Ways to Use Pokemon Go for Fitness

One of the benefits of both Pokemon Go is that it encourages people to get outside and walk. If your focus is just to catch them all however there are definitely ways to play the game without moving much. For example i’ve seen lots of hotspot areas in the inner city were people just sit beside a series of pokestops with lures so that they can catch a bunch of pokemon without even moving. Some people even try to play the game by car which is of course extremely dangerous if you are the driver but downright lazy if you are a passenger.

Assuming you want to use the game as a way to motivate you to exercise however here are some tips to help make this happen.

1. Play the game in less densely populated areas.
In the inner city there are areas where you can access multiple pokestops without even moving. But in more suburban areas the pokestops might be many hundreds of metres apart, even kms apart. Chances are this might describe what it is like near your home. So intentionally play in these areas setting yourself the challenge hitting up the local pokestops in a bit of a walking circuit. Never play the game by car! If you you only have city areas with many pokestops to play in, make sure you are still moving. You can do laps of long strings of pokestops or maybe just spin every few ones if there are so many you are stopping so often.

2. Make the Most of Hatching Eggs
Hatching eggs is one part of the game that is specifically set up to try and encourage you to walk. In fact there are speed limiters that mean that playing the game while driving or even cycling fast will not add up the kms/miles you need to hatch your eggs. The incentive is also always to use the eggs that need the longest distance to hatch as they have the rarest pokemon. So always make sure your incubators as full and use this as a reason to go out and walk with the game even if you are in an area without any pokestops or much chance of finding wild pokemon. The eggs can also act as a way of gaging how much exercise you are really doing too.

3. Aim for the distance walked badges
Another motivator apart from the eggs is the badge that keeps a tally of the total distance you’ve walk while playing the game. So this can give you an idea of what you’ve really achieved exercise wise.

4. Combine the game with a fitness tracker
I have a fitbit and love it in combination with Pokemon Go as it provides me additional motivation to get out and get ‘my steps up’. It also get to compete with my family and friends in little challenges. So i actually are getting my steps up while playing the game, it’s kind of perfect. I can also see from the fitbit app that my amount of activity has significantly increased since playing the game. This is of course not essential, but nice.

5. Run between Pokestops
If you want extra exercise then run between pokestops, only stopping or walking to catch wild pokemon or to spin the pokestop picture. This can be really good for people that are too unfit to run without stopping for a long way. It forces you to not go to hard too soon and you won’t even mind that if you are the competitive type as you’ll be focused on the pokemon anyway.

6. Use the Ingress Intel Map to Plan an Exercise Route
One of the problems with the Pokemon Go game in of itself is that it only allows you to see a small area around you on the actual app. However the game is based off data from another game called Ingress which did provide a map online with all the locations of it’s ‘Portals’ which are now mostly ‘Pokestops’ in the pokemon game. So set up an Ingress account and access the map. You’ll then be able to plan walking/running routes in areas that have regular pokestops scattered throughout. You might even discover you are interested in the Ingress game while you are there and it certainly is another great tool to be motived to exercise and especially for people that might feel pokemon are just a bit to kiddy to be associated with (Ingress is more grown up).

7. Think of it as Fun Exercise
It might be easy to think of the game as a waste of time. But if you are truely exercising by doing it then it is a productive use of your time. The way that you go about playing the game though will probably depend on your perspective of it. If you get focused on trying to ‘win’ and level up as fast as possible over everything else then chances are you’ll start using shortcuts like sitting on lured pokestops as ways of doing this. If you view it as exercise, just fun exercise you’ll more likely make it part of your regular routine and play the game in a way that prioritises the exercise component. Obviously it is a balancing act as it won’t be much fun if you can’t level up at all or catch many pokemon. So find that right balance for you.

8. Don’t bother with Pokemon Gyms
Gyms are kind of pointless for the most part and have you sitting in one place mashing your phone screen. So they don’t encourage exercise. Focus instead on hatching your eggs and catching them all in the wild as well as collecting as many pokeballs as possible from many pokestops.

8. When you get bored of the game, keep exercising!

Finally i think it is inevitable that we will all get bored of Pokemon Go and Ingress eventually. But hopefully the routine of going out and using it to go for a walk or run will become a habit. So when the boredom hits still go out and walk. If you need something external to keep you mind off the actual exercising then maybe look into listening to audiobooks or podcasts as another alternative or just music. There is also a game called Zombie’s Run that many people rave about.


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