Pokemon GO … Time to Download it

Last week I thought Pokemon Go had already peaked or was on it’s way out … the tales of people being lured into unsavory areas,  stepping off cliffs, being hit by cars – maybe the newness was being replaced with caution. My half-written post, inspired by my nephew, Ryan’s, new Pokemon-inspired workout seemed old already.

Today there’s a story about a man who captured all the Pokemon and lost 8 pounds in the process. 

By playing a game.

In a country where obesity is killing us, this is big news. And Ryan (who is a rock climber, runner, surfer, basically fit emergency department physician) isn’t the only one to come up with the interval training thing, there are articles by running experts to help you with that.

Dr. Ryan Slife explains Pokemon Go High-Intensity Interval Training


My son, who moved out for the second time in May, is down about 10 pounds and his dog is trimmer, too. Pokemon GO. Hunter grew up in a home where he saw his mom regularly working out, playing tennis, running, eating healthy … but it’s Pokemon GO that whittles down the weight?

My niece logged 8 miles yesterday. Playing a game.

It boggles the mind.

How did this app/game/camera/GPS/competition thing become so wildly popular? And to such a diverse age group? My niece, the 8-mile girl? She’s a 3rd-year med student. They got an email last week. “Stop playing Pokemon Go in the hospital.” Seriously. And Ryan, the ED doc? He’s early 30’s. The people I work with – their young kids are playing and there’s more than one mom in her 40’s playing. (No worries, they are not playing at work.)

I think it’s lovely. Scary traps and falling off cliffs aside, it’s a delightful, frivolous phenomenon that is bringing some much-needed light-heartedness and community back into, well, our communities. The game gets people outside exploring their towns, walking their dogs, exercising, and talking (at least about the game) to each other.  We need this. We need to remember it’s good to have fun and get outside and play. When I was visiting my nieces and nephews we went for a family walk after dinner. All 6 of us and 2 dogs.  The “kids” got sooooo many Pokemon!

We can worry about the limitless potential of this thing and what it will spawn later. There’s nothing to do about the steady march of technology but embrace it and manage it. If we’re all skinny and have had enough “outside time” maybe, just maybe we’ll all be happier. That can only be good.

And I wonder if that Pikachu Christmas ornament from Hunter’s grade school years is worth anything now …

Squirtle at Nag's Head, NC
Squirtle at Nag’s Head, NC. Photo credit Keegan Slife.

For an exhaustive look at the benefits of running, and fitness in general, check out this article from Sports Fitness Advisor.












  1. There is something about PLAYING that is missing from our lives. Perhaps that contributes to the phenomenon! And, hey, a little outside exercise is just a bonus.

  2. Aaron out with his friend biking and catching Pokemon for hours tonight. They meet new people and talk at the Pokemon “gyms”. I am sure he and Ellen will find and catch lots on their way to beach week.

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