4 Steps to Stay Safe with Pokémon Go

PokemonMainIf you’re reading this, you’re not playing Pokémon Go, which is actually shocking because everyone is playing Pokémon Go.

Once quiet outdoor spaces are now teeming with trainers wading through fields of Rattatas, talking about the Vaporeon that spawned in Central Park. Players pause mid-step on sidewalks like wayward tourists, flicking pokeballs at virtual characters. 

And if you’re among them, fantastic! As our sports medicine docs say, “Movement is medicine.” But a sudden and dramatic escalation of activity, even with something as routine as walking, can lead to overuse injuries.

You can’t catch 'em all if you’re laid up on the couch, so follow Ohio State Sports Medicine specialist Dr. Michael Jonesco’s advice while you’re out and about:

1. Start low and go slow. This is the same advice I give new runners. Start out walking 30 minutes per day and increase your activity level by 10-15 minutes every few days.

2. Listen to your body. If your feet or shins are sore this could be an early sign of a stress fracture. Treat any soreness with RICE: rest, ice, compression and elevation. If you are still experiencing pain or pain is worsening after one week of rest, talk to your doctor.

3. Be mindful of your surroundings. Don’t disconnect from the world around you, which can make you vulnerable to harmful situations. And take extra care if you’re out searching on a skateboard or bike.

4. Be considerate. Use extra caution if you are crossing paths or trails in parks where others may be exercising.

Though there are risks involved with any activity, getting out on your feet with Pokemon Go is a great way to enjoy the summer. The one thing you may discover the hardest to find, however, is an external battery for your phone. Happy hunting!

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