A Chiropractor’s Opinion of Pokémon Go
I’ll be the first to admit that, like many of my patients, I spend WAY too much time on my computer and iPhone. I yearn for a ‘simple’ life, free of mortgages, utility bills, business expenses and a huge amount of student debt. I would love to be able to spend my days on my small suburban home creating a permaculture homestead that is off grid and self-sustaining. Sadly property taxes and many other “necessary” evils of our culture make it nearly impossible to live off the land, undisturbed. As a result, we all have to work extra hard to pay off our numerous debtors and reliance on government. This makes it even harder to make time for your health in Greenville, NC to get outdoors and walk, run bike, etc.
Personally, I find the best way to exercise is to do something that you find fun or something that accomplishes more than just exercise. For me, going to the gym is beyond boring. I’ve spent a lot of time in the gym lifting weights and on the field running during my collegiate football career. Even then, I loved the game but playing for a scholarship was a job. You never want to get burned out exercising. If you hate it, it’s very hard to force yourself to do it even though we all know how necessary and beneficial exercise is.
This is why I’m a fan of the new Pokémon Go app. I had never played it and was not into Pokémon when I was younger so I had to learn about it from YouTube and Google which is what I suggest for anyone who is curious why so many people are walking around with their face attached to their smartphones while constantly swiping up. Here are a few key Pros and Cons that I noticed playing Pokémon Go, as it relates to your health.
- You’re off your ass
- While this is not Cross-fit type activity, it is vastly better than not moving at all, especially because many of the people playing Pokémon Go will walk for a few or even several miles which are likely a lot farther than most of them have walked without playing Pokémon GO.
- You have a purpose to move.
- Of course, we all have enough research that paints very clear reasons how exercise is immensely beneficial for your overall health and quality of life. If that were enough we’d all be out walking and running and biking daily. Obviously, it’s not so we need some motivation. I can say that, in my opinion, you will walk faster and farther playing Pokémon Go than if you were simply out walking to get some exercise.
This is NOT High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), or is it?
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a very good way to improve your aerobic capacity, increase metabolism and exercise in a short time.
- Pokémon Go is typically done by walking because, in order to see where the little beasts are, you have to have your head buried in a phone to see the leaves moving and then head to that area. I only played for about an hour during lunch on a very hot day and found that it was feast or famine.
- Again my experience was limited but it seemed like there were too many in one area to keep moving at a pace that was conducive to good exercise. Maybe if I was sprinting you could make it a form of HIIT. But your intervals would be GREATLY varied in time and you have to slow down a lot to keep checking your phone. I may try this and write another blog.
If you have neck pain, headache or migraines be wary.
- Even if you don’t experience neck pain, headache or migraines, if you keep your head looking down long enough you make create some cervical (neck) problems. If you already do have neck pain, headache or migraines you need to be careful.
- Make sure that your smartphone is being held so that your eyes are level with the horizon. In short, keep your head up!
- If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you need to get your spine checked by a good structurally focused chiropractor to rule out any abnormal spinal shifts.
Don’t be stupid and get hit by a car
- Please remember that no game is fun or good exercise if you wind up walking into traffic or if your lazy ass feels the need to cheat by driving around town on your phone. There has already been one major car accident caused by the insatiable need to “catch them all”. There will be more car accidents. Don’t be one of them. I encourage you to use this as a tool of encouragement to get out and be active.
- Your health is more valuable than a Pikachu.