Easily one of the biggest mobile games of 2016, Pokemon Go was a huge trend. I wrote about it even before I was playing it! (See the original post here!) I now have my own account (yay!) and even though it seems like the trend has died off quite a bit lately aka there are no longer videos of people swarming parks everywhere, I still play daily. And probably not for the reasons you think!

While the new updates that came last week for Pokemon Go are definitely a step in the right direction for the game, they are just an added bonus for me. Sure, Santa Hat wearing Pikachu is adorable (I caught mine the day before the official notice came through the app. I haven’t seen another one since!), the second update of added new Pokemon to the game is way more of why I continue to play. The second update was the first wave of new Pokemon to hit the game since the original release are here. Including Togapei, Pichu, and others (I am assuming other baby Pokemon as you can already see their outlines in the evolution map) this is by far the cutest additions to the game! The catch to these additions is you can only get them from eggs apparently. Which brings me to why I play daily: it motivates me to be physically active each day!

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My Holiday Pikachu!

I am a big believer in daily physical activity (I am a personal trainer after all). I’ve tried using Strava to track my walks, but it can be extremely frustrating some days to use since my dog like sniffing things a lot. And I mean a lot! (And I feel guilty if I don’t take him out with me…) So my stats are constantly inaccurate and my maps were terrible to look at, so I stopped. This is where Pokemon Go is fantastic! It doesn’t matter how I walk, where I walk, or if it takes me 20 minutes just to walk 0.5 km because it all goes towards the goal of hatching my eggs! I get to track how far I’ve walked (roughly) and get a reward when I reach each milestone of 2, 5, or 10 km (for those that don’t play, each egg needs to be walked 2/5/10 km in order to hatch. The longer the distance, supposedly the better/rarer the Pokemon.) Even though this reward is just a virtual creature in the game, I’ve noticed that I am pushing myself to go for longer walks and more frequent walks just to hatch my next egg. Because this makes walking more fun for me!

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My Current Eggs in Pokemon Go 

Exercise should have some part of fun or goal to it or you just haven’t found the right activity for you. And the goal doesn’t need to make sense to other people! I am just as happy walking around catching invisible creatures as I am pounding through a boxing routine, but that is just how I am. I enjoy the lightheartedness of Pokemon Go and the fact that I can do it everyday. (Plus I can multitask and walk my dog at the same time. Something I can’t do at the gym.) I would highly recommend playing it to anyone looking for some extra motivation to go for a walk or need some extrinsic push to get out of the house every once in a while. Because exercise is good for you, in whatever shape it takes.

Happy Pokemon hunting! (Fingers crossed for a Pichu!)
-SB

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