With the launch of Pokémon GO, people are getting out of their houses in droves. Now, I’m the ultimate couch potato, but I decided to use Pokémon GO to get me off the couch and on my way to fitness. It’s going so well, I’ve decided to share my tips for going from couch potato to health nut with Pokémon GO. And as a bonus, you’ll actually become a super powerful trainer at the same time!
Tip #1 Level Up Your Walking
Use leveling as a basis for walking for the early levels. Go to a space with a few Pokéstops and walk until you level up, at least 3 times a week. It takes 1000 XP to go from Level 1 to Level 2. This means you should hit level 2 after catching 2 Pokémon, which, if you’re at a place with Pokéstops, shouldn’t take long at all. Your walking will naturally increase by aiming for trainer levels without you noticing. For instance, I hit 10,000 steps on Friday. By Sunday I had walked 12,000 and managed 15,000 on Monday.
Once you hit level 14, level increases become more difficult to keep up with, so try to gain a level every 2 days of exercise instead of every 1. Once you hit level 20, just make sure you’re getting 10,000 steps a day (you shouldn’t have a problem reaching this after level 15).
Tip #2 Track Your Steps
Combine your gameplay with a pedometer to keep a record of your steps. I use a Fitbit Charge HR because it also keeps track of my heart rate and buzzes when I hit the recommended 10k steps for the day.
Image Credit: Fitbit
Pedometers come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding the right one for you. Although there are free pedometer apps that you can download on your phone, I personally don’t like to use these with Pokémon GO.
Tip #3 2-App Attack
Although I don’t like to use a pedometer app, I do like combining Pokémon GO with other apps. There are multiple apps that donate money to different charities based on how much you walk. So, I’ll turn one of these bad boys on while playing. This helps me get motivated for walking on days when I don’t want to do it just for the Pokémon. Once I finish my Pokéwalk, I’ll also open SuperBetter. This awesome app also gamifies exercise and helps change negative opinions of exercise to positive ones. After a Pokéwalk I usually have accomplished several goals and beaten several baddies in SuperBetter, so I feel awesome, despite having sore feet.
Tip #4 Water isn’t just a Pokémon type
Drink water. If you aren’t staying hydrated, the Pokéwalks will eventually be a problem. Soda is not a substitute and neither are coffee or energy drinks. Honestly, nothing’s gonna fix the dehydration better than water. I actually normally hate drinking water, but I make sure to drink it before my Pokéwalks and after. I’m telling you, eventually nothing will taste better than water after a long walk.
Tip #5 Defend the world with your Best Friends
Get your friends involved. More people means more Pokémon and if you guys are talking you’ll hardly notice the kilometers fly by. Getting your friends involved will also help you make it a regular activity or get you out of the house at times you wouldn’t have before. This summer has been stupidly hot in my area, so I don’t want to go out during the day. However, going out at night alone, especially in an area you aren’t sure is 100% safe, isn’t the smartest. I’m very glad I have friends who agree that the sun is evil and are willing to do Pokéwalks with me after it has left us to torture another hemisphere for a while.
If you can’t get your friends involved, recruit your family or make new friends. If you go to a place with plenty of Pokéstops, there will be tons of people around playing the game. At least one park in my area consistently has hundreds of people playing the game in it every night. Family can be nice as well, because you can sell it as “family time” and get the into the game, or just convince them to enjoy a nice area while you play.
Tip #6 Make like you’re Gumby
Image Credit: Art Clokey
Stretch. Cramps are bad, yo. You can’t be the very best with a charlie horse in your leg. Stretch before and after to keep your muscles raring to go. Do some flamingoes, lunges, attempt to touch your toes. Do whatever you need to so you won’t wake up in agony. I’ve been through that pain. You don’t want to go through that pain.
Tip #7 Know your Limits
Don’t overexert yourself. Pokémon GO is awesome, but if you’re a real couch potato and you immediately try to do 10k steps because you want to level up more, you’re doing your body a disservice and you’re more likely to give up. Take your time and you will eventually be able to handle walking 5 miles without breaking a sweat. I say this as a real couch potato who is also obsessed with being the very best at Pokémon: I walked too much and overexerted myself the first day I had the app and ended up taking a week off. Being the very best Pokémon trainer also means taking care of yourself.
And those are our tips for using Pokémon GO to be a healthier you. Did we forget anything? Have tips to add? Let us know in the comments!
Featured Image and Pokemon Images Credited To: Pokemon Company International