Pokémon Go!, a huge part of some people’s childhoods, is sweeping the nation. There are strong supporters and, as there will always be, critics. Whether or not you are into Pokémon or not, the undeniable benefit and win of this game is that it is getting people off the couch and outside.
It’s no secret that the U.S. is obese. From a study from just last year, the Center for Disease Control determined that America is by far the most obese (as a percentage of population) than it has ever been before, with over 30 percent of adults over age 20 being “grossly overweight.”
Working out isn’t easy to get into and to create habits for. People in general tend to move leisurely and without purpose. Thanks to the creators of Pokémon Go! for tapping into the nostalgia of millennials, they have accomplished the unthinkable: A video game that makes people move outside, spend time in the sun and get fresh air, all with excitement. The Wii did have a similar (and successful at the time) mindset with this, but that was restricted to being inside.
Why is Pokémon Go! so successful? It’s interactive with the outside world, it’s fun, it’s different. Suddenly, taking your dog for a walk holds just as much excitement for you as it does your dog. Living a healthy lifestyle is about moving daily, however that looks like for each individual. This game does that.
Coupled with a Fitbit or another step counter, you have now birthed an actual fitness routine by adopting the No. 1 game, released on just July 6, 2016. It has been out for less than a month and look at the participation and all the movement. I agree with what Vincenzo M Landino said three weeks ago, “I think the Pokémon Go! app is just a fitness app disguised as a game for millennials and Gen Z’ers.”
So how does this translate to our health clubs? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Meet your members where they want to be. Do they want to be out catching Pokémon? Bring Pokémon Go! to your club! Organize classes to go out in search of them, incorporating a workout while you’re at it, and share on social media which ones are located in your club. Participate and capitalize on the community this is bringing together.
After all, we gotta catch ‘em all.
Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O or check out her website www.linseyrainh2o.com.