Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many lifestyle changes have occurred and in some cases they have improved daily routines. Employees have had flexibility in a hybrid work situation and others can work permanently from their own home. Another change that many people have adapted to—temporarily or permanently—is to perform workout training virtually. Aside from the time-saving advantage of not having to travel to a gym and excercise within your own time constraints, recent research proves that this one type of workout can be a huge stress relief compared to your typical personal exercise.
You heard that right! Researchers previously found that virtual training sharpens neural and cognitive skills. That was the inspiring basis for this new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Healthwhich showed that training is almost certain mental health benefits.
Read on to learn more about how this type of training can work as an anxiety and stress reliever. And next, check out The 6 best exercises for strong and toned arms in 2022, says trainer†
Routine Exercise is essential for maintaining your overall health and well-being. In some cases, however, performing exercises is not always an option. Some examples are people who suffer from chronic cardiovascular disease or who are bedridden. In these situations, Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) can really become a great tool. IVR offers people a complete virtual world through a virtual body.
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The research team at Tohoku University’s Smart-Aging Research Center (IDAC) observed young and healthy participants sitting still during a virtual training session. The training was designed in a ‘first-person perspective’, giving the impression that the avatar’s movements were their own. Before and after the training, the scientists stimulated and evaluated the psychosocial stress response. This was done by measuring stress (the neuroendocrine stress of the participants). There was also an individual questionnaire for each participant to complete those measured anxiety levels.
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The findings indicated reduced anxiety levels and a lower psychosocial stress response when the virtual training ended compared to the effects after performing actual exercise. Professor Dalila Burin, the study’s developer, explains: “Psychosocial stress represents the stress experienced in frequent social situations such as social judgment, rejection and when our performance is evaluated.” Burin added: “While a moderate amount of stress exposure can be beneficial, repeated and increased exposure can be detrimental to our health. This kind of virtual training represents a new frontier, especially in countries like Japan, where high performance demands and an aging population population exists.”
For more mind and body news, check out Knock off a fat waist with this no-equipment workout, trainer says and Fastest Floor Routine to Reverse Aging After 50 Years, Trainer Says†
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel, delivering compelling fitness, wellness and self-care topics to readers. read more