Health and Exercise Benefits of Pokemon Go

Health and Exercise Benefits of Pokemon Go

All over the country, people are suddenly exercising, going for walks, hikes and (gasp!) breaking out into a sweat. All of this, in search of Pokemon.

For those who are not familiar with this phenomenon, a Google search for Pokemon Go will tell you all you ever (and never) wanted to know but here’s a quick online explanation.

When it comes to reality games, there’s been research and data showing that players can become so involved they lose track of time and even of what’s going on around them. While this can be dangerous, (like the person who crashed his SUV into a cop car while playing Pokemon Go this past week), it can also have fitness benefits.

Health and Exercise Benefits of Pokemon Go

  1. You ‘Forget’ that You Hate to Exercise.  If exercise isn’t really your thing, it helps when you can focus on something besides discomfort and exercise boredom. Instead, you’re excited about an activity that interests you.
  2. Bragging Rights. Participating in a walking challenge with your friends or through your employer? Don’t be surprised if you end up as the “Top Walker” on days that you are out hunting Pokemon.
  3. Social Interaction. Instead of staying inside watching tv, playing on the Xbox, your interest in the game causes you to get go outside, get fresh air and possibly run into others who are also playing Pokemon Go. Short conversations sharing a common interest can occur. You never know: you might make a new friend.
  4. Time Flies, More Steps. When you lose yourself in a reality game, you lose track of time and forget to keep checking how low you’ve been walking or how many steps you’ve taken.
  5. You Burn Calories. You can get so immersed in the game, you don’t notice you’re sweating, tired and more active than normal. More movement = more calories burned. Pokemon Go may seem like “just a fun game” but don’t forget, you can also use it as a fitness tool. If you practice good Pokemon Go safety habits, this can be a great way to get your steps in and be more active while using a Fitbit, Garmin or other activity tracker. If you are involved in a walking program or step challenge, Pokemon Go could be just the inspiration you need to get moving.With countless social media updates about preventing sore feet, tired legs and players burning more calories than normal, it’s easy to see why many people are claiming to walk more than they ever have before.

Want to incorporate Pokemon Go into a walking routine? Walkingspree clients have the option of setting up a Pokemon Go themed walking challenge. If your company isn’t a Walkingspree client yet, visit the Walkingspree website to learn more about how we use wearable tech, mobile apps and more to help employees be more active or share this article with your HR manager.

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Pokemon Go Safety Tips

Pokémon Go Safety Tips

The Pokémon Go craze doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. Reports of people being robbed, falling off of cliffs and tales of landing in the ER while playing Pokémon Go are all over the media. One teenager found a dead body floating in a river while playing the game. Police have also reported a car accident where one driver exited a moving vehicle in order to catch a “monster.”

It’s no wonder police departments across the country are warning players in order to protect their safety.

Pokémon Go is now the biggest mobile game in U.S. History.  The game features an “augmented reality” experience where players find and catch Pokémon characters using their phone’s cameras. It looks like they are “hunting” in the real world.  Some players are letting their excitement outweigh their common sense when it comes to catching the “pocket monsters.”  In some cases, they are endangering their physical well-being and possibly their lives.

Pokémon Go related accidents and injuries have become so prevalent that law enforcement, other authorities and the National Parks Association have released practical cautions and warnings across the nation.

At Walkingspree, we believe that Pokémon Go can be a healthy way to get your steps in and be more active. The game may just be what it takes for some people to get up and get moving and that’s a good thing! We’ve seen that it inspires exercise; helping you to get up and go catch monsters. You’ll be getting sunshine and fresh air and if you are like many, you’ll be interacting with other people, possibly improving your social life. These are all encouraged healthy behaviors.  However, we also want everyone to be safe, take wise precautions and use common sense. Here are a few tips to help ensure a safe, fun experience with Pokémon Go.

Pokémon Go Safety Tips

Stay alert ALWAYS. Look around. Be aware of who and what is around you.

Don’t play alone. Play with a partner or in a group. If after dark, stay in well-lit areas.

Parents should caution their children not to leave the house or go “hunting monsters” without telling them first. Warnings about not going off alone in unsafe or unfamiliar areas are also advised. Be aware that some young children might be tempted to hunt after dark or bedtime if not warned.

Don’t drive your car, motorcycle, bike, skateboard, hover board or even roller skate while you are playing the game. Be smart, you can’t safely do both at the same time.

No trespassing! Respect private property and don’t visit areas you wouldn’t normally (legally/safely) visit otherwise.

Remember: Don’t get so involved in catching a “monster” that you find yourself “lured” into a harmful situation.  There have been reports of people being lured to a PokeStop in order to rob them.

Wear comfortable walking shoes if you plan to be out for awhile.

Wear sunscreen. In the United States, it can get pretty hot outside. Don’t get a painful sunburn.

Stay hydrated. Bring water or plan to stop accordingly to quench your thirst.

Last, but not least, HAVE FUN and enjoy yourself. Pokémon Go is a fun game and can be a healthy way to get your exercise in for the day.

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Eat Smart! Build a Healthy Meal Infographic

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Healthy, Colorful Recipes for the 4th of July

Monday is July 4th, America’s national Independence Day. People will be enjoying cook-outs, time with family, fireworks shows and great food selections.

Healthy, Colorful Recipes for the 4th of July

Some people have their own standard cook-out and get together recipes. Others like to prepare foods with a holiday theme. If that’s you, we decided to share a couple of easy, colorful recipes with you that reflect the spirit of the red, white and blue.

Independence Day Waffles

Ingredients

  • Waffles (make your own or look for whole grain frozen
  • Low fat plain Greek yogurt
  • Honey
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • optional: cinnamon sugar, granola, sugar free syrup

Using 2-3 Tablespoons of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt per serving, mix yogurt and a teaspoon of honey together in a small bowl. Add cinnamon sugar if desired. Just a sprinkle works. Place 2 waffles on a plate, spoon yogurt mixture on top of waffles and top with strawberries and blueberries. If syrup is desired, opt for a sugar free brand and drizzle over the berries and yogurt. A spoonful of granola also makes a fun topping for added crunch.

Red, White and Turkey Roll-Ups

Ingredients Per Serving

  • 2 slices deli style turkey breast (oven smoked, mesquite smoked)
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard or spicy deli mustard depending on preference
  • 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper

Place the turkey slices on a cutting board and spread mustard on them. Lay the red bell peppers on top.  Roll tightly and secure each with a toothpick.

*These make great snacks for a party tray! This recipe was adapted from the book “5 Pounds” by Harley Pasternak, MSc.  You’ll find tons of great information on how to lose your first and last five pounds along with great tips on keeping the weight off, eating right and – of course, great recipes like this one!

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5 Ways You Can Work It Like a Dog

5 Ways You Can Work It Like a Dog

Watching my dog Maya is a great source of inspiration and positive emotions for me.   Throwing a ball or a Frisbee over and over across a field for her to retrieve can sometimes bring me the same benefit as meditation. She’s a three-year-old German Shepherd with a huge amount of energy. Sometimes she forgets to mind her manners. ‘Ladylike’ is not the word I would use to describe her. (You should hear her burp. Ugh.) Yet, she has some qualities that we can all benefit from. I’ve often thought that anyone with an important objective, a fitness goal or perhaps an entrepreneur with a dream, would do well to emulate Maya when she has her mind set on something.

That being said, Maya and I put together some tips so that you, too, can work it like a dog.

1.  Never Give Up. Be Relentless. When Maya wants to play ball or fetch, she will follow you around the house trying to push her ball or Frisbee into your hands. You cannot escape her. Want to unload the dishwasher? Maya drops her ball in the dishwasher. Walking on the treadmill? Expect a Frisbee to land under your feet. Maya does not give up. Eventually someone gives in and tosses the ball or rolls it a little distance. But they respond. We think that’s how life is, too.  Work it like a dog. Don’t give up. Never stop trying. If you believe in someone, in some cause or that a personal dream is worth having, follow Maya’s example and don’t take “no” for answer. Your health, your dreams, your family, your future is worth the effort.

2.   Keep Excited, Stay Focused. Maya loves few things more than she loves going to the lake. In fact, when we get about a mile away from it, she KNOWS where she’s going and she cannot sit still. It gets very loud in the Jeep as she barks, yips, turns in circles and tries to climb over the seat. And once we are there? Well, the poor soul left holding the leash better hang on tight, because Maya is going in that lake one way or another. She’s so happy, she can’t think of anything else. Wouldn’t it be great if us humans could be that way even after we aren’t little kids? So excited about our end results (getting in shape, walking 10,000 steps/day, improving our health), our destinations and our dreams? Maya keeps this enthusiasm whether it’s time for a walk, going outside to see her best friend dog, Freckles (lives next door), or jumping on the trampoline with our son. Yes, Maya plays on the trampoline. Just try and keep her away from that fun! She approaches life with passion and excitement. Whatever it is, Maya’s down with it. That’s how I want to be, too. Everyone has their own beliefs about life, love and happiness. My personal belief is that life, living it and just the whole journey of it – good or bad – is a present from God. My personal belief is that God hopes we will do our best to enjoy the journey like Maya does.

3.  Recover from Disappointments Quickly Because It’s Loyalty to Your Goals. Maya is a pro at this. If she doesn’t get to go outside when she wants to, she’ll sit by the door and make little groaning noises. Imagine a dog making that sound a kid makes when told “no.” “awwwwnnnh….” But 5 minutes later, she’s in your face trying to steal a kiss whether you called her over or not. She’s happy to be with you. If she gets into trouble for getting in the trash or coming into the dining area during dinner, no worries. She’ll put her head down, fold her ears back and look really, really sad. But the whole time? She’s waiting for a better moment. Maybe she’ll try again. Or maybe she’ll go get her ball and try to get you to play instead. The point is: Maya does not let disappointment ruin her day or her overall mission. I want that personality trait for myself. How many times have I let a discouraging word or experience ruin my whole day? Maya’s got the right idea. Summary: Don’t give up because of a setback. Start over the very next day! Keep stepping!

4.  Don’t Be Afraid to Get Close. Maya does have issues with respecting “personal space.” She will randomly get in your face for a kiss or to sniff you. She has to be reminded she is 75 lbs. and cannot just run and jump into your arms. Still, she watches “her” people closely. She reads emotions on faces. If you sit down at the table to work, on the swing to enjoy your morning coffee, or on the couch to watch T.V., you can expect Maya to push her 75 lb furry hide right behind your kneecaps where she will stay pressed up against you because she enjoys being close.   Humans should also try to get closer to others because they care. Maybe not closer in physical space. If you invade the personal space of someone you don’t know that well, it could lead to negative interaction… a punch in the nose or possibly an arrest warrant… You get the idea. Still, we can all take the time to chat a little more, ask a few more real questions (not just business) and let those we interact with see that we’re real people. Go for a walk with someone you care about. Maya recommends taking your dog for a walk. Studies show that people who exercise with a friend or in a social setting are healthier. One study showed that people who exercised in groups (as opposed to alone) showed the least decline in physical health and cognitive ability.

5.  Wag Your Tail Often. Right. If you wag your own tail excessively, you may get some interesting looks. The point here is that Maya is always smiling. Dogs wag their tails when they’re happy. Maya is happy ALOT. That tail wags everywhere. Books get knocked off shelves, glasses turned over and things just go flying when that bionic happy tail starts wagging like crazy. Remember the saying that you should smile because people will wonder what you’re up to? Or what about this little fact: It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile.

Maya and I think you should smile like crazy and often. Chaos might ensue at your house, at school or while you are working. But it will be fun and if you use your smile while pursuing your goals, it’ll work like a magnet. Just ask Maya: Whatever she hits with that happy tail usually causes people to come running.

Clarissa Mayse is Walkingspree’s Marketing Manager. She logs the most steps on her Alta fitness tracker when she is out with Maya and highly recommends letting your dog help you achieve your step goals.

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