Jul 15, 2018

Fitness in Japan

I don't know about the rest of you, but I find myself to be the kind of person that needs a gym to really be motivated to work out at any level of intensity. Back home I used to attend a gym several times a week, and as an added bonus it used to almost double as a social occasion, since quite a few of my friends would tag along too. We'd do classes like spin, pilates or bootcamp styled sessions, and I was always encouraged by that competitive "group" spirit to push a little harder, or do one more rep because there were people watching!

Fast forward to life in Japan, and I've found it a lot harder to keep fit. Sure, part of that probably comes down to the fact that I end up wanting to try every tasty looking limited edition sweet or snack on the convenience store shelves - but I think a part of it is also the different attitudes that seem to exist here when it comes to keeping fit.

Fitness in Japan photo

To me, it seems like fitness here is more an "incidental" type of thing. People in Japan seem to be on the whole in good shape, probably because they bike or walk more than what I'd expect from people back in Australia. Even the amount of people I see spending time outside gardening is much more than what I'm used to back home. I still walk and bike more than I ever did, but actual "scheduled" exercise is rare for me nowadays.

My town doesn't even have a gym facility that I'm aware of - there's a gym in one of the next towns over, about 15 minutes away, but my home town in Australia has multiple different gyms, for different styles of workouts. There are yoga studios, women's only gyms, weightlifting specific gyms, CrossFit gyms...you get the drift! I can only get so much motivation to keep pushing if I'm doing workout videos from YouTube - I need someone next to me to be competitive against!!

How do you find your fitness has fared in Japan compared to back home? Do you have a gym facility in your city or town that you attend, or are you finding that the extra incidental exercise here is enough for you?



After spending the last several years in the beating heart of Tokyo, I will be spending the next three in the countryside of Japan. I adore this country and all it has to offer - and I'm always learning more and more about life here as I go along!