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Virtual Reality and Indoor Cycling

New findings show use of virtual reality can aid cycling training.

Cycling and virtual reality

Indoor cyclists who wore virtual-reality headsets experienced less leg-muscle pain during brief, high-intensity intervals than cyclists who wore headsets showing static images, according to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2019; 51 [10], 2088–97).

“This experiment is an important first step in . . .  combining exercise and virtual reality,” said lead study author Carly Wender, doctoral student, Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia.

Researchers found that during the second and third sprints, quadriceps pain was 12%–13% less intense in participants using interactive VR than in the noninteractive group. Cycling performance, however, was the same in both groups. More research is warranted.

Shirley Eichenberger-Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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