Get Fit with Pokemon Go

Last summer, Pokémon Go took the world by storm.  I’m also a huge fan of this game because it forces you to go outside and get some exercise.  Here are some ways to get fit while playing Pokémon Go.

Hatch Your Eggs

As you walk around spinning the PokeStops in your area, you’ll eventually obtain a nice collection of eggs.  Each egg is marked with the distance you need to walk in order to hatch it: 2km, 5km or 10km.  So start walking!

You don’t need to drain your phone’s battery to accumulate steps! Here are some alternatives:

  • Turn on the Adventure Sync feature in the app’s settings. This will import your steps from your iPhone’s Health app or Android’s Google Fit app. Please note that only steps your phone (or Apple Watch) have recorded will count. Steps imported from 3rd party apps, manual entry, or FitBit “sync” apps will not count.
  • If you have an old smartphone lying around, check with your carrier to see if they’ll unlock it (as long as it’s paid off, this should not be an issue).  Then slip in the SIM card for a free or low-cost carrier, like Ting or Tello.  Typically, Pokémon Go uses very little data (unless you’re exploring a new area and need to download the maps and artwork for new Pokémon), so you can usually get away with a 500MB per month data plan if you’re using it exclusively for Pokémon Go.
  • If you have an Apple Watch, install the Pokémon Go app on it and start it up before you go on your walk.  While it still needs to use the GPS from your phone, the battery drain is definitely slower since you’re screen is off and 3D graphics are not being rendered. Update: Unfortunately, the Apple Watch app is no longer available for Pokemon Go.
  • Pick up the Pokémon Go Plus remote to play the game while your phone screen is off.  I’ll discuss this handy little device in a little bit.
  • If all else fails, pickup a power bank to charge your phone on the go.

Walk to your Local Raids

This summer, Pokémon Go added a new “raid” feature that encourages trainers to go out and explore their town.  Throughout the day, a gym will be randomly selected and a timer will appear above the tower.  Once the countdown finishes, a “boss” Pokemon will be available to battle.  You typically can’t take on the boss by yourself, so you will need to round up some of your fellow friends.  You can also check Facebook and Discord for local trainers in your area and coordinate a raid with them.

Multiple raids go on throughout the day, so you will need to walk from gym to gym at the appointed time to take on the boss.  GymHuntr can also help you find a local raid to battle.

Get a Pokémon Go Plus

Nintendo Pokemon GO Plus Bluetooth Bracelet

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as of December 1, 2019 4:43 am

Features

  • The Pokémon GO Plus is a small device that lets you enjoy Pokémon GO while you're on the move and not looking at your smartphone
  • The device connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth low energy and notifies you about events in the game, such as the appearance of a Pokémon nearby using an LED and vibration
  • The Pokémon GO Plus will begin to blink and vibrate whenever you're within range of a PokéStop; Press the Pokémon GO Plus button to search the PokéStop for items; If you find any items, they'll immediately be added to your inventory
  • When a Pokémon is near, the light on the Pokémon GO Plus will flash; It will also flash and vibrate when you pass a PokéStop;Not compatible with Android devices that use Intel Atom processors
  • Once a Pokémon is close, press the button on the Pokémon GO Plus to throw a Poké Ball ;The Pokémon GO Plus will flash and vibrate to let you know if you were successful in catching the Pokémon

I really like the Pokémon Go Plus remote that came out last fall, but I wasn’t able to find one until a few weeks ago.  For me, it makes the game much more enjoyable.  You can catch Pokémon and spin PokeStops but just tapping the button whenever it lights up.  This makes it so much easier to play the game while you’re walking or jogging around the neighborhood.

Now, I wouldn’t consider this little gadget a “cheat” device, because there are plenty of limitations:

  • It can only throw red PokeBalls
  • It cannot use a berry
  • The speed limitations still apply, so it won’t work while in a car or if you’re running too fast

However, it does allow you to play the game with your phone’s screen off, so you can walk around and still enjoy the outdoors.  This makes it ideal for walking the dog or jogging without needing to stare at your phone screen the entire time.

Summary

Wow, who knew playing a video game could be so exhausting?  I’ve definitely seen my daily step counts increase since playing the game.  How about you?  Has Pokémon Go made a difference in your fitness?  Let me know in the comments!

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