I recall my first couple weeks with my Fitbit wondering how I would ever hit 10,000 steps working a desk job. It’s always been something I’ve struggled to hit. I’ve had successful days that have taken nearly maximum walking effort: walking the dogs before and after work, taking a walk during work, and then concluding my day by walking a couple miles at the gym. Those days were few and far between and honestly kind of annoying taking that many walks to hit a goal that others were having no issue hitting.
Recently I committed to hitting 10,000 steps a day, every day for 90 days. It hasn’t been easy, but recently it has gotten easier with the release of Pokémon GO. Not familiar with the game? Let me explain…
Based off the card game from the 90’s, your goal is to catch Pokémon, train them and battle with them. The new Pokémon GO app is an augmented reality game, which means you are looking for these Pokémon in real-world places. While some may appear when you’re sitting on your couch with the app open, most will require a bit of foot work. If you want to do anything else expect even more foot work. Not only are you walking, biking, or driving all over town to try to capture these Pokémon, there are also Poke stops which you visit to stock up on supplies. Typically, these Poke stops are structures, signs or special landmarks. There are also “gyms” where you can strengthen and battle your Pokémon which again, are usually well known landmarks throughout your community.
Now, let me tell you how I hit my 10,000 step goal without even noticing. As you open the interface of the game a map of your location will come up and show you where the local poke stops and gyms are. Yesterday I hit my 10,000 steps with minimal effort all thanks to the new Pokémon app. I walked the dogs in the morning because there’s a poke stop on our usual route. I walked with a few ladies from my office to catch a Pokémon. Around lunch time I decided to head to a local park because I knew there would be quite a few poke stops there. I spent about an hour doing laps around the lake at the park and stocking up on Pokémon supplies. Then, after work walked the dogs yet again. That alone put me at about 8k. As I was relaxing on the couch that evening, I got the motivation to go to my local park and try to catch a few more Pokémon thus hitting and surpassing my 10k step goal. I ended the day around 12k. Usually I would feel like I really had to push myself to hit my step goal, but when you’re chasing Pokémon it’s a breeze to exceed it.
Not only has it been easier for me to be more active on a consistent basis but I’ve seen so many kids out and about. Yesterday as I was walking around the park, not only where there a ton of kids biking, skateboarding or simply walking around with their parents and a phone but I also noticed artwork that I had never seen before in the community. I spent time outside enjoying the weather, the scenery and I’m not going to lie… the people watching too. The cover photo for this article is a picture I snapped from my favorite Poke stop. I’ve met people I never would have met had it not been for this app. I’ve competed in and won step goal challenges with my co-workers whose entire day is spent out in the field walking around. I look forward to posting my weight loss results soon from this new Pokémon addiction.