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Pros and Cons of Allowing Your Children to Play Pokemon GO

Pros and Cons of Allowing Your Children to Play Pokemon GO

You’ve probably heard of the new global phenomenon known as Pokémon GO. Anyone who was a kid during the 80s and 90s is well acquainted with the fluffy pocket monsters that were created in Japan, and today they have taken over our planet once again.

Immediately after Pokémon GO appeared on Google Play and the App Store, its downloads started to break all world records, and developers from Niantic witnessed an amazing spike in their share value. Since it became the most-downloaded application ever, it was almost impossible not to know about this game.

If you are a parent, then you might have noticed how your child wants to go outside far more frequently, or that your kid wants a new smartphone if the old one is not compatible with this game. So, the question is whether Pokémon GO is a good game or a bad game for your kid. In the following article, I’ll discuss its pros and cons.

PRO: Your children will have more physical activity

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    Pokemon GO is certainly different than other video games, since instead of sitting it requires you to walk in order to progress, or level up. Sure, there is a way to catch pokemon while sitting at home, since one will spawn at your place of residence on an hourly basis, however these are only common pokemon.

    The point of the game is to catch them all, and the most efficient way to get new pokemon is to hatch the eggs that players obtain by visiting pokestops. There are three different types of eggs: those that hatch after walking 2 kilometers, those that hatch after 5 kilometers, and those that hatch after 10 kilometers.

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    So, if your child wants to get new pokemon, he or she will need to walk at least 2 kilometers per day, plus in order to get new eggs a child needs to pay a visit to a pokestop somewhere in town. In other words, the game itself really incentivizes physical activity, since the best way to advance is just to keep moving.

    Also, if you are a passenger in a car or a bus, the game notices how fast you are moving, and the distance you make is made null and void. To make it simple, if you are worried that your child is not getting enough activity because he or she spends too much time at home playing video games, then Pokemon GO is definitely a game that you should allow.

    PRO: Your children will socialize more with their peers

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      People tend to go together when they are hunting for new pokemon because it’s much more fun and more efficient, so the game also incentivizes team spirit. Teamwork is promoted via in-built game features and mechanics.

      First, there is an item called a lure module that is used on a pokestop to attract more nearby pokemon. To be more precise, the item increases the spawn rate of pokemon near the pokestop it is used on, and all players who are around can benefit from this feature — not just the user. So, for the sake of making full use of the item, people tend to go in groups and use the module either on two or more stops that are in close proximity of one another, or to use more modules on the same one after one expires.

      Second, there are three different teams: Team Instinct, Team Mystic, and Team Valor. Once you reach level 5, you get to choose which team you want to be affiliated with. There are locations known as gyms and you get to take over the gym in the name of your team. If someone from an opposing team is in possession of the gym, you can take it down and claim it in the name of your team. However, there is a thing called gym prestige, and it grows if you fight a gym that already belongs to your team.

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      By increasing the gym prestige, you open up additional slots for players of the same team to leave their pokemon, thereby increasing the defenses of the particular gym. So, people of the same team go together to take down the opposing teams and claim gyms, and then they fight there in order to increase gym prestige and bolster its defenses.

      This is how team spirit is promoted in Pokemon GO, so you can be certain that your child’s social life won’t suffer. In fact, your kids might even meet new friends.

      PRO: Your children can earn money

      Pokemon GO is not only played by kids, a lot of nostalgic adults also enjoy playing the game and chasing after new creatures. However, people have jobs, and in order to unlock all of the in-game features, you need to reach level 20, which can take a long time if you do not play the game frequently.

      There are numerous ways to earn experience and level up, but in order to be truly efficient and use all the items to their full potential, you need to walk and play the game. This is time-consuming, and time is a commodity many employed people cannot afford.

      However, many people create new emails for the purpose of playing the game, and they will gladly share that email and pay someone to level it up so that they can enjoy the game to its fullest. This is a wonderful opportunity for your kid to earn some cash by leveling up someone else’s account. If you are unemployed and love to play the game, you can do the same thing.

      Here is a guide on how to become an expert and how to distribute in-game resources more efficiently. Moreover, the child can learn some amazing new skills, since improving resource management can make you a better player. Again, the opportunity to earn cash is open for everyone, so make sure you go through an online guide if you haven’t played the game so far, and you’ll know everything there is to know.

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      PRO: It is a bridge between different generations

      As mentioned above, the Pokemon trend has been around for a long time, and now its community consists of both millennials and those of generation Z. These people are active members, they make YouTube videos, exchange experiences, and keep an entire community together.

      It’s really nice to see one app do all these things and you should encourage your child to participate as well. It may inspire your kid to become a vlogger or a blogger one day, which are hobbies that can be quite lucrative and will be quite useful in years to come.

      PRO: It can help your child develop an adventurous spirit

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        The last positive trait that will be covered is inspiring an adventurous spirit. Like we said, the main objective is to catch all of the pokemon and complete the pokedex. However, out of 136 obtainable Pokémon, only around 60 of them are easy to find, and as far as the others are concerned, your child will have to visit all sorts of places in order to find them. There are even those that are region-exclusive, meaning some are only available in Europe, others in America and Japan, etc.

        So, the developers clearly want you to move around, visit river banks, and even other continents. If exploration is rewarded in this way from a very young age, a child can become an individual with a more open mind and a desire to experience other cultures — which is truly a positive thing.

        CON: Your kid can get lost

        Let’s address some of the potential dangers that you might face as a parent. First of all, while the app is on and connected to the internet, the whole map is displayed on your phone, and anyone can easily find a way back by following the pokestops, so that’s really helpful. However, there is a downside to this. Pokemon GO depletes your phone battery really fast, so after playing a game for an hour or two, your phone may shut down, and if you are in an unknown part of town, it can be difficult to get back.

        So, either ensure that your child always has a spare battery, or simply tag along and make sure he or she doesn’t get lost. You can also tell your child that they need to be close to you when they play the game. You can also download an app to track the phone, so that you always know the location of your kids. Also, if there is a big generation gap between your kids, the older ones can supervise the younger — chances are they both play the game.

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        CON: They will need supervision

        In addition to getting lost, there are also other dangers your kid might be exposed to. For example, some people have already managed to take advantage of the lure module feature. They set up a module on a secluded pokestop and wait for an innocent victim to approach it, then they simply mug those people, since they are certainly carrying a phone with them. It would be wise not to allow your kids to go out and play the game at night.

        Also, if your child uses your email account to play the game, it can be troublesome for you to allow too much freedom. There is an in-game shop that uses real money to purchase certain items, and if your credit card information is linked to your email, there is a chance your child can access it and buy in-game currency. So, make sure you check these things before you allow your kid to play the game.

        Lastly, there have been a couple of incidents in streets because some kids do not pay attention to where they are going. If they are too busy looking at the screen, they can easily get hurt. So, if your child is too young and doesn’t pay attention, it’s always better to go along and supervise.

        Conclusion

        All things considered, Pokemon GO is a really original and creative app that has managed to impress a lot of people. There are numerous benefits for everyone who knows how to actively participate in the hype, and if you are a parent, this is a great opportunity to bond with your kid. So, measure these pros and cons and decide if Pokemon GO is something you want your children to have on their phones.

        Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/users/geralt-9301/ via pixabay.com

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        Djordje Todorovic

        Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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        Published on August 16, 2019

        15 Strength Training Exercises Specifically for Runners

        15 Strength Training Exercises Specifically for Runners

        When you choose the right exercises, and make strength training a priority, it will have a great payoff to improve your running. Studies have shown incorporating a strength training program to your running routine improves running economy.[1]

        Here are 15 strength training exercises specifically for runners.

        1. Planks

        The plank is a very important core exercise that will help give you more control and balance while running. Having a strong core will also keep you more stable and in control if you have to navigate uneven surfaces.

        The plank is a simple exercise and involved balancing on your forearms and the tips of your toes, so that your back is “straight as a plank”. You want to focus on keeping your abs tight and imagine sucking your belly button up into your spine to have them properly engaged.

        Aim for 30 to 45 seconds for a few rounds. Ultimately, you want to hold them as long as you can with proper form – so every time you perform a plank you want to go a little longer than previous ones.

        2. Side Planks

        The same concept is applied but you are now engaging your core in a different manner and engaging your oblique muscles too. This time, you are going to lie on your side with your legs stacked on top of each other.

        You will lean on your right forearm and lift your hips off the ground keeping your head lined up with your torso and ankles. Keep your other hand on your hip to help ,and control balance, and focus on not moving or swaying. Keep your abs tight to engage them and hold for 30-45 seconds, or longer if you can.

        3. Clamshells

        For this exercise, you are going to need a simple resistance band. Start with the band wrapped around both legs just below the knee. Your starting position will be on the ground lying on your side with your top hip and shoulder pointing towards the ceiling. Your hips will be on the ground, keep your back straight and your feet together, and lift up with your top knee as far as you can with the resistance.

        Pause for a second at the top and lower back down under control. You can do 10 reps on this side before switching over and doing another 10 reps and aim for 2 to 3 sets.

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        Clamshells are going to help strengthen your abductor muscles giving you stronger hips and more stability while running.

        4. Single-Leg Bridge

        You will start lying on your back with your feet on the ground, shoulder-width apart with knees bent. You will straighten out one leg so it’s out in front of you in the air and lift your body up by pushing with the leg on the ground.

        You want to flex your abs and glutes while pushing upward and try to keep your hips level throughout the motion before returning to the ground. You can also hold your body in the upright position for 5-10 seconds before returning to the ground to get more engagement before switching over to the other leg.

        The single-leg bridge will help strengthen your glutes which are crucial for running power and stride strength.

        5. Standing Calf Raises

        This is a simple exercise but one that is very important for strengthening the calves. The stronger they are, the less fatigue you will experience during running. You will need to find an elevated step or platform for this exercise.

        Stand on the platform with your heels hanging off the edge. Find something stable to hold on to for balance and start by lower your heels down until you feel a stretch in the back of your calves. Then, stand upwards like you are trying to see over a fence. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

        6. Arch Lifting

        You will start out standing with your feet directly under your hips, and this is best done without shoes. You will rotate the arch of your foot upward while keeping your toes and heels in contact with the ground.

        Don’t let your toes tighten and you want to hold for a few seconds at the top before returning to the ground. You can do 3 sets of 10 repetitions and this is going to help strengthen the arches of your feet.

        The stronger your arches are the better it is to keep your running stride strong and prevent less fatigue in the feet.

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        7. Half-Kneel Hip Flexor Stretch

        Strong hips are paramount for running and the hip flexors can easily become strained and overused. This exercise will help to strengthen them and provide more power and stability while running. You will start kneeling with one foot forward and the other knee bent underneath the hip.

        Keep your abs tight, your back straight, and shift your body weight forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your hips. Hold this for 20 to 30 seconds before switching over to the other leg.

        8. Alternating Lunges

        These are going to develop power and strength in your quads and glutes to help give you a more powerful stride. You will start standing with your hands on your hips looking straight out in front of you.

        Step forward with your right leg and lower down just before your opposite knee touches the ground. Then, push through your heel to return to the standing position before performing the lunge with your left leg. Alternate between the right and left leg so that each one has done 10 reps and you can perform 3 sets of this.

        9. Jump Squats

        These can be done just with your bodyweight and help to develop explosive power in the lower body. The jump squat is handy for when you have to run hills and need more power for harder stretches of your run.

        The best way is to start in a squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart. You will drive through the heels of your feet and explode upwards. As your bodyweight brings you back to the ground, control your weight as you go back into the squat position to fully engage the muscles.

        Make sure not to let your knees move inwards and keep your abs tight, your head up, and your chest out. Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps.

        10. Skater Hops

        This will help to build leg and core strength, along with improving balance. You will start standing upright but then bending the knees slight like you’re about to sit down. You will then drive off your right foot, jumping a few feet out to the left.

        You will land on your left foot while your right foot swings behind your left leg. Then, drive off the left foot using the momentum of your right foot swinging back to land back on it. You will keep doing these side hops for ten times each leg and the motion should look like a speed skater shifting side to side.

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        11. Bulgarian Split Squat

        This will be similar to the lunges but, will really ramp up the resistance for the quads and is a great strength training exercise for runners. You are going to need an elevated surface or bench to stand in front of. The starting position will be standing upright with your head up and hands on your hips.

        Start with your right foot behind you supported by the bench. You will start by lowering your hips to drops your left leg down to around a 90-degree angle, stopping just before your right knee hits the ground.

        Next, push up through the heel until you are back at the starting position and perform ten reps, under control, before you switch over to the right leg. Perform 3 sets of this.

        To make this even tougher, you can hold dumbbells in your hands hanging at your sides.

        12. Arabesque

        These will help in activating and controlling your hips. You will start off by standing on one leg, hands on your hips, and making sure your hips are level and balanced. You can then put your arms out to the side to give you more balance.

        Start by tipping your torso forward as your non-weight-bearing leg extends out behind you. You can slightly bend your knee to help with control and you want to have your back and extended leg as level as possible. You should end up basically parallel to the floor with your shoulder, hip, and ankle should be in a straight line.

        When you’ve gone as far forward as you can, return to the starting position and perform 8 repetitions before switching to the other leg.

        Perform 2 to 3 sets. These are all about quality over quantity so if you can only do 4 or 5, that’s fine.

        13. Hip Bridge

        This is another great exercise to target the glutes which are the source of your running power. Start by lying on the ground with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent. Squeeze your glutes and then lift your hips up towards the ceiling.

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        Your hips, knees, and shoulders should be in a straight line. Hold at the top for a second and then lower back down under control. Perform this 12 times and then, you can do 3 sets. If these get easier, you can hold a weight across your stomach for more resistance.

        14. Push-Ups

        A classic exercise, and for good reason. As much as you want to focus your strength training on the lower body, you can’t neglect your upper body. Your arms are helping drive and propel you while running and a strong upper body helps with your overall balance and stability.

        You can start laying facedown on the ground with your palms facing downwards and elbows tucked into your sides. Focus on pushing through the heel of your palms upward, stopping just before your elbows lock out. Lower back down under control and stop just before your chest touches the ground.

        Focus on keeping the elbows tucked into your side and avoid having them flail outwards. You can perform 10 reps for 3 sets of these.

        15. Squat to Overhead Press

        This is a full-body motion that works a majority of muscles, builds power, explosiveness, and coordination. You will need two dumbbells and you will start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, with the dumbbells, held up by your shoulders – palms facing forward.

        Send your hips back and lower down into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. As you stand up, press the dumbbells overhead and return them to the starting position. Go for 10 reps and three sets.

        The Bottom Line

        As much as you’d like to, you can’t be running all the time. It can lead to overuse, injuries and burnout. The perfect way to offset this is with strength training, making sure you perform your training with proper form and technique, avoiding mistakes which can lead to injury.

        There are many other strength exercises such as the deadlift, which works the back and leg muscles which are vital for running economy improvement and injury prevention.[2] These exercises will make you a more efficient and resilient runner allowing you to improve your distances and times.

        Even if you’ve been against strength training for runners, you can see now how it’s necessary in order to improve your overall running ability and performance.

        Featured photo credit: Stage 7 Photography via unsplash.com

        Reference

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