If you have the money and you’re big into exercise you may want to consider buying an Oculus headphone, or the like.

Research by the University of Kent shows that virtual reality may lower your pain levels and increase performance when exercising or engaging in general physical activity. Participants using VR reported a pain intensity ten percent lower than those not using the technology when performing isometric bicep curls.

October 1, 2018, a team led by led by PhD candidate Maria Matsangidou measured two groups of 40 individuals who performed an isometric bicep curl set at 20% of the maximum weight they could lift and hold for as long as possible.

Hurts, right?

Well, both groups were in rooms with a chair, a table and yoga mat on the floor. The only difference: One group had VR headsets that showed an arm lifting the weight.

The researchers found that the VR group not only reported ten percent less pain than the control group, but they also showed a lower heart rate of three beats per minute lower.

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On top of that, the VR group was able to hold on about two minutes longer than its non-VR group.

“It is clear,” said Maria Matsangidou “that VR technology can improve performance during exercise on a number of criteria. This could have major implications for exercise regimes for everyone, from occasional gym users to professional athletes.”

The best of it all is that VR equipment is less expensive than most of us think and has become almost as normal as watching TV.

All you need is a smartphone (iPhone or Android) and a VR headset or viewer. The most expensive VR headsets on the market include Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or Playstation VR. The cheapest – but least sophisticated – are Google Cardboard.

So why not go for it?

Less pain, more gain.