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Pokémon Go is taking over the world and it’s getting people to exercise

Pokémon Go, a mobile application, has gone viral since its July 6 release and has even made its way into the running world.

Pokémon Go

The newly-released Pokémon Go mobile application has gone viral and people are being physically active thanks to the app. Since being released on July 6, more than seven million people have downloaded Pokémon Go to their smartphone.

The game is an augmented reality application where users try to catch fictional characters known as Pokémon. The Pokémon brand first started in 1995 and has been released in the form of online games, playing cards, television programs and movies. Users point their phones to real-world objects and the characters pop up on the screen.

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With the help of GPS, the app uses actual locations where people can collect items and catch Pokémon. Because the app uses real-world locations, people have been running to various spots around town or have been spotted using the app on training runs.

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It’s gotten to the point where people have tweeted out that they are “sore” because of an increase in physical activity. The app even uses runners in their trailer.

One of North America’s iconic running spots, Central Park in New York City, has also seen a huge surge of people in the park in relation to the application. The below video of a Central Park takeover has been making rounds on the web and has been retweeted more than 30,000 times since July 11.

People accidentally getting in their daily physical activity thanks to the app

Pokémon Go is not yet officially available to Canadians but people have been downloading the app by changing their settings to be U.S.-based. Online forums have been buzzing with people claiming that their couch to 5K programs have been going well after downloading the app.

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Going for a run with the intent of catching Pokémon has even garnered its own term: a Pokerun.

There’s another benefit for runners. The more one runs, the more likely it is that eggs (a part of the game) will hatch into characters, which varies by distance (2K, 5K and 10K). The tougher characters requires people to run more distance, evident in the below chart.

Eggs Hatchlings sorted by distance. (Credit to Serebii)