Japanese Radio Calisthenics

Rajio taisō were introduced to Japan in 1928 as a commemoration of the coronation of Emperor Hirohito. The idea for radio broadcast came from the US, where during the 1920s the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. sponsored 15-minute radio calisthenics in major cities in the US. Visiting employees of the Japanese postal insurance division brought samples of the exercises from the US back to Japan. The exercises were widely used to improve the health of Japanese soldiers both at home and abroad during the 1930s and 1940s. The exercises were introduced to several other pacific nations, including Taiwan, Hong Kong and Indonesia during Japan’s colonization period.

After Japan’s defeat in 1945, the broadcasts were banned by the occupying powers as being too militaristic in nature.

After several rewrites to the exercise routine, it was reintroduced by NHK radio in 1951 with the support of the education ministry, health ministry, the Japan Gymnastic Association and the Japan Recreation Association.

(Credit: Wikipedia)

- 3 Minute Radio Workout -

1. Stretch your back: This exercise helps improve posture.  With heels planted on the ground, stretch arms straight up, then down while keeping your back straight. Repeat twice.

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2. Swing arms and bend knees: Raise heels, raise arms to side and bend knees up and down while keeping heels raised. Heels should only touch the ground momentarily. Repeat 8 times.

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3. Rotate arms: Actively moving shoulder blades improves blood flow and helps alleviate stiff shoulders. Repeat 4 times.

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4. Stretch out your chest muscles: When stretching, face palms up. Repeat 4 times.

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5. Bend sideways: Have arms touch your ear when bending. Repeat twice.

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6. Bend down/Bend back: Do not hold breath. Repeat twice.

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7. Twist body: Keep heels planted. Lower body should not move.

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8. Extend arms up/down: This exercise improves mobility of shoulder blades. Repeat twice.

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9. Bend body down, stretch out chest: Focus on the muscles behind your thighs. Repeat twice.

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10. Rotate body: Keep the distance between your hands the same. Rotate from the waist. Holding a towel will help keep hands in place. Repeat twice in both directions.

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11. Jump with both feet: Be sure to fully extend calves. Repeat twice.

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12. Swing arms and bend knees: Same as exercise 2. Be sure to raise heels. Repeat 8 times.

13. Deep Breathing: Focus on abs and glutes.  Repeat twice.

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