|The shoes, courtesy of ABC Mart.|
I met a personal trainer, which is included in the exorbitant monthly cost, and it went smoothly. I was expecting him to be uncomfortable with a French Canadian girl who speaks a tween-level of Japanese, but he was professional and really funny. He gave me a customized exercise routine according to my goals and areas to improve, and introduced me to those intimidating pieces of equipment usually populated with grunting men. Apparently burning fat is best achieved with weights, in addition to cardio. Nothing in the routine was strange or unusual, except perhaps the part where he asked me to step on a tennis ball for thirty seconds each foot, supposedly for posture. Anyone?
I want to say that my whole Japanese gym experience so far is 'normal', but only to a certain extent. Daytime gym sessions have presented an array of doubtful exercise attire, ranging from ballerina skirts to full-on eighties Olivia Newton-John spandex, lime green hot pants on an elderly man and all-yellow track suit. Some women even come to the gym with a full face of makeup and faux eyelashes, sporting clubbing tops and jean shorts. I'm surprised there's no rules against workout attire, as some would benefit from it.
Yet for the most part, most gym-goers are dressed in plain shorts and good old tee-shirts, which is a relief to see. Aside from a few random stretches involving flapping arms and legs about, I haven't seen anything weird, and some grannies have been chatting me up (mostly about the weather), which I thought was lovely and made me feel happy.
Knowing that I have to meet up with the trainer again next week is motivating me to be consistent with my gym sessions, as he'll be checking up on my progress. I love being able to take a long soak after the gym and the clean, modern sauna, a far cry from the one I had to use in my Korean gym. All in all, I highly recommend joining a gym in Japan, even though they can be rather expensive (some community ones are cheap, but to me, location is the priority, otherwise I don't go). I think health is not something people should skimp on, and it helps staying sane while living abroad. Unless you have wide open spaces nearby to run or have some sports league you can join, which is ideal. I wish I had joined before.
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