Duo takes daily walks playing ‘Pokemon GO’ to improve health

In Features, Student Body
Jeremy Wan (left) and Bryan Amaro (right) collect virtual critters in the Fullerton Arboretum on one of their Monday morning "Pokemon GO" walks. ( Jorian Goldbach / Daily Titan )

As Jeremy Wan and Bryan Amaro trudged through the Cal State Fullerton arboretum at 8 a.m. Monday, they stopped mid-stride as Wan stared at his phone in disbelief.

Oh, is that a Larvitar?” Wan said.

They quickly realized that what they had discovered was not a Larvitar, but actually a Totodile. They use their phones to track the creatures down.

These are Pokemon that Wan and Amaro hunt for with the “Pokemon GO” app.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Wan, president of the CSUF Gaming and eSports club, and Amaro, club committee member, meet at the Titan sign in front of the TSU to walk to the arboretum to catch Pokemon.

I’m actually really happy to just walk at 8 a.m. because it lets me organize my thoughts and also passively enjoy what I like doing, which is Pokemon,” Wan said.

“Pokemon GO” was the most downloaded app of 2016, according to an Apple press release. This game had many people walking around towns and cities, trying to collect as many Pokemon as possible. For Wan and Amaro, this game isn’t just about catching Pokemon, it’s a creative way to stay healthy.

Originally, this activity was kind of a mission on my own because my doctor said that I needed to improve my health cause being the president of the gaming club and also trying to get Titan Con going, it’s a lot of stress,” Wan said. “Being able to walk in the morning is really good and helpful as a whole.”

Amaro said he hasn’t personally noticed any physical changes since he has partaken in these “Pokemon GO” walks, but he has noticed some mental health benefits.

I can’t really see any health benefits other than just waking up positive,” Amaro said.

Wan has also used these walks to help him improve his physical health. Even though his schedule doesn’t really permit him to eat as healthy as he wants, he has lost a couple of pounds since he started the walks.

“I’m trying to eat healthier, but my schedule doesn’t really assist me like that so walking does really keep things at bay,” Wan said.

Wan addressed the stereotype of inactive gamers and said game developer Nintendo wants people to go outside, especially with the creation of “Pokemon GO.”

“It’s also a really good opportunity for gamers to stay fit too. We can’t just be sitting around all day,” Wan said.

Not only are the “Pokemon GO” walks helpful in maintaining healthiness, but Wan said he believes these walks can benefit students who are newer to the Cal State Fullerton campus and aren’t familiar with its layout.

“I think, if you feel unsure about where to go on campus, if you walk with us, you get to check out a whole bunch of different things just because of Pokemon,” Wan said. 

Right now, the “Pokemon GO” walks are usually shared just between Amaro and Wan, but they are looking to expand and welcome anyone who wants to tag along.

If any Titan wants to join on these walks, they can contact Wan and Amaro through the CSUF Gaming page on Facebook.  

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