Driving home from work last week, I was surprised to see several kids outside in my neighborhood here in Monmouth County. I first thought I had worked straight through the summer, and it was Halloween already. Then I assumed it must have been a party of some kind in my usually desolate neighborhood.
But there was no holiday or special occasion — kids were running, biking — even full-on running — while they were playing the new Pokémon Go game. Equally heartwarming, I actually saw kids and teens talking and laughing live and in-person, not by text or Snapchat.
The best thing about this new game is that it’s not just for kids and teens.
In fact, I have a bariatric weight loss surgery patient who is using the app for her daily 30-minutes of exercise and so far, so good. Based on the success of this game, I expect to see more Prime Surgicare patients taking advantage of a ‘fun’ way to work up a sweat (and not even realize you are doing it.)
Could Pokémon Go replace the treadmill? You tell me!
My Facebook friends share their insight
If you know me you know I love to stay in touch with patients on social media. Yesterday I asked my friends on my Facebook page what they thought about the app and I received some great feedback:
Matt Gracon said, “It’s a great idea getting users to get up and move instead of being sedentary playing these games. Though they may be more focused on playing the game then what is around them, they still are exploring the real world around them. Nintendo has been trying to get their gamers to move around and not just be couch potatoes. The Wii was the first step and they’ve gone to the next level with this game.”
“My nine-year-old walked three miles today already — and it’s only 1 p.m. Most days I can’t get him to walk to the mailbox without complaining… so I’m 100% ok with this game,” replied Tara Desantis.
“I think it’s an ingenious app. Rather than sitting in front of the TV, my boys are walking, biking around and just keeping busy this summer,” says Dina DeGrande-Fancher.
Courtney Wagenblast noted, “With my six-year-old in tow, we put in over six miles on Sunday chasing Pokémon, we had a blast!”
The free fitness app no one realizes is a fitness app
The game, which runs on a free phone app (iPhone app and Android app), was just released in early July here in the U.S. The premise of the game requires users to walk around (outside!) searching for fictional creatures (Pokémon). Players can also acquire “eggs” from Poké Gyms and Poké Stops that only open if the player walks, runs or bikes a certain distance. The longer the distance, the rarer the Pokémon, which entices users to meet the challenge. The distances for each egg, respectively, are 2km, 5km, and 10km.
If any country needs this craze, it’s the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- 17 percent (or 12.7 million) children and teens age 2 -19 are obese
- 37.9 percent of adults age 20 and over are obese
Health benefits than can extend beyond obesity
And it’s not just a game for kids. For teens and millennials who grew up playing the original video game or collected the playing cards, Pokémon Go is a childhood dream come true. No game is worth risking your personal safety — ever.
A Precautionary Safety Note:
While you are playing, take note of your surroundings — look out for bike or car traffic and watch where you are walking. Don’t enter dark or unfamiliar areas and don’t let kids play alone.
The bottom line is that exercising along with losing weight is a winning (and necessary) combination in order to achieve long-lasting, significant weight loss. “Moving it” boosts fat-burning metabolism, so everyone trying to lose weight needs to feed the metabolism furnace.
If you’ve not achieved your weight loss goals after several attempts and have a BMI that classifies you as obese or morbidly obese, you may wish to consider a bariatric weight loss solution such as the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass.
Call us at 732-982-2002 to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Seun or drop by one of his free patient seminars on the CentraState Medical Center campus. You are also welcome to sit-in on any of our monthly weight loss support group meetings held at CentraState Medical Center.
About Dr. Seun Sowemimo, MD, FACS
Dr. Seun is a top NJ bariatric surgeon and the medical director at Prime Surgicare, with offices in Freehold serving Monmouth and Ocean counties. He is board-certified, Columbia and Yale University fellowship-trained in advanced laparoscopic, bariatric and general surgery.
To learn more, visit his YouTube channel or call Prime Surgicare at (732)-982-2002.