Radio Calisthenics in Japan

by Rachel Moan |

Japan as a country is full of innovation. The Japanese are known around the world for their great innovations, particularly in the field of car manufacturing and electronics. Yet they aren't so famous for their innovations in exercise regimes  - and that's something that needs to change.

Radio calisthenics are one such fantastic area of exercise and are broadcast to music on public radio in Japan in the early hours of the morning.

Re-introduced to popular culture in 1951 in post-war Japan, the exercise form actually introduced to Japan in 1928 and is said to have originated from the U.S. 'Radio' exercise is one form of calisthenics which although is seemingly soft and gentle, gives energy whilst adding to your 'normal' exercise routine.

 Radio calisthenics comprises simple exercises that can be carried out by a variety of age groups. Like tai chi, it is also a popular park-time activity in the early mornings and at schools before P.E as a warm up.

Loosening the muscles, creating energy and preparing your mind for the day ahead is a great way to start the morning.  Such exercise can specifically help us physically by:

  • Encouraging faster metabolism in the body
  • Improving flexibility
  • Aiding in should and back pain relief

In Japan and China, workplace exercise is a part of everyday life. Particularly in Japan, such workplace activities grew out of the Kaizen philosophy or that on "continual improvement'.

The exercise form is said to have brought down the accident rate, increase productivity and reduce employee absences.


How to participate

Unless you are fortunate enough to live in an environment where calisthenics is taught, you are going to have to take charge of the helm. 

Worry ye not, you are never alone in the internet era. Here are some resources for you to practice radio calisthenics:

Radio Taiso workout

Rajio Taisou(ラジオ体操 第1) created for the Japanese Exercise Festival 2009

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