Pokemon Go – most people have probably at least heard about (if they’re not already playing) the popular new smart phone game. For most people my age who were raised during the Pokemon craze of the 90’s and early 2000’s, Pokemon Go came as a highly anticipated addition to the Pokemon franchise.
In my mind though, this game has one big advantage over other Pokemon games (and even most smart phone games in general) – it’s focus on walking and moving around a city! There are a few people on the web who have mentioned this facet of the new game, but today I want to talk about how you can use Pokemon Go for weight loss, or even just as a fun way to keep active.
How Does it Work?
For those of you who haven’t yet played Pokemon Go, the game centers around using your phone’s GPS to track your position as you walk around searching for Pokemon to collect. As you progress in the game, you will be able to level up, evolve, and eventually battle your Pokemon against other trainers (the name for players in the game).
How can I use Pokemon Go for Weight Loss?
The whole game centers are having to walk around and explore in order to find new Pokemon! This means that if you want to really progress in the game, you need to go out and walk around. For me, I’ve found that the game has added just a little bit of incentive for me to go out of my way to walk places.
Aside from just exploring the city looking for Pokemon and visiting Pokestops to get new items, I also love the egg hatching part of the game. How this works is that you collect eggs at Pokestops. These eggs then have to be “incubated”, and you hatch them by walking a certain distance.
So far I have discovered three types of eggs based on how far you have to walk to hatch them – 2km, 5km, and 10km. The longer the distance it takes to hatch the egg, the rarer the Pokemon is supposed to be. When you first start the game you only have one incubator, which means you have to hatch one egg before you can start walking to hatch the next one. Later in the game though you might collect more incubators or buy them from the in game store.
Egg hatching is my favorite way to use the game to stay active, and if you are dedicated to hatching new Pokemon you can actually burn off quite a few calories! The people at omnicalculator.com even have a calculator that you can use to determine how many calories you can burn while walking to hatch your eggs. Check it out:
Okay, so overall I’ve been very pleased with the Pokemon Go app, but it is still a game and not a fitness app. One big downside that I also have with the game is that I wish it would track how far you walk each day. Right now you can only see the total distance you’ve walked since you started playing (in your trophies section).
The game also won’t tell you how fast you are walking. In addition, the game supports a more leisurely speed of walking, with sometimes frequent stops to catch Pokemon, so you won’t burn as many calories playing Pokemon Go compared to going on a normal hike or run.
Another downside is the fact that the game can be a major drain on your cell phone battery. If you are planning on playing the game for any length of time I recommend investing in a portable external battery pack like this one from Amazon.
The Bottom Line
Pokemon Go is a fun game, and if the other options are sitting in front of your computer or the TV playing games, I definitely recommend downloading Pokemon Go. It’s a fun way to get active, and I know that there have been a couple times when I chose to go out for a walk to go catch some Pokemon instead of staying inside on the couch.
That being said, it probably shouldn’t be your only form of physical activity. But it is a good way to add some variety and fun to your daily exercise regime. So why not head on out there and try to “catch ’em all”!
What do you think? Do you have any other games that you use to make exercise and staying active more fun?