As long as there have been video games, gamers have tried to bend the rules. This is especially true of Pokémon, a game where people get so obsessed there’s a guide to cheating on the official Pokémon wiki. But often it’s a bit less outright cheating and a bit more violating the spirit rather than the letter of the law in video games. Which is more or less exactly what we’re going to do with Pokémon Go!
For those unfamiliar, everything you do in Pokémon Go nets you experience points, or XP. Get enough XP, and you go up a level. The higher your level, the better the Pokémon you’ll find. This is a regularly used mechanic in video games, and it often allows hardcore gamers to find something that metes out a small reward of XP and do it repeatedly to go up a level. This is called “grinding,” and if it sounds dull and repetitive, it is! Gamers are weird people.
But unlike most games, grinding in Pokémon Go can do a bit more for you than develop your thumbs. Visiting a Pokestop only gives you about 50 XP, but the stops “regenerate” quickly, usually within five to ten minutes. Not only that, but with the new update there’s now a “buddy system” that gives you rewards as you “walk” a specific Pokemon. And that’s what you’ll use to bend the rules.
First, find a location with a lot of Pokestops in a loop that you can walk in roughly seven to eight minutes. From my front door, I can hit seven spots, or roughly one per minute. This is easiest to do in bigger cities with a lot of Pokestops. Pick a loop that’s out of the way of people and which will allow you room to exercise without disturbing others. Next, gear up. Good walking shoes, a yoga mat or exercise gloves, comfortable clothes you can move in, and water is a good idea. Finally, look up some bodyweight and calisthenic exercises that are right for you. Push-ups, squats, lunges, jumping jacks, and burpees are all good nominees, but choose what you’re comfortable with.
Next, configure the game. You’ll want to incubate an egg, as hatching even a low level Pokémon is worth XP, and choose a buddy to walk with. Pick a Pokémon with a short walking distance to candy, like Clefairy, and, for those who’ve been at it a while, you’re close to having enough candy to evolve into a new form. Try to pick one that you haven’t yet evolved, to get those sweet experience points from adding to the Pokedex.
Then? Walk the loop. When you hit a Pokestop, get your XP and do a short set of reps, assigning an exercise to each stop. Yep, you’re now essentially using Pokémon Go as a circuit training tool. As you walk, the stops slowly return to blue, letting you collect items. The one downside of this method is you probably won’t be catching many Pokémon unless you go a pretty long distance, and long observation has taught us Pokémon are slow to return to areas where you’ve already caught them. But if you want to get healthy and maybe get caught up with some of your friends, it’s a good place to start.