Kaki Okumura is a Japanese writer based in the USA and interested in teaching others a better, healthier lifestyle. She wrote an article on “People undergoing stress or humiliation due to the dominance of fitness culture”.
In her article, she addressed the phenomenon of spreading pictures and advertisements for fitness exercises to the point of insanity. And the pressure it poses on the average person who is not interested in lifting weights and exercising regularly, and he sees the majority of them going to gyms, and most celebrities post their photos on social media while they train.
Although Japan is a leader in longevity, and has very low rates of obesity, there is no exercise culture there, and most people do not have gym memberships. Exercise for the Japanese is not necessarily related to going to the “gym” or running 10 kilometers, but it is linked to their basic lifestyle, which is “walking.”
Walking is like breathing
Walking is one of the physical activities that doctors recommend as a way to stay healthy and reduce the effects of aging. And because most Japanese people don’t have cars, when they go to work they walk, when they go shopping they walk, and when they go out to dinner they walk, until walking becomes like a breath.
In a recent survey conducted by a specialized Japanese company on a thousand citizens between the ages of 20 and 60, about half of those surveyed revealed that they hardly exercise once a month or do not practice it at all, either because there is no time, or because they do not like to exercise very much. .
Adults take 6,500 steps a day, without seeing it as exercise, but just as active movement throughout the day. Adult males (between their 20s and 50s) take approximately 8,000 steps per day, and women of the same age group take about 7,000 steps.
Okinawa residents have a special culture of walking, which relies on integrating ageless movement into their daily lifestyle. Nagano, a rural area, has also managed to reverse its high stroke rate, providing more than 100 walking paths, and its citizens have one of the highest longevity rates in Japan.
This is not a plea against exercising, or questioning the benefits of sweating that promotes physical and mental health. But the fitness culture obsession can cause confusion, a sense of helplessness, and then a feeling of guilt, for those who are unfamiliar with it or unenthusiastic about its performance, to the point where they believe that reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is only available for those who lift weights constantly and make enough time for daily jogging.
Although, “it may be the lifestyle you need to just walk more,” says Okumura.
9 tips for sport without complications
“Physical activity should not be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life.” This is what the Mayoclinic website recommends, based on the following data:
1. Walking briskly and regularly ensures you a healthy weight, and protects you from heart disease, diabetes and blood pressure. In addition to strengthening your bones and muscles, improving your mood and increasing your balance and coordination.
2. The faster you walk and the greater the distance and number of times you walk, the greater the benefits. As long as you walk upright with your chin and eyes raised forward, keep your back straight and your stomach flat, and keep your arms close to your torso with their bends at the elbow. Extending your stride and moving your arms with each step in a steady, steady rhythm.
3. You must choose shoes with a thick and flexible sole to protect your feet and absorb shock. Wear comfortable clothes that fit the weather, and avoid roads with potholes and broken sidewalks.
4. Commitment to warm up, walk slowly for 5 to 10 minutes to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for training. Then cool down, walking slowly 5 to 10 minutes before the end of time to help your muscles relax. And finally the elongation, by gently stretching your muscles after the relaxation.
5. As a general goal, it is preferable to engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, and if you are not able to allocate this amount of time, you can try many short rounds throughout the day.
6. If you are a beginner, you can walk 5 minutes a day for the first week, then increase the time by 5 minutes every week until you reach at least 30 minutes. But in order to increase the health benefits, try to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.
7. Maintain your enthusiasm and track your progress proudly. Keeping a record of the number of steps you take, the distance you walk and the time you take can be an inspiration to you, when you see how many miles you have traveled.
8. If you do not enjoy walking alone, partner with you or enjoy music while walking. And if you walk outdoors, walk in safe, well-lit places.
9. If you find yourself neglecting the daily walking activity, do not give up and remind yourself well of the benefits you feel when you practice this activity. Then get back on the right track towards achieving the goal of better health.
Conclusion: Regular walking is one of the best ways to stay in shape if it is the correct form described above. It is the only activity that leads to burning calories slowly but surely, as burning depends more on the distance you travel and your body weight than on your speed. And without having to go to the gym and pay money.