You can roll your eyes all you like, but Pokemon Go has made itself very much at home in public life.
In a matter of days, the augmented reality game — in which ‘trainers’ catch and battle Pokemon with the aid of their phone’s GPS — has been downloaded millions of times and caused a giant spike in Nintendo’s market value.
The Pokemon Go frenzy has spawned a lot of public commentary, not all of it positive (oh hey there, fun police).
Some valid safety concerns aside, even the most ardent critics have to admit the app is achieving something unthinkable: it’s getting Aussies out of the house in the middle of winter. Can’t say the same for Netflix, hmm?
Now, Virgin Active UK is seizing the opportunity to combine the game with actual fitness, launching the world’s first Pokemon Go training run.
Watch: Sunrise explains some of the pedestrian safety concerns regarding Pokemon Go. (Post continues after video.)
A London branch of the popular gym chain has introduced a five kilometre run, guided by a qualified instructor, designed for participants to visit Pokestops and grow their Pokedex along the way.
As the Telegraph reports, the July 20 run will also incorporate some interval training with bodyweight exercises like lunges and tricep dips.
You’d be pretty Bulba-sore after that (sorry, obligatory Poke-pun).
To our knowledge there aren’t any Aussie gyms doing the same, but it’s surely only a matter of time.
If you need any more ammunition to defend yourself from the Pokemon Go detractor in your life, throw these health benefits in their face.
1. The game requires you to get outside and walk.
If there’s a Pikachu in your neighbourhood, it’s sure as hell not coming to you.
That’s the thing about Pokemon Go — in order to catch critters, collect Pokeballs, battle other trainers and so on, you have to leave the house and go to certain locations.
Sure, you can drive, but as many items are located off-road — in parks, for instance — walking is often the wiser way to go about it. This is why you’re seeing so many people walking the streets and congregating in public spaces with their phones lately. (Post continues after gallery.)
2. …sometimes for considerable distances.
When Pokemon Go trainers have eggs incubating, they’re required to walk certain cumulative distances — two, five or 10 kilometres — in order to hatch them. And driving won’t cut it, either, as there’s a speedometer in the app to ensure users aren’t moving too fast.