Why Pokemon Go is the best fitness app

Pokemon Go is the best fitness app I’ve ever seen on Android. Hands down.

At this point you’re thinking one of two things: either you’re nodding your head going “Yep, yep, preach it” or you’re thinking “Wait, isn’t that a game?”

Yeah, it’s a game. And that’s what makes it such a great fitness app. You see, Pokemon Go never shames you. You don’t have to enter your weight; it doesn’t care what you weigh, or if your weight is going up or down. It doesn’t care how much or how little you walk. It will reward you when you do well, but it never punishes you for inactivity; however long you’re able to use it, it’s happy to give you rewards.

What it does do is give you a reason to go out. I have Fibromyalgia, and my physical therapist keeps telling me to go and take walks, just short walks at various points in the day. I keep telling her she’s crazy. “Where would I go? What would be the point of these walks? How would I motivate myself to keep going when my legs hurt?” I have gone on a walk around lunchtime every day for the past four days, and every day I’ve gotten a foot cramp and sore muscles, and every day I’ve not cared. I had a goal in mind, I achieved it, and I got back to the office in time to finish my work. It gives me a little break midday (I don’t usually take a lunch break), I get some fresh air and sunshine, and I feel good about myself no matter what I achieved.

It also doesn’t discriminate by fitness ability. I can’t walk far, so I often go for a drive to tag pokespots and get to gyms I want to challenge. Once I’m in a park, if I feel up to it I can do laps on foot to hit the various spots in order, or I can sit by the car waiting for the first stop to reset (it takes about 5 minutes before you can tag a spot again). That gives me a chance to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. If you’re in a wheelchair, no problem; it counts your rolling as if it was walking, and you’re fully able to experience the gameplay

And the final factor, the one that keeps me hooked as the novelty is beginning to wear off: it has a great social aspect. Everyone is playing it, which means you probably know someone you can play with. If you join the same team, you can get together and compare notes on your pokemon, challenge gyms together to take them down easier, and commiserate about how all those red team jerks are probably teenagers with no lives and how did they get that level so fast? .If you don’t have friends who play, go to a park and drop a lure module. Bam! People will show up and be willing to talk to you, and you have a ready-made subject to talk about, so now you can meet people and get some social interaction outside your normal friend group.

In conclusion, Pokemon Go is an amazing fitness app, one I suspect will keep me active for a long while. And oh yeah, there’s also a game involved. Happy hunting!

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One Response to Why Pokemon Go is the best fitness app

  1. Firedrake says:

    I think there’s a pile of psychology here, and unsurprisingly people are different. For many people, a combination of carrot and stick works most effectively, but it doesn’t matter how big the carrot or stick are: as long as you get the idea that you are being rewarded, or being punished, the actual reward or punishment is almost irrelevant.

    I started regular exercise a few months ago, and continue it on the basis that my wife is going to a gym and will Look at me if I stop; and I do the same for her.

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