Staying Fit While Staying Home
With most of the globe under stay at home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be tough to stay physically and mentally fit. Homes in Japan are usually more cramped compared to Western-style homes, which can also present some logistical challenges. Here are some tips for you to get some much-needed exercise whilst staying at home.
If you have a Nintendo Switch, an old Nintendo Wii, or another console that can get you moving around, why not grab it out of storage, dust it off, and visit memory lane by playing some of the nostalgic games?
For the Switch, check out Ring Fit Adventure. You'll need an attachment to play, but once you have that in hand, you can "Explore a fantasy adventure world to defeat a bodybuilding dragon and his minions using real-life exercises!" There's an adventure mode that takes you through the main story, a quick play mode that can get your heart pumping, and even custom workouts that can let you enjoy workouts other users have created online (as long as you have access to Nintendo's online service).
If you have an older console on hand, there's also Wii Sports and Wii Fit, which are great games that will get you exercising without making you feel like you're exercising. While aiming to practice social distancing, if you have other family members/friends living with you, it is a great way to get others socialising and exercising at the same time. Get competitive and play a quick game of tennis or a round of golf without the need of going outside!
If you don't have any of the consoles and/or games, you can purchase second-hand consoles from Amazon Japan from as low as around ￥2,000! Second-hand games are also available but prices vary.
Yoga YouTube Channels
If you need a moment of mindfulness and your local yoga class you have been attending has been cancelled, why not have a look at some YouTube channels that specialize in teaching yoga in your front room?
Some excellent options include Yoga With Adriene and KinoYoga, offering full yoga programs and courses online for free.
Alternatively, if you would prefer to kill two birds with one stone and practise yoga in Japanese, then have a look at some of the free YouTube courses available at the B-Life YouTube channel.
If you prefer to do as the Japanese do, then be sure to get involved with radio taiso at home.
For those who are unfamiliar with radio taiso, it was initially inspired by a similar radio program in the U.S. and was introduced into Japan in 1928 to celebrate the coronation of Emperor Hirohito. The program consists of set movements that match with instructions relayed over a piano track to keep everyone in time.
The program was cancelled after the World War II, but was revived by NHK (Japan's public broadcaster) in the 1950s and has played on the radio ever since.
Currently, staff at large companies and school students regularly participate in some form of radio taiso at the beginning of the day to ensure everyone is energised and ready for the day.
If you want to get involved, the program is aired every morning at 6:30 a.m. for ten minutes on NHK Radio 1, and every day at 12 p.m. except Sundays on NHK Radio 2.
Alternatively, if you prefer to do it in your own time or need to know what the exercises are, there is a good tutorial video on the NHK YouTube channel you can check out.
- www4.nhk.or.jp (Japanese)
Nike Training Club App
For those who have been regularly attending a gym and have been affected by gym closures in Japan should look no further than the Nike Training Club app.
With over 185 workouts available for download, there are plenty of options for a wide range of levels and abilities. Some of the workouts will ask you to have equipment at home (e.g. dumbbells) but just replace them with items around the house. It can also tailor plans around your level and whether you have any equipment at home or not. There are premium features available as well, but with such robust free features, you should be sweating up a storm in no time!
The app is available on Android and iOS devices.