‘Pokémon Go’: How a Childhood Favorite Turned Into My New Fitness App



Pokémon Go has unexpectedly made working out more lit.

Released in the U.S. this past Friday (July 8), the augmented reality game by Niantic pleasantly disrupted my timeline, swiftly transforming from trending topic to everyone’s lowkey obsession. I imagine Go was created to help folks relive their high school days of trading Fletchling for Pikachu during lunch hour, but I ignored the initial buzz since I’ve never been much of a fan of the trading card franchise, sans the fact that I heart Mewtwo. Given the week’s heavy news cycle, I shrugged off the mobile game as just another come-and-go craze, which quickly revealed itself to be a brilliantly disguised fitness app I could keep tucked in my iPhone workout folder.

The objective of the new gaming gem is to explore locations IRL to hunt down Pokémon. After building up a strong Pokédex (your arsenal of pocket monsters), you prepare them for battling other cyber players’ characters. Now it’s possible there’s a larger objective at play, but when my sister thoroughly hipped me to the latest virtual sport, I solely focused on lacing my customizable trainer in Warriors colors and feeding my Fitbit as I catch a new Japanese cartoon creature.

pokemon-go-hersweat4I captured Squirtle outside my window with ease, then Venonat right outside my front door. And now I’m anxiously awaiting a free hour or so to go rack up major miles and re-up on PokéBalls at the next PokéStop. I’m even trying to drag my friends along on my next Poké adventure.

In just one day, my addiction to this ball-chucking game has ensured I rack up 30-minutes of Michelle Obama-approved activity daily. And for a person who doesn’t dig getting fit unless it’s fun, bridging my real-life route to the grocery story or even the gym with an entertaining distraction has been extra productive. Buying apples, catching Pidgey and toning my glutes? Yes, please. Not to mention, it’s just nice that an app encourages me to enjoy my surroundings.

So yes, my obsession to catch ’em all has now turned me into an active fit monster. I’m not ashamed, though, ’cause the bottom line is if you’re not parlaying your latest obsession with Pokémon Go into a her sweat. sesh, you’re probably playing it wrong.

Photo Credit: Niki McGloster / The Verge

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niki is an outspoken maryland girl who just so happens to love writing things down. you can connect the bylines at vibe, vibe vixen, billboard, karencivil and uptown magazine. [insert something witty and amazing here.]

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