Useful Health Lessons from Japan

Developing healthy habits does not only prolong your life but enhances your daily activities into a more energetic perspective. What better way than to learn from one of the best countries when it comes to a healthy lifestyle, like Japan?

#1 – Wear a mask in public.

What!? Of all the anime related stuff I could talk about, why is “wearing a mask” supposedly the best health lesson of all from Japan? Well, the answer is easy. It’s because wearing a mask has an incredible preventative effect on catching many easily-transmissible respiratory diseases. Japan stands out in the world as being the country with the highest compliance of mask-wearing in public among any other country in the world. This is because Japanese people value both their productivity – being able to go to work – and value not spreading a disease to others and inconveniencing them.

#2 – Eat well.

Eating good food is a staple of Japanese culture – and this means more than just eating a lot or eating specific green vegetables. Japanese culture is very dependent on “set meals” or “courses” in its restaurants, where a half dozen small dishes are presented one after the other.

Essentially this prevents everyone from filling up just on one item that they happen to prefer, like pizza (I’m calling myself out here). There is always a mix of leafy greens, a few vegetables, a little meat and fish, and then the main course. This essentially means that it is very hard to miss key nutrients by not eating enough fruits or vegetables.

#3 – Walk regularly.

Japan has one of the best public transit systems in the world, with a train being able to take you just about anywhere in the country. What does this have to do with walking? You might think having great transit means its easier for people to sit around, but that’s not quite as it seems.

To get to each station from most places is usually a 3 to 10 minute walk, and then often you have to stand on the train in the major metros like Tokyo, meaning that more calories are burned and that your body is digesting and processing food better to strengthen you for these physical activities.

In America, especially the Midwest, it’s easy to walk twenty feet to your car, sit down comfortably, drive to a restaurant, walk twenty feet inside, and sit down again. Changing those twenty feet walks to a decent 5 to 10 minute walk makes a world of difference for your health when added up over the course of a lifetime.

That’s all for now on my useful lessons to keep healthy from Japan!