New tech for virtual workouts

Do you want to go for a run on the beach in the dead of winter, or get a personal training session without leaving the comfort of your living room? Advances in virtual reality technology could make it possible.

The company behind the fitness-tracking app Runtastic has created a virtual reality workout program that uses the interactive video game-like headset Oculus Rift.

The concept is compelling: You put the device on your head, and virtual reality technology envelops you in a computer-generated environment while you exercise. You can do a seven-minute leg workout with lunges while a virtual personal trainer monitors your form and progress. The stats from your workout regimen appear right on the screen.

The device provides a 100-degree field of view for a life-like experience of one's surroundings. A player is able to choose a variety of backgrounds, including outer space, which gives new meaning to the moonwalk dance move.

However, this futuristic technology does not seem to be quite ready for prime time. CNET reporter Bridget Carey told CBS News, "As someone who's used one of these things, I've got to tell you, it makes you dizzy real fast!"

"I think it's hard enough to be motivated to exercise - but then to put this giant thing on your head, and have cords all around you... I can't see myself doing it," she said.

But perhaps as the technology develops further and the headsets get lighter and smaller, virtual reality training could offer an appealing alternative to the reality of hitting the gym.