Appalachian State

Tips to Make Pokémon Go a Real-Time Healthy Experience

August 08, 2016

Whether players are catching or hatching them all, the NC Research Campus (NCRC) and neighboring downtown Kannapolis have Poke Stops, gyms, and plenty of Pokémon plus the scientific expertise in nutrition, plant biology and human health that, believe it or not, will boost your Poke play.

Get those steps in

As the Pokemon theme song suggests plan on traveling across “the land searching far and wide” to find Pokemon and hatch eggs. That means forget about driving slowly, walk as the game intends for players to do. At the NCRC, the horse shoe in the middle of campus is just about a half of a mile. To hatch eggs, plan on walking:

  • 3 Laps for a 2 Kilometer Egg
  • 7 Laps for a 5 Kilometer Egg
  • 12 Laps for 10 Kilometer Egg

The David H. Murdock Cole Laboratory Building has four Poke Stops: two at the front, one at the rear, and one on the side. Access them by looping around the pokemonoutside of the building

Just a few yards away, the city of Kannapolis’ Veteran’s Park, creates a “Lure Trifecta” – the combination of three Poke Stops so near to each other that players can just about connect to all three and benefit from a triple lure effect. There’s also a gym in Veteran’s Park and in front of the NC State University Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI), where scientists research the health-protective qualities of food crops. Just down Main Street, the Dale Earnhardt Plaza is another opportunity to experience a Lure Trifecta.

All the exercise is beneficial to more than Pokemon dominance. “Exercise gets the blood going and sends immune cells out into the body looking for any bacteria or viruses that might be lurking,” says David Nieman, DrPH, director of the Appalachian State University (ASU) Human Performance Laboratory on the NCRC.

Nieman’s research shows people who walk regularly, just thirty minutes at a moderate pace several times a week, experience increased oxygen uptake, less upper respiratory tract infections and less sick days.


Stay hydrated

Drinking water before, during and after playing is vital for maintaining fluid in your bodily tissues, especially when it’s so hot outside.  Water or sports drinks are obvious choices for staying hydrated. Researchers from the Dole Nutrition Institute (DNI) and ASU have found that combined with water, bananas and pears provide the natural sugars and phenolic compounds that help reduce free oxygen radicals produced during exercise aiding in recovery. One reason is the natural sugars. Nieman explained, “There are multiple exercise performance and recovery benefits from ingesting sugar, especially when that sugar comes from fruit.”


Pack fruit snacks

Packing some whole fruit to snack on is another great option for keeping up endurance during a Pokémon-hunting marathon. “Berries are a great snack on-the-go, because they help the immune system fight off viruses, and they work even better when eaten before or during exercise,” says berry expert and PHHI Director Mary Ann Lila, PhD.


Safety First

The age-old saying of “look before you cross the street” still applies. Players need to avoid becoming  distracted by the augmented reality of Pokemon that they trip or walk out in front of a car. For safety reasons, play during the day with friends. Remember to respect the real public and private property while exploring the virtual reality of the game.

Remember, the more steps, the better hydrated and more energized by fruit players are, the longer they can stay out catching Pokémon (given they also have a portable cell phone charger), and the closer they are to catching them all.

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