Pokemon Go was released early in July and it has taken the country by storm. In less than a week, it became the number one downloaded app with more than 7 million downloads! In case you haven’t heard of it, Pokemon Go is an app for your phone that tells you where to find digital creatures called Pokemon. Those little critters can be anywhere – in parks, grocery stores, even in front of your neighbor’s house. You then “capture” them on your phone. As a result, scores of people are suddenly outside searching for Pokemon and inadvertently getting exercise. You would think the app would just appeal to kids, but grownups everywhere are having a great time trying to “catch them all.”
If you have already succumbed to the craze or you are looking for a fun way to get some cardio, then Pokemon Go can definitely help you in your fitness goals. The app rewards you for traveling longer distances and it also rewards you when you catch the same Pokemon several times. So even if you have already caught a “Charizard”, every time you catch another one, you build strength in the app. By doing this, the app encourages you to stay out looking for Pokemon and helps you get more cardio at the same time.
The app focuses on distance rather than time, so for many people, it helps them stay motivated to keep moving. The “mission” never really ends and there may be another Pokemon just up the road. People often find that they are so caught up in catching Pokemon that they don’t stop to consider whether they are tired or not whereas while running on a treadmill, it’s all too easy to get bored and want to stop. People are commenting all over Twitter and other social media that they have covered 3, 5, or even almost 7 miles while hunting for Pokemon.
Another benefit to all the walking you do with Pokemon Go is that it is good for your mood and helps lower anxiety. Added to that is the fact that you are playing a game and it is fun! Most of us tend to think of exercise as something we have to get through and Pokemon Go brings back that feeling of playing outside from our childhoods while still helping us get our steps in. It’s also a great way to get out and meet people. Pretty much everywhere you go, you’ll see folks walking along with their phones, obviously looking for Pokemon. It’s not too hard to strike up a conversation. There are even groups popping up on sites like Facebook, so if you want to find some fellow enthusiasts just start clicking. We all know it’s easier to keep doing something that is fun, so Pokemon Go is an excellent way to stay motivated to exercise.
If you have kids or dogs, Pokemon Go is a wonderful excuse to get outdoors with them. Adults are not the only ones facing an obesity epidemic in the U.S., it is on the rise for kids as well. Pokemon Go gets everyone off the couch and enjoying each other’s company. Parents all over the country are commenting that they love looking for Pokemon with their kids. And what dog wouldn’t benefit from a longer walk?
Of course, it’s pretty hot here in the Valley right now, but you can still play and reap the cardio benefits. Many people go out early the morning or later in the evening. From about 7:00 pm on, our parks are full of Pokemon hunters. You can also hit malls and stores as they tend to be loaded with Pokemon. As always, make sure to stay hydrated and avoid too much sun so that you can join in the fun safely. If you are looking for an enjoyable new way to exercise or want to add to your exercise routine, Pokemon Go might be just what you’re looking for! So get out there and catch ‘em all!