Getting distracted during a workouts used to be frowned upon, but now, distractions have become the key to getting better results and, oftentimes, a better body.

Often called digital fitness, or fitness 2.0, the latest movement in the exercise realm is all about immersive experiences that help users compete with themselves and others in a fun and interactive way that helps pass the time while getting a good work-out in. Digital fitness got its start with wearable devices like FitBits and AppleWatches, and has hit the group fitness circuit hard with classes like OrangeTheory and SoulCycle taking off; but it’s the latest in-home machines that are taking this trend to the next level. From virtual reality workouts that sculpt your body with robotic precision to machines that allow you to attend your favorite NYC classes from the comfort of your own home, the future of fitness is high tech and it’s virtually the best thing since the Pilates ball.


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The ICAROS system ($3,000) doesn’t merely offer an innovative whole body workout; it gives mere mortals the chance to fly. Operating as more of an apparatus of physical immersion than a piece of equipment, ICAROS combines fitness and virtual reality to create exciting and effective exercise experiences. The workout begins when users mount the machine by resting their elbows and knees into the cradles, grabbing hold of the handlebar mounted control unit and lowering the virtual reality headset in place. They are then transported to a virtual world, where they navigate the skies using their body to control the virtual experience. The experience becomes a total body workout as users slide their arms and legs, tilt forward and backward, and roll from side to side during the game, working muscle groups in the neck, chest, shoulders, abs, quads, and more. Users can select from a number of virtual reality workouts and experiences, ranging from flying, diving into an underwater realm, free falling, racing around a race track in outer space, or even competing with other ICAROS pilots around the world through the ICARACE multiplayer platform. The machine aids in improving balance, concentration, and reflexes. The ICAROS Home is ideal for home use, and will arrive in the United States in late 2018. icaros.com

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