The Virtual Reality 🏋️ Edition [Mollie's Monday Obsessions v.118]

The Virtual Reality Institute of Health and Exercise does research on the impact of virtual reality exercise on the human body. They concluded that exercising in VR with the right games can burn more calories than most dedicated workout equipment at the gym. -Why Working Out in VR is Game-changing

Here is actual footage of me using the Oculus Quest 2 playing Supernatural (no affiliation, just obsessed!) and getting insane Whoop stats as a result of a relatively short VR workout (see below).

For reference, this is a higher strain than I’ll often get in an intense Crossfit class. (Obviously, these are different types of workouts, and Whoop heavily favors cardiovascular strain, but interesting nonetheless to consider that you can hit those types of numbers in your your living room).

I’m sharing this in a primarily sleep-focused newsletter because if you are not moving your body throughout the day, good luck getting quality sleep (or HRV!) night after night. I’m not saying you have to knock it out of the park routinely by any means, but I have plenty of clients coming to me with inactivity scores averaging almost 10 hours or more a day like this:

We all know that it’s common sense that you don’t want to be sedentary like this for most of the day. However, there are lots of #2020 narratives that can make it very easy to fall into the trap of limiting beliefs about our optionality or feasibility to get up and move. As puts it in How Exercise Affects Sleep, “Want to fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more rested? Get moving! As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can dramatically improve the quality of your nighttime sleep, especially when done on a regular basis.”

From that place, whether it is picking up virtual reality (if you do, please let me know! We can be VR friends! LOL) or committing like one of my clients to merely taking a morning walk to a nearby park in the AM. Or maybe getting a standing desk to get the blood flowing (we have this one for the primary desk and this one for a portable standing desk- no affiliation with either!).

Please respond to this email with one small way to up your movement this week, I’d love to hear it! And if you’re looking for additional motivation to start working out in your PJs, below are some resources on the connection between VR movement and sleep.



Resource: Article, Wired, Naked and Unafraid to Exercise in Virtual Reality Where Peloton or Mirror might offer ongoing streams of new classes, though, they are fixed physical platforms; VR fitness differentiates itself in letting users step outside the existing reality paradigm.


Resource: Article, LA Times, Coronavirus and fitness: How VR games got me to exercise “Supernatural” gives you a virtual coach and places you in postcard-worthy visual landscapes. Think New Guinea islands, the Grand Canyon or Ethopia’s Erta Ale volcano.


Resource: Article, Fast Company, Forget your living room workout: This new VR fitness app lets you train on top of a mountain The goal was to make a fitness experience that even people who hate to exercise would love. Milk compares it to the difference between working out and playing a sport. Both get you in shape, but the former can feel like a chore, while the latter is fun.


Resource: Article, Forbes, VR Fitness Is Exercise Without Effort, According To Science “We hypothesize that VR technology induces a higher perceptual load when compared to music and control conditions, which prevent exercise‐related interoceptive cues from entering focal awareness,” says a Brunel University study in the British Journal of Health Psychology. Translation: you’re having too much fun to notice you’re working like a dog.

As always, please send me your thoughts on this week’s obsession or your current fascinations.


P.S. Fed up with your sleep? Here are five ways I can help you transform your sleep:

1. Subscribe to The Sleep Is A Skill Podcast
Get guidance from experts on all things sleep! We’ve got you covered from light, darkness, temperature, sound, meals (type & time), exercise, gadgets, etc.

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3. Check out the Sleep Is A Skill Sleep Resource Recommendations
Inspired to transform your sleep but aren’t clear what sort of resources will help? Start here.

4. Book a 15 minute Call
We have something for everyone, no matter where you’re at with your sleep. Book a quick call to discuss what the next best steps are for you.

5. Get the Sleep Starter Stack Oura Ring (no affiliation), Ooler from Chilipad, use this link and promo code CHILI22 for a hookup, a reliable pair of amber or red, blue blockers (clear lens will not cut it for the night) like TrueDarks or BluBlox (use code 'sleepisaskill' for discount), and a continuous glucose monitor (a common cause of wakeup and high body temperature). Skip the 35k person line with this link: