Radio Taiso: Gentle & Invigorating Daily Exercises
English Language Edition
Radio Taiso is not really the best title for this set of exercises, as it is a descriptor that only really makes sense to Japanese people. They are ‘radio’ exercises only in that the music to exercise to is played on the radio; the exercises/movements are done from memory having being learned (usually) in their school system.
A better title might be:
Gentle & Invigorating Daily Exercises
You get the idea – it is a freehand exercise system that requires no special equipment and doesn’t take up a lot of space. Why do I still call it Radio Taiso then? Honestly, because I like it!
What is Radio Taiso?
Literally meaning “radio exercises”, essentially they are a series of calisthenic (i.e. body-weight) movements that make up a seamless routine. They are designed to warm the body up as well as raise energy levels and encourage overall good health. The ‘radio’ part comes simply from the fact the instructions and tempo for performing these exercises are broadcast on the radio.
There are three variations of this routine:
1. Suitable for all ages and abilities (this one).
2. To increase strength.
3. A standing OR sitting version for the elderly/disabled (OR just people who want to do it sitting down!).
So, whether you are looking to banish early morning aches with gentle stretches to loosen your joints, or you just want something to energize you for the working day ahead – Radio Taiso could be just the exercise program for you.
Daily Exercises for Health and Vigor
Exercise routines that can be performed by any age and by either gender for EQUAL benefit are hard to come by. The first Radio Taiso series of exercises, however, is one such routine. Performed with a nice, light rhythm, the aim of these exercises is to allow you to move more easily as you will develop well-balanced muscles and nice supple joints throughout your entire body.
Here is a list of the 13 movements that make up this routine:
- Stretch ‘n’ Grow.
- Getting the Blood Flowing.
- For Flexible Shoulders.
- Opening up the Chest.
- Trunk Bending.
- Spinal Exercise.
- Twisting the Body.
- For Arm and Body Strength.
- Flexible and Supple.
- Turn your body into the body you want!
- Get the Blood Pumping.
- As Exercise 2!
- Deep Breathing.
Now if you were to stumble across a routine that offered ALL of those benefits, you’d want to give it a go right? Right?
This is Christine – she is going to help you learn Radio Taiso!
Top Ten Benefits of Radio Taiso
The top ten benefits that radio gymnastics can bring to the body:
- It allows the brain AND muscles to relax.
- Can improve heart and lung function, while also promoting blood circulation, thereby enhancing the function of most of the organs in the body.
- Can reduce feelings of fatigue, and make you feel more energetic.
- Can improve posture, and make muscles stronger.
- Can draw a line under the stresses of the day and encourage a good nights sleep.
- If teamed with more strenuous exercise, doing these exercises can help avoid muscle strains.
- Doing radio exercises immediately after work helps relieve temporary mental fatigue caused by stress (or in other words the RAAAAAAGHHH after work!).
- Sticking with it will enhance physical fitness and help prevent illnesses brought on by stress and fatigue.
- Can enhance coordination and rhythm.
- Performing radio exercises to any sort of music is good for your MENTAL health.
Does this mean all Japanese people are fit?
Under 4% of Japanese people are considered ‘obese’, and while there are of course many factors at play here, the fact so many Japanese take part in a daily exercise routine surely must play a part.
Also, a great many Japanese people remain ‘fitter’ for longer – i.e. keeping functionally active well into old age. Again, a lifetime of performing stretching and movement-based exercises is a likely piece of the puzzle.
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