Japan Fitness Trends: Burning Calories Without Burning Out in 2020

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2020 is well underway and no matter where you live you’ll find people making fitness resolutions for the new year. But every year as spring approaches the resolution hype starts to die down. If you’ve ever been a regular at a gym you’ve seen the pattern. January always has a massive spike in memberships, and over crowded squat racks. But then when February rolls around, it brings with it a return to the couch life for many of these new-comers.

There is a common belief in the fitness world that the “best” diet or workout is the one you can always make time for. Sure, if you starve yourself and run on a treadmill every day you’ll lose weight. But, if you can’t commit to that life it’s likely you’ll put all that weight right back on again. The most important part of living a healthy life is to be able to do it most of time. Forever. So, really the best way to stay in shape is to find something active you enjoy.

If you’re looking for a workout that’s more than just your run of the (tread)mill program, then Japan has you covered.

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B-monster

This “boxercising” class, that originated in New York, has been taking Asia by storm recently. B-monster takes the ever popular fitness model of “boxercising” and adds the twist that it takes place in a dark, rave-like environment. The idea is that keeping the room dark will help people that are embarrassed to work out in front of others let loose without shame. The flashing lights and high energy music get you in the mood to move and gets your blood pumping. If that isn’t enough to get you going, the instructors make sure you keep a good pace and monitor your heart rate. This levels you at a safe zone that is ideal for burning fat and building muscle.

 

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Feelcycle

For those who B-monster sounds like a good fit but can’t get emotionally invested in boxing, Feelcycle takes a more traditional approach to group fitness. It keeps the dark environment and club music for largely the same reasons, but takes place entirely on a stationary bike. This is an especially solid choice for anyone who typically has knee pains as bikes are really good at avoiding putting pressure on joints. A big source of pain from running, for example, is from your foot making contact with a hard surface. Typically trainers will recommend stationary bikes or elliptical machines for this very reason.

 

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Surf Fit

If you noticed a common theme between most of these trends then you’re not alone. Surf Fit is not in the dark and the music is not bumping. It’s not even an obvious cardio workout. The idea is that by securing a surf board to several large rubber balls you’re able to mimic the feeling of surfing while still on dry land. The round surface under the board makes it difficult to balance and gives you the feeling of actually riding the waves. The fitness part is that by using your core strength and stabilizing muscles to balance you get a toning full body workout. While on the surfboard you do yoga or Thai-chi like movements as well as basic surfing techniques to work your muscles. Surf Fit will get you ready to hit the beach come summer mentally and physically but unfortunately for the guys, Surf Fit is women only at the moment.

 

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Trampoline Fitness

Trampoline fitness has been growing in popularity all over the world for a few years now. Following a similar pattern to the previous two trends, trampoline fitness in Japan tends to take place in a club-like space, with some more traditional gym-style options for the differently adventurous. Jumping on a trampoline can provide equal cardio-vascular benefits to cycling and boxing if done at a rigorous enough pace. Trampolines have the added bonus that, with a soft surface to land on, you put less pressure on your joints. Additionally jumping uses different muscles than traditional cardio exercises, which can help keep things fresh. You may end up sore in muscles you never knew existed after a vigorous bouncing session.

Feature image: Syda Productions / Shutterstock.com

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