An app that inspires you to step up your fitness regime, without actually making you think that you are working out, how cool can that be!

An overnight phenomenon, PokemonGo, the new augmented reality game, has actually taken entire world by the storm. It is almost impossible to find someone who has not heard of it these days. I myself have overheard so many coffee house debates about the best practices to ‘catch them all.’

While most people are awestruck by the concept and the execution, as a doctor I find myself musing over how it is making it’s users healthier in so many ways. When I look out my car window and see people walking on the sidewalk, trying to find the next Pokestop, I can’t help but smile. The app has actually managed to initiate the migration of users from the couch, desks and beds and into the sunshine.

If you’ve been playing it too, here are some ways playing Pokemon go makes you healthier-

A fun way to get your daily dose of Vitamin D

Recently, a study revealed that a whopping 69% of Indians suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. 

Why do you need Vitamin D? I’m glad you asked- 

  • It is responsible for maintaining absorption of calcium by the body and our bone Health

  • It is also responsible for ensuring adequate absorption of magnesium, zinc, phosphate and iron in the body.

Some diseases that have been linked to the deficiency of Vitamin D are-

  • Rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults

  • Dementia and Schizophrenia

  • Erectile Dysfunction

  • Heart Diseases

  • Breast, Colon and Prostate cancers

  • Depression 

  • Weight gain

Vitamin D is so important that your body essentially makes it itself, just as long as you go out in the sun!

You can finally achieve your walking goals!

The game is primarily based on the premise that the user has to actually walk around to catch more Pokemons. The app currently rewards medals to all those who have walked at least 10 kms.

So it has given a lot of people a new passion for walking around. 

  • Live near your office and have 4 Poke stops on the way? Taking a walk doesn’t seem that hard anymore does it? 

  • Been skipping that evening walk for weeks now? Well that park nearby might have a Pikachu.

The Internet is going gaga over the increased physical activity of the users. And the best part, there is no workout pressure. The users are not downloading the game because they want to get fit, the game is doing that for them. This means that the app encourages exercise in the current sedentary society without much ado. Men, women and children of all ages now have a way to make themselves healthier without feeling the dread associated with workouts or exercises. 

As much as I like seeing people getting healthier, there are also some things I would like my readers to remember-

  • Wear comfortable shoes while going for these long walks.

  • Take the necessary breaks. I am not asking you to lose your eggs, just enough so that you don’t feel tired after that long walk.

  • Protect yourself from the sun and don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated. Your body will need the extra fluids with all the extra walking around.

  • Do not walk around on roads without paying attention to your surroundings. You need to stay safe. Don’t trespass- those fences and gates are there for a reason! Your phone will buzz if there’s a Pokemon to catch. You don’t need to keep your eyes glued to that screen of yours the entire time.

  • As they’ve aptly put it #DontPokemonGoAndDrive.