Do What We Have Been Doing For Centuries: Simple Exercise

People decades ago did not go to a gym or run marathons.

They did not lift weights or body-build.

They just moved their body every. day.

You do not need to exercise as hard or as much as you may think.

Sitting in one spot for many hours of the day is a common occurrence now for millions of people all over the world.

Most people are not moving enough during the day since sitting is a part of most activities.

Working on the computer, studying, watching T.V., and driving are a part of people’s lives where exercising is not.

Many think:

you need to run rigorously,

lift large, heavy weights,

and exercise hours every day

in order to lose any weight.

That is simply not true.

Many studies have come out proving just a few hours of simple exercise is enough. But this shouldn’t be the only basis of truth.

People who live in Japan find walking a large part of their lives. Children walk to school every morning and afternoon, and adults walk to the train or straight to work every day, especially those who live in Tokyo.

Exercise is promoted throughout the country

Every morning on television, an aerobics show is run for people to follow along in their own homes. It consists of simple stretching and body movements performed by two people. One person is standing while the other is sitting down. This is done for those who are in a wheelchair or have difficulty standing up but also want to follow the exercise. This show is seen by the elderly population, too, in order to keep their body moving and get ready for the day.

This is just a little part that contributes to the promotion of having the mindset to move the body.

It may seem silly to us that some people in Japan would watch an aerobics show every morning and copy the performer’s movements.

However, there is a reason Japanese people throughout their lives may continue this kind of exercise:

they started at a young age.

– School children do an aerobic exercise in unison together along with a song playing in the background. The children all know the next move and how to execute the exercise again and again.
– Schools have children run track, swim in the pool (more than a third of Japanese elementary schools have pools), sports, dance, and more to maintain the health of their students.
– A yearly sports festival is held at each school where students compete in different activities that require running, jumping, and even using their brain to solve puzzles.
– There is a yearly health check-up given by doctors and nurses that do not end in grade school, even university students up to doctorate students are required to have the check-up.

The mindset Japanese people have about health is created when they are young.

Teaching children to maintain a healthy lifestyle of balanced meals and exercise is the prime time period in a person’s life to keep these habits until their elderly years.

This is one of the many reasons Japan’s obesity rate is one of the lowest in the world.

Childhood Obesity is a dangerous health crisis that will be showing it effects in the upcoming decades. The childhood obesity rate in the United States is 17%, or about 12.7 million children and adolescents. Overweight or obese children are very likely to become overweight or obese adults. The habits picked up in adolescence continue into adulthood and become harder to break as time goes on.

and many people become discouraged when the topic of exercise is brought up…

But this shouldn’t be the case.

The American Journal of Physiology published a study showing rigorous, extended exercise does not equate to more weight loss. Moderate exercise is the key to losing weight, as it is likely the person exercising is not discouraged or burnt out after the exercise and may be keen to continue other body moving activities afterward.

Our overall point:

Do not strain yourself over worrying when or how much to exercise. Work towards moving your body every day while doing simple activities. Walk to the grocery store, stroll through the park, do aerobics or yoga in your house. We need to become healthier, and we need to focus on:


additional sources:

-Rosenkilde, Mads, et al. “Body fat loss and compensatory mechanisms in response to different doses of aerobic exercise—a randomized controlled trial in overweight sedentary males.” American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 303.6 (2012): R571-R579.

-Washburn, Richard A., et al. “Does the method of weight loss effect long-term changes in weight, body composition or chronic disease risk factors in overweight or obese adults? A systematic review.” PloS one 9.10 (2014): e109849.

-Thomas, D. M., et al. “Why do individuals not lose more weight from an exercise intervention at a defined dose? An energy balance analysis.” Obesity Reviews 13.10 (2012): 835-847.

-Pontzer, Herman, et al. “Hunter-gatherer energetics and human obesity.” PLoS One 7.7 (2012): e40503.

*Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.