The "Pokey" Workout

The "Pokey" Workout

It's no secret Pokémon Go is the nation's latest craze. Users everywhere are hitting up the streets, breathing in some fresh air, visiting monumental sites and adding up those steps! No doubt the game has received some backlash with the email scandals, but have you heard of its potential fitness benefits?

The Self-Determination Theory holds that we have natural and intrinsic tendencies to behave in effective and healthy ways. So why don’t you want to hit the gym but are okay with collecting those steps with Pokémon Go? Well, according to psychologists Edward L. Deci and Richard Ryan, humans are motivated by three psychological needs: competence, autonomy and psychological relatedness. We seek to control the outcome of most situations so we can master our world.

At times we feel like we’ve mastered the art of working out, but sometimes the repetition becomes draining. And here comes Pokémon Go, which literally allows us to control little Pokémon and bottle them up in a ball. Humans also seek relatedness, and even if you find yourself a lone goer, you’re guaranteed to meet at least three new friends along the way. Finally, at first glance, one might not understand how Pokémon Go so satisfies your desire for autonomy, the ability to function in an independent fashion. But where else can you literally catch fire breathing creatures all by yourself? Technically speaking, working out is the definition of autonomy, but running on hamster wheels doesn’t quite compare to catching creatures that can evolve to monsters.

Okay, let's say, you’ve moved past the point of walking - you want a real workout. Not to worry, my young Pokémon trainer, here’s a couple hacks you can try on your own.

Interval Training
There’s no better way to shed those pounds than the stop and go action Pokémon Go can provide for its loyal trainers. First, find a route that has continuous Pokémon Go hotspots for at least 30 minutes. Like all good workouts, begin your adventure with a hearty warm-up, perhaps a light jog for you to scope out your future captives. When you’ve achieved optimal heart rate - begin with a sprint, as long as you can go, until you find a Pokémon worthy of your little heart’s desire. Rest, repeat, rest, repeat, rest, repeat, and cool down. 

Instead of simply walking to your next hotspot, try lunging there. You’ll definitely feel the burn, and your lifted glutes will thank you tremendously. You can even reverse those lunges when having to backtrack if you accidently missed the little yellow guy.

Go On a Hike
Pokémon Go actually has a better mapping system than regular hiking apps. Go dwell in beautiful mountains and catch those hidden Pokémons, just like the original Ash did. Just make sure to look up so you don't trip over a random branch and make sure to be respectful of hikers that are just there to enjoy the view.

These are only a few ways to mix in a great workout while having fun. It can be a simple of adding in some jumps or few squats. Just make sure to give yourself an extra challenge then just collecting a game piece. You will feel good in more ones than one. 

Opa! It’s Omega Ouzeri
Pickathon 2016

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