Five Habits of Japan: Fitness without dieting

Thanks to the wise and healthy culture, the Japanese are distinguished, among other societies, for their optimal health. The unknown that is being created is: How could they be like this? Is it hereditary or acquired habits?

In addition to following a healthy routine, A feature of the physiology of the country of the rising sun is that most of them maintain a slender figure. Even, according to the data of the Japanese Ministry of Health and Nutrition, it is one of the countries in the world that has the lowest obesity rate, at only 3.5% compared to other countries such as Germany, France and Italy, which have between 21% and 22%; United Kingdom, 26%; and the United States, 33.6%.

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However, it is important to note that the traditions and culture of the Japanese country, as well as the laws passed to combat overweight, have greatly assisted its citizens in maintaining a good physical condition.

He was In 2005 when the “Chocco Eco” law came into force, which aims to educate children, which aims to create a social culture around food. This law focuses on the diet and daily diet of Japanese children and their education: schools are required to provide healthy menus for children of school age. These values ​​are inculcated from a young age, and in this way you reach adulthood with a greater awareness of what is healthy for the body.

Okinawa – a Japanese prefecture with more than 150 islands in the Japanese maritime zone – is a clear example. The Blue Zone – one of the places in the world where the longest-lived people over 100 years old live – is considered due to the longevity and excellent cognitive and health conditions of its inhabitants. With a certain climate, different natural resources and mindset, you realize the importance of nutrition, as well as its impact on health,” highlights Mariana Patrón Farias, graduate nutritionist and Director of Corporate Nutrition Programs (Nutrim), a consultant specializing in healthy eating programs.

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for the specialist, The reasons for this phenomenon are due to multi-causal factors “You have to see the Japanese in their social, biological, ecological and cultural environment because we are all integrated beings and that has to be the right view to understand how they stay that way.”

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Way of life, the key

The customs of the Japanese are very diverse and include everything from eating habits to different types of physical exercise and hot baths. Among these:

1. Mindful eating

You have to see the Japanese in their social, biological, ecological and cultural environment because we are all integrated beings and that has to be the right view to understand how they stay that way.

The Japanese eat easily digestible foods. They don’t usually eat a lot of industrial or chemical products. They prioritize natural and even raw foods during the summer months. Among the most popular are rice, fish, shellfish, vegetables, hot and pickled vegetables.

From birth, the Japanese follow a healthy diet characterized by low calories and low fat, in which plants and herbs of traditional medicine, such as turmeric, predominate, and give a leading role to foods of plant origin.

Refined and ultra-processed sugars or trans fats have no place in your diet. “If we compare our Western options, where beef and animal fats (cheese, butter, cream, pastries, etc.) predominate and where there is an increased consumption of ultra-processed foods with added sugar, extra salt and all kinds of additives … Of course, the Japanese have more elements nutrients from their diet, and this contributes to maintaining health and well-being for a longer number of years, explains Patron Farias.

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2. The Hara Hachi Bu method

Hara Hachi Bu is a Confucian teaching that instructs people to eat until they are 80 percent full or when they feel a little full. In this way, they feel satisfied and do not need to overeat as in other countries they eat culturally until they “could eat no more”.

“I think more than one form of diet has to do with the frugality and respect we Japanese have for food to eat what is necessary and the consideration we have with others so as not to fill ourselves up when others are ill,” explains Monika Hashimoto, graduate student in journalism and communications and former editor. For a magazine to spread Japanese culture in Argentina called Alternativa Nikkei.

3. They don’t go to the gym

The Japanese were not accustomed to carrying out the rigorous training procedures as is common in the West. They engage in moderate or low-intensity physical activities such as daily walking, yoga, or stretching.

However, Hashimoto notes that physical exercise is inculcated in them from a young age with athletic competitions called “ondokai” and “taiso”—light, relaxed exercises that seek greater range of motion—that are performed every morning in schools. workplaces.

They also use bicycles a lot for transportation, particularly by mothers to go shopping or take their children to school. In general, they are not fans of gyms,” notes Hashimoto.

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4. Macrobiotics

George Osawa, a Japanese philosopher, created macrobiotics – a philosophy of life based on diet, exercise, meditation, and yin-yang energy. It is based on eating and living in harmony and seeking body balance.

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to achieve thisFood should preferably be consumed with organic and seasonal produce. It is divided into whole grains, such as rice, oats, barley, buckwheat or quinoa (between 40 and 60%), fruits and vegetables (between 20 and 30%) and animal products and their derivatives (between 10 and 25%).

5. Hot baths

this activity Helps the body burn calories and increases the metabolic rate, According to a study published in 2017. “They’re called ‘furo’ and yes, it’s the most popular way to clean yourself in Japan. It’s not done with a specific purpose, but it provides the well-known benefits, of relaxation, skin hydration, and detoxification,” says Hashimoto.

Returning to food, he comments, “It has a lot to do with our genetic inheritance and standard of living that allows us to eat healthy food and enjoy the benefits of more nutritious seasonal foods and dishes.”

Victoria Vera Ziccardi

Nation (Argentina) – GDA

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