Health and Wellness inspired by ‘Pokémon Go’

You could say I’ve worked on wellness my entire life: for myself, for my family, and for the world at large mainly for my clients and colleagues that I love. I went into the Healthcare Industry with the whole-hearted intention of helping others stay well and teaching life practices to facilitate this.

Working on wellness is truly a lifelong pursuit. I personally know how difficult it is to get people to change comfortable habits that they have perfected for many years. But while people don’t generally want to change, sometimes it is necessary. In some cases, the decision to choose wellness and throw out old habits can literally make the difference between life and death.

We now think of technology and devices as things that promote health and wellness in our lives. But it was still a surprise for me to encounter the new Pokémon app and to observe how it instantaneously changed people’s exercise habits worldwide. I was amazed to discover how the Pokémon app pushed people out of their comfort zones and forced them to develop new habits of walking and being outside, all while being fun and engaging. I was startled to see how many people play this new game called ~ Pokémon.

Around the time that the Pokémon app emerged, I found myself on a beautiful beach playing the game with my 21-year old son. It was right before he was going off to college.

My kids and I were together on a final, end-of-summer getaway in sparkling La Jolla, CA. With our busy schedule we only had three days of vacation together and were looking forward to wrapping up summer and going back to our new realities.  For me, of course, the end of summer meant that the 4th Open Enrollment for the ACA/Obama Care was right around the corner.

My kids had spent most of their summer immersed in nature at Camp, where my son worked as an advisor and my daughter as a camp counselor. They love that camp and consider it a second home, in spite of being completely cut off from technology while there. This actually caused them to really stay active, enjoy nature. They always look, taller, happier, and healthie when they return from camp. Sometimes, I barely recognize them.   

We decided on La Jolla for our three-day jaunt because the Insurance License Board Test was being offered there at that time. We could spend quality time together as a family and also get the licensing exam under their belts. Yes, my kids are both are getting certified ~

I had been planning for a quite some time to have them take the License Board Exam. I wanted them to learn about my world and understand the options that came with it. They agreed to my proposal and off we went to La Jolla on a pseudo-family vacation, complete with exam classes in the mornings and fun in the sun on the beaches in the afternoons and evenings. But I had no idea that I would find myself playing the Pokémon game.

My son had always been crazy about Pokémon. He grew up with all the Pokémon characters. Our garage is still full of all kinds of Pokémon stuffed animals, cards, and knickknacks. My son was a fan but I was not, and yet instantly, I found myself fully immersed in this Pokémon game with my son on the beach. My daughter thought we were crazy and couldn’t believe we were playing this together. She actually got kind of upset.

The number of other people that played Pokémon on the beach over the next three nights amazed me. I was delighted that my son wanted to walk both before and after dinner. Incredible! I was thrilled by the potential of this creative way of bringing people to wellness and allowing them to experience physical activity while playing a game.

I easily met my daily goal of 10,000 steps and my kids got endless exercise. I was overjoyed to learn that no matter how addicted we are to technology these days; we can still find inventive and exciting ways to connect technology and wellness.

How fabulous it is when people can relate to wellness in a playful way. It doesn’t have to be boring or painful. The idea is to create an environment that encourages a healthier society and promotes wellness in a fun and loving way. When people are able to step out of their comfort zones in a positive way, everyone wins. Our society will just naturally become healthier and more fit.

I would never have believed that I would one day find myself playing Pokémon with my 21, yes 21 year old son on a beach, having a terrific time chasing a host of Pokémon characters. But there we were together, two people among so many, having a great time exercising on the beach. Laughter rang out in the air. Everyone felt happy and healthy. Wellness and technology had found an ideal home together.

So don’t be surprised if you find me next chasing: Omanyte, Psyduck, Magikarp, machop, Tauros, Sandlash and many more.

Whatever it takes to meet our health goals and the balance between mind-body-spirit ~ Just make sure that you are on the wellness journey. There is no other way! The way to wellness start with lifting our own game, good luck!