A Tiny Apartment and no Gym: Fitness in Japan

WorkoutI have this problem. I love to work out, but there isn’t a gym here (at least not one that works for my wallet or schedule) and I live on the second floor of a building made out of paper-mache. See, Japan loves sports clubs, biking, and walking. At least where I am. If I was farther north, we could add in hiking and winter sports. As it is, I live in the plains of Japan. My options are quite limited as I don’t feel accomplished about walking, my bike is pretty A to B, and I don’t have the time to commit to a club. For cardio I go running, but just running won’t cut it. I’ve learned how to become super creative with working out in a 8ft x 10 ft area. 

Google and Pintrest have become my best friend. I get bored of workouts really easy, so I like to scour the internet for new workouts. I’m also a big fan of either morning or evening yoga, in addition to my general 45-60min workout. After years of research (and by research I’m referring to google) I’m beginning to learn the “magic formulas” for the way my body works and how I aim to be.

As a rule of thumb, morning workouts are better. They kick-start your metabolism for the entire day and boost your energy levels. My job now starts a bit too early for a morning workout (in my books) so I usually go for after work. If that’s the case, I eat a carb/protein snack when I walk in the door and I try to avoid working out no less than 2 hours before bed. It can take your body that long to cool down from a workout.

How I imagine my yoga

How I imagine my yoga

How do I avoid making my neighbors mad? I’ll typically swap noisy activities (i.e. jumping jacks) for activities that I can make quieter like squat jumps (landing like a ninja) and burpees. Usually, I can just load up Pintrest and find tons of no-equipment workouts. Typically, noise level is why my workouts end up being yoga, or a variation on yoga. It’s a really quiet, calming type of exercise and it kinda lets me unwind at the same time. Not to mention, I always load up 8tracks with some great playlists.

Granted, there are a lot of things that try to get in my way when I’m working out, be it space, noise, weather, time, sickness, etc. I’m human, and just like everyone else, my time is limited. To make this work, I really have to prioritize it and allow myself no excuses. One of my favorite mantras is “I tried my best today, I’ll try even harder tomorrow.” If I feel too sick, then I don’t workout, but I make sure that I don’t get upset over it or slack off when I’m feeling better. It’s all about mental outlook!

For a site packed with great workouts, check out backonpointe.tumblr.com.


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