The goal — get you to use your senses and connect with your workout.
Jenny Lynn says she was excited to spin her wheels at this new cycling class.
Lynn said, “It was different. It’s not your typical spin class.”
Not typical because you cycle while surrounded by a big screen with changing scenes – like this trip through the mountains, while music plays in the background.
It is part of the immersive fitness trend. Experts say it is a multi-sensory experience.
Sports Psychotherapist, Lynn Ianni said, “In addition to just using the physical sense, which we would call touch, it also incorporates music for auditory stimulation, visual images. Sometimes even taste and smell.”
There is also immersive dance, weight training, martial arts, high-intensity training, and yoga.
Like this immersive yoga class in of all places – a church.
Or this yoga class in a nightclub with colorful lights, d-j, music and all.
George Faya from DeepBeats Yoga said, Something about the spirituality of connecting the practice to the music. Yeah, it really brings it to a different level for them.”
Research shows being immersed can also boost performance by helping people push through boredom and pain.
“So, psychologically it helps people feel better during the course of their exercise. In a sense, it gives them a way to be distracted from their discomfort. They’re not focusing on how many reps they’re doing or how many more minutes the class is going to be,” said Ianni.
Jenny likes getting distracted into a better workout.
“I’d say I’m more eager as well as pumped up to give it my all in the ride. It’s almost like a video game sometimes,” said Jenny.
Experts we talked to — say a potential drawback of this type of exercise can be if you get so immersed that you overlook potentially harmful pain or exhaustion.