is extremely motivated to stick with his VR weight loss plan. I look forward to following and sharing his journey, and will post an update on his progress in the future! Be sure to check our Subscriber Stories page for updates on Josh, as well as other subscribers.

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