Jenny Lynn says she was excited to spin her wheels at her new cycling class.
“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 a trip through the mountains while music plays in the background. It’s part of the immersive fitness trend and experts say it’s a multi-sensory experience.
“In addition to just using the physical sense, which we would call touch, it also incorporates music for auditory stimulation and visual images. Sometimes even taste and smell,” said Lynn Ianni, Ph.D. a psychotherapist and a sports psychologist.
There’s also immersive dance, weight training, martial arts, high-intensity training, and yoga. There are yoga classes offered in churches and even a yoga class in a nightclub with colorful lights and a DJ.
George Faya is the creator of "DeepBeats Yoga."
“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 past 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," said Ianni.
"They're not focusing on how many reps they're doing or how many more minutes the class is going to be.”
Lynn 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."
Experts we talked to say a potential drawback is you get so immersed that you overlook potentially harmful pain or exhaustion.
They say it’s critical to pay attention to how your body feels and, of course, stop if necessary.