In college, I minored in Nutrition, and I have danced my whole life, so the importance of nutritional and physical health is not foreign to me. But in Japan, the emphasis on health is a part of EVERYONE’S daily life.  (Which is why they have one of the highest life expectancies in the world.)  There are billboards, commercials, lessons in school…. (the list goes on) all focused on ways one can stay healthy.  But here are 5 easy Japanese health practices you can start today:

Easy Japanese Health Practices:

1. Take a bath.

 Not just for obvious reasons of cleanliness, but because the benefits of taking baths have been scientifically proven. Benefits like: preventing, and even curing, some illnesses due to the rise of core body temp; improve sleep because of the decline in body temp after a bath; promotes blood circulation; and can even promote weight loss. 

In Japan, the ritual of onsen (Japanese hot springs) visits are a huge part of Japanese culture.  When visiting Japan, visiting an onsen or staying at a ryokan (Japanese inn with public baths) is a MUST!  

Onsen, bath, tea, relax, meditate

2. Nutrition.

The importance of proper nutrition is taught in the home AND at school.  One agenda is to eat 30 varieties of food a day to ensure each organ has the appropriate nutrition it needs to function optimally.  If you want to learn more about what daily consumption is like in Japan? Read about it here:

3. Walk it out.

No seriously, walking is a HUGE thing here.  Most people don’t own cars in Japan.  It’s not that they can’t afford it, it’s just there is not much space on this tiny island.  Instead, people walk or bike for their daily commute.  Also, not just space being an issue, they know the importance of physical activity.  I know 93-year old’s here that still get out and walk every day for 30 min!  You know what they say, if you don’t use it you lose it.

Japanese street, walking

4. Limited snack attacks.

Japan has some pretty delicious, and of course nutritious, snacks.  But most adults skip snacking on empty calories and eat three big meals a day.  Yep, I mean BIG. 

I think the common misconception about Japanese women staying thin is because the portions are small in Japan than America.  I can guarantee you… they’re not.  If anything, some portions are even LARGER than in the states. So much so that I can never clean my plate when we go out to eat :/  

Japanese food, tonkatsu rice

5. Wash yo hands!

Japan is known for its OCD when it comes to cleanliness.  And it’s true!  I’ll never forget the first time I went to Tokyo and I actually saw workers scrubbing the subway tile on the wall…. I mean, that is dedication!

But it’s no surprise when one of the most common customs is to take off your shoes before entering a home.  Since living here, I find it weird that we wear our shoes inside in America… gross. 

Since living here, I take my shoes off, go straight to the bathroom and wash my hands when I enter the house.  Then, when I take a shower, I do it the Japanese family way: shower outside the tub, soak inside the tub, then shower again to get the sweat off.  Yes. They shower, soak, and shower again.  See… OCD (but totally makes sense)! 

Onsen, shower, Japanese bath

Want to see what our Japanese home looks like? Check out the video below! 

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