This One Type of Workout Is a Huge Stress Reducer, New Study Says
Many lifestyle changes have occurred since the COVID-19 pandemic, and in some instances, have improved everyday routines. Employees have had flexibility in a hybrid work situation, and others are able to work from the comfort of their own homes permanently. Another modification many individuals have adapted to—either temporarily or permanently—is performing workout training virtually. Aside from the time-saving benefit of not traveling to a gym and being able to exercise within your own time restrictions, recent research proves that this one kind of workout can be a huge stress reducer when compared to your typical in-person exercise.
You heard that right! Researchers previously discovered that virtual training sharpens neural and cognitive abilities. That was the inspiring basis for this new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, which found that training virtually certainly has its mental health benefits.
Read on to learn more about how this kind of workout can act as an anxiety and stress reducer. And next, check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) can be such an incredible tool
Routine exercise is essential to maintaining your overall health and well-being. In some cases, however, performing exercise is not always an option. Some examples are individuals who suffer from chronic cardiovascular disease, or those who are bedridden. These situations are when Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) can truly become an amazing tool. IVR offers people a complete virtual world via a virtual body.
Researchers observed stress levels in healthy individuals taking part in virtual training
The research team at Tohoku University's Smart-Aging Research Center (IDAC) observed young and healthy participants who sat still through a virtual training session. The training was designed in a "first-person perspective," which created the impression that the avatar's movements were their own. Prior to and following the training session, the scientists stimulated and evaluated the psychosocial stress response. This was done by taking a measurement of stress (the neuroendocrine stress of the participants). There was also an individual questionnaire for each participant to take that gauged anxiety levels.
The study found that virtual workouts may lower anxiety and psychosocial stress responses when compared to in-person exercise
The findings indicated decreased anxiety levels and lower psychosocial stress response when the virtual training concluded when compared to the effects after performing actual exercise. Professor Dalila Burin, the developer of the study, explains, "Psychosocial stress represents the stress experienced in frequent social situations such as social judgment, rejection, and when our performances get evaluated." Burin adds, "While a moderate amount of exposure to stress might 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 exist."
For more mind and body news, check out Slim Down a Thick Waistline With This No-equipment Workout, Trainer Says and The Quickest Floor Routine To Reverse Aging After 50, Trainer Says.