Let’s get fit-tical

By on July 28, 2011
“I am not fat, what do I need exercise for?”
“I have too many things to take care of everyday. What time have I got for fitness?”
“I want to lose weight but I’m too lazy to go to the gym.”
“I can’t find a personal trainer who speaks English.”
“I don’t need muscles. It’s not feminine looking.”

These are only some of the common excuses we hear from some men and women when the topic of doing regular body exercises come up.  Do you fear that by signing up for membership at a gym you lose the freedom to do other things when you want to? Or is it following a strict health diet that makes you think giving up on eating the same food or doing the same routine you have been accustomed to is difficult to accept? This is just a self-imposed restriction.The truth is everyone will always make time for any activity if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. If the lifestyle choice you have made and the routine you have embraced are working against your objective to stay fit, causing you to doubt the state of your health, then it is certainly the time to give your body a tune-up.“Tuning your body up starts from understanding your body, what you are feeding it and how you are burning energy. Many understand the principle but do not push themselves hard enough to get the proper results. My job is to direct them to get these results,” says professional personal trainer Silje Soidik of My Easy Fitness.

Tokyo is a fast paced lane. You want to have enough energy reserves to be able to accomplish everything that needs to be done at work and at home. That is why most people turn to physical fitness training to boost their energy. Over time, body fat in women builds up in the hips and thighs. In men, it is the abdomen. Men and women who do not exercise have a tendency to lose more than 20% muscle mass.  How much of muscle mass you want to build largely depends on your genetics as well as your lifestyle.

Do you know that as much as 40% body fat builds up in people who lead a sedentary lifestyle as a result of spending long hours working on a PC or inadequate body movement? If an active person’s body fat of about 20% is considered healthy, people who do not move their bodies much are therefore storing unwanted fat. Men and women need lean muscles to boost metabolism, gain strength and stamina, relieve constipation, correct posture and bone health, lose weight and look good.

Some Asian women are indifferent to muscle building for fear of looking less feminine. Muscle is an active and dense tissue which is 1.1 g per cubic centimeter whereas fat tissue is only 0.9. What this means is you can fill in more muscle into tiny space than you can fat.  Women need not fret about looking thick because they do not have enough growth hormones and testosterone to cause that effect.

Growing the right muscles in the right places can only be achieved with the right knowledge and proper exercises.

Getting started
Are you a procrastinator? Putting things off for a later date leads to forgetting it until the idea dies a natural death. Have you done exercise for weeks, months without seeing results? Then, it is in your best interest to invest time and money in a professional personal trainer who can look after your situation, eating habits  to bring out the drive in you, helping you to achieve the results you desire. Expect a personal trainer to plan a program and help you stick to it by creatively keeping you engaged. One advantage to working with a trainer is having somebody stand beside you that encourages you to do more than you would on your own.

If you have specific health issues, it is best to consult your doctor for medical advice prior to engaging in a work out routine.

People who want to work out go to a gym because it is equipped with machines that help you with endurance drills that strengthen your muscles, measure your performance and promote cardiovascular health. Gyms in Tokyo usually have strength training equipment that helps flex joints and address health issues such as arthritis and gastrointestinal.
There are several gyms in Tokyo that are worth exploring, so check out which suits your needs best:
Anytime Fitness Ark Hills
The all-new fitness club has just opened on the second floor of Ark Hills Akasaka in Minato ward to meet the needs of most foreign residents. The club is equipped with brand new heavy duty machines, 24/7 shower rooms,  friendly personal trainers and staff.  Strategically located next to ANA Intercontinental Hotel and less than a minute walk from Roppongi Itchome station by Namboku line, most foreigners will find this gym less crowded and more agreeable in ambiance.  As the name suggests,  Anytime Fitness is open 24 hours 7 days a week and members gain access to 1,500 clubs in 17 countries worldwide. What’s more,  membership fee at Anytime Fitness for only ¥8,500 (plus tax) is truly the best deal ever!
Getting into shape has never been easier! Esforta offers fun and personalized ways to exercise with its pristine facilities and a wide array of programs sure to please both those seeking serious training and light fitness activities. The Esforta studio provides aerobics, Zumba dance, and yoga classes; as well as the more intense martial arts and strike boxing classes; and various programs including basic swimming and water aerobics to power hydro and water relaxation take place at the pool area. Golfers will also delight at the virtual courses at the Golf Studios located in Esforta’s Shibuya, Roppongi, and Yokohama branches.  Membership fees range from ¥7,875 to ¥23,100 depending on frequency and time restriction.www.esforta.co.jp
Gold’s Gym
Gold’s Gym continues to be the go-to fitness center for countless people looking to shape up seriously. For decades, the internationally renowned chain of fitness centers has attracted bodybuilders, casual exercisers, and everyone in between
with the latest and greatest in fitness equipment and machinery, savvy and friendly personal trainers, and a variety of programs and classes ranging from aerobics and dance to martial arts and relaxation techniques.Registration fee ¥5,250  Membership fees vary according to location and range from ¥6,300 – ¥18,900 depending on frequency and type.www.goldsgym.jp

Konami Sports
Konami Sports is open from 7am and overall is equipped with 33 machines, provides laundry service for an extra fee, a tanning machine, golf simulator and a pool of personal trainers. Annual membership (12 months upfront payment required)  and monthly membership (2 months advance payment on sign up) are available. (Caution: People with tattoos can not use the facilities. Membership fees are due even when you are on vacation and are collected in advance. Only 20 years and above are eligible for membership).

Monthly individual membership fee ¥18,900 (Aoyama branch only)www.konamisportsclub.jp/grancise/facility/aoyama/index.html


Premium Sports Club NAS Roppongi
Just opened a few months ago, the gym is located right in front of the Tokyo Midtown complex in Roppongi. It is equipped with eight shower rooms, 60 machines, and 4 powder corners. They also have an amusement lounge, golf range and a male esthetic salon. Individual membership fee is ¥21,000 and Corporate membership fee is ¥12,600 a month.

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