Did you know that Japanese women have been holding the world record for longevity for more than 25 years? They do not get old and amaze the world with their ideal physical shape. It is no wonder since exercising (supported by healthy eating) is one of the great secrets of perfection in Japanese culture.
Bright Side wants to introduce you to some exercises developed by Katsuzō Nishi that help women fill their body with energy and get in shape.
Katsuzō was a Japanese boy that was in very poor health. When he turned 20 he was diagnosed with a deadly disease. But he did not give up, he instead developed his own original system of health building, and lived to the age of 75. Don’t forget to check the bonus section for more useful information!
1. Reed in the wind
This exercise helps to increase blood flow to the legs and prevents tired, aching legs.
- Lie on your stomach. The surface must be hard.
- Bend your knees. Relax and imagine that your legs are reeds swayed by the wind.
- Wave your relaxed legs trying to reach your buttock with your heels. You may not be able to do this for some time, so keep trying. Perform this exercise every day and you will see results.
2. A leaf
The exercise helps to improve posture and cerebral circulation.
- Lie on your back with your face turned up. The surface must be hard.
- Relax and imagine that your body is empty and light.
- Bend your knees. Do not lift your feet. To do so, slowly pull the feet to your buttocks as closely as possible.
- Slowly lift your head up and try to reach your knees with your palms. Do not lift your spine bone.
- Once you reach your knees with your palms, lift your head up and check that your spine is in a horizontal position.
- Stay in this pose as long as you can. Imagine that energy is coming through your head.
- Return to the initial position and relax.
3. A boat
Women benefit from this exercise during their post-delivery period when their muscles become weaker. It also improves balance, digestion and helps to lose unwanted stomach weight.
- Lie on your back placing your legs together and your arms alongside your body with the palms turned down.
- Count to 4 and lift your legs with your toes stretched upward.
- At the same time, lift your upper body up with straight arms. Touch your knees with the fingers.
- Stay in this position until you feel tired.
- Repeat up to 10 times depending on your physical shape.
4. A willow branch
The willow branch exercise effectively helps to decrease back pain, strengthen vessels and veins.
- Stand tall. Spread your legs as wide as you can. Your feet must be parallel.
- Focus on your body and imagine that it is weightless and empty.
- Place your hands over the kidneys and pull your fingers together on your rump.
- Slowly arch your back and bend your head back.
- At the maximum level, relax your arms.
- Slowly move left and right. Imagine that you’re a willow branch near a river.
- When you feel a bit tired, return to the initial position with your hands over the kidneys.
5. The sky near the river
This exercise helps to lose stomach weight and is beneficial to the spine and blood circulatory system. It also helps to develop imagination and calm your mind.
- Lie on your back. The surface must be hard. Relax your body.
- Clasp your hands behind your head.
- Slowly lift your body up to a sitting position.
- Continue to bend your body to your legs as much as you can.
- At the maximum level imagine that you are standing near a river. You are looking at the river and dissolving in it.
- Slowly return to the initial position. Remember the feeling of dissolving.
- Turn your eyes up and imagine that you are looking at the sky.
6. A vine
This exercise eases back and leg pain.
- Stand tall.
- Slowly massage your waist and imagine that your body is becoming flexible.
- Gently (but with energy) bend over trying to reach the ground with your hands.
- Return to the initial position and gently bend back as low as you can.
- Return to the initial position and gently lean to the left and to the right.
- Return to the initial position and relax.
The bowstring exercise reduces fat on thighs, relieves lower back pain, opens up the hips and improves respiration.
- Start the position by kneeling.
- Arch your back and grab your ankles with the hands.
- Hold for up to 5 seconds and return to the initial position.
- Repeat up to 10 times depending on your age and general condition.
Bonus: These exercises are especially beneficial for women suffering from ovary disorders.
This exercise stretches the hips, abdomen, and back, releases tension in the ovaries, massages and stimulates the organs in the belly, creates emotional balance, relieves stress, and calms the mind.
- Start on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
Imagine a straight line connecting your shoulders and hips. Keep your neck long.
Exhale and round your spine toward the ceiling. Make sure that your shoulders and knees maintain their position. Release your head toward the floor, but do not force your chin to your chest.
Inhale and return to the initial position.
Repeat up to 20 times.
This exercise improves blood circulation, firms thighs, hips, and buttocks, and relieves constipation. Women with uterus and ovary disorders can also benefit from it.
- Lie on your stomach. Put your arms along your body with the palms down. Your legs must be placed at 15 cm width.
- Stretch your toes and lift one leg up at 15 cm in height. Don’t move the second leg.
- Hold for a few seconds and return to the initial position.
- Repeat up to 50 times for each leg.
Do you like these exercises? What kinds of sports do you prefer? Share your comments below.
Illustrated by Ekaterina Gapanovich for BrightSide.me