14 things about living healthfully I’ve learned from life in Japan

What makes living in Japan different?

Kaki Okumura

--

I’ve lived in the US, and I’ve lived in Japan. I’ve lived in modest suburban communities, and I’ve lived in the biggest city in the world. The privilege of living in different parts of the world has shown me that the science between health, nutrition, and fitness doesn’t change no matter where you live.

Japan may enjoy radically lower obesity rates and longer longevity than some of their western counterparts, but the people are not somehow genetically special or naturally more disciplined human beings — humans are not so different from each other.

Illustrations by Kaki Okumura

The difference really comes down to our understanding of how to live and our values around health. Because sometimes a different perspective can be the difference between an effortless healthy lifestyle, and constantly being on a stressful diet.

Life in Japan showed me that.

14 things about living healthfully I’ve learned from life in Japan

1. Balance over perfection. A low-fat, low-carb, sugar-free diet of boiled vegetables and steamed chicken breast is no way to live — you can eat whatever you want and be okay.

2. Just enjoy it in moderation. No need to “go big or go home”.

3. Unless it’s the holidays. The value of enjoying time with your loved ones is much greater than the value of calories saved.

4. Movement is a gift and pleasure of life. It is not a punishment for eating. Feel free to treat it as such.

5. Yes, that means if walking gives you pleasure, it is valid and valuable exercise. You don’t need to equate exhaustion with effectiveness.

--

--

Kaki Okumura

Born in Dallas, raised in New York and Tokyo. I care about helping others learn to live a better, healthier life. My site: www.kakikata.space 🌱