A lifestyle of living healthy
> The Japanese can teach us a thing or two on how to live an active life and stay fit
Undousuru (exercise) I also noted no advertisements for fitness centres in either Osaka or Tokyo. In Japan, people are always doing unplanned exercise – the kind of exercise that arises through everyday living.
This is because in Japan, walking is the norm. Most people take public transportation to get around and out of the city.
In the land that gave us Hondas and Toyotas, the cities aren’t built for those owning cars at all. Parking fees are exorbitant, and parking spaces are limited.
If you live in the city and own a car, you may need to park some distance away and walk to your destination.
All this translates to having to walk to the station in the morning, stand on crowded trains, walk between transfer points, and then walk to your destination. And in between lie lots and lots of stairs.
For people of considerable girth, Japan is unforgiving. Seats on the trains are built for thin people. Public toilets leave just about enough room for one to get in and sit.
The Japanese are also neat freaks. People sweep leaves as far as 10 metres from their houses. It is impolite if the leaves from your garden fall somewhere else, causing inconvenience to others.
Children are also encouraged to work together to clean their classrooms after school, a habit that often carries over to adulthood. That’s a lot of moving around.
Remember the Look East policy introduced by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1981? The policy was also a message to emulate the Japanese’s habits for success.
If you have been inspired by the zen lifestyle of the Japanese, there’s no reason why you cannot adopt those principles in your own life. Better living starts with a good body and mindful eating habits.
Let’s be fit!