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Runtastic thinks you'll like exercising with a VR headset

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Let's be frank: Indoor exercise can suck. You're usually stuck in a gym or your home, and you can't get feedback without either a pricey trainer or a distracting mobile app. Runtastic thinks there might be a better way. It just developed Oculus Rift versions of some of its strength and toning exercises that could liven things up. It sounds a bit ridiculous to strap on a virtual reality headset for your workout (and it probably still is), but the technology promises things that just aren't possible in the real world. You can get fit in much more interesting locales, such as the great outdoors or a beachside home, and the entire interface is designed to keep your hands free -- a virtual trainer and hovering stats let you see how well you're doing while in mid-lunge.

The company sees this as the Next Big Thing in fitness, and has dreams of putting VR helmets on "runners, bikers and more." With that said, the vision is more than a little optimistic. As anyone who's used the current Oculus Rift will tell you, the headset gets hot and sweaty even in normal use -- it could get downright sauna-like if you're very active. There's also the matter of having to tether yourself to a PC, which limits where and how you work out. We've asked Runtastic how it plans to handle these issues, and we'll let you know what it says. For now, though, this is more a vision of what VR fitness could be like than something you'll want to try right away.

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