Attention all students who like to wander around at five in the morning to pursue Pokémon—on Saturday, October 22, the College of Nursing and the campus chapter of Sigma Theta Tau (a nursing honor society) are hosting a 3K walk/run event that will help bring your hunting habits to the daytime hours.
The free event, called the Pokéthon, is designed to help students increase their fitness while also having a good time. Participants are encouraged to dress up in costumes or team colors, and the cherry on top is that the course will feature Pokémon Go lures.
Normally, Pokémon wouldn’t top anyone’s list of exercise inducers, but since the release of Pokémon Go, things have changed.
Nursing assistant professor Gaye Ray is an avid fan of the game (her favorite creature is Bulbasaur and she is on the red team), not just for its ability to entertain, but also for its health benefits to players.
“I love Pokémon Go for a couple of reasons, but my favorite reason is that I think it’s a huge motivator for people to get up and move, and that’s what staying healthy is all about,” she says.
Ray points out that the game requires you to seek out Pokémon, which is why it adds extra incentive for her to do her exercise walks. Added on to that is the requirement to walk certain distances before Pokémon eggs will hatch in the game. Her level is full of eggs that require between two to five kilometers (roughly 1.2-3.1 miles) of walking to unlock.
“Some of the best guidance for us is to have cardiovascular exercise—or exercise enough to make us sweat—so you have to put some ‘oomph’ into it, forty minutes four or more days a week, so I think that people who play Pokémon Go really do get out,” she says. One of her students, who before did not get that much exercise, now runs a couple of miles each day to advance in the game.
Craig Nuttall, one of the professors who is helping to plan the Pokéthon, believes that getting students active in a fun way will have a stronger impact than students trying to force themselves to work out.
“I think having fun and feeling good is the most important part,” he says. “If they’re having fun while they’re exercising, they’re going to be more inclined to doing it.”
All students interested in the Pokéthon should register on the event website (http://tinyurl.com/byupokethon2016). The race will begin at 9 am, with check-in starting at 8:30 am. All members of the community are invited to attend.