Level 5: Posts are between Level 1 (Beginner) and level 5 (Advanced).
When you move to another country, the vast majority of your time is spent in strange environments or learning new ways of doing things. Sometimes it's necessary to have a hobby, activity, or place that stabilizes you--something familiar, something grounding. For some Americans it may be eating a Big Mac. Some Italians may search out a cafe for espresso. The Irish find a pub named Finn McCool's or Dubliner's...come to think of it, we all look for the Irish pub.
For me, I seek out normalcy at gyms. The activities I do at the gym can pretty much stay constant where ever I am in the world. Of course I'll need to convert the kilos to pounds (everywhere), or perhaps I'll need to adjust to using cement weights (Brazil), or remember to shake everyone's hand upon entering the gym (Ukraine), yet in all cases, I can get down to business and feel at ease. The Japanese gym I go to, Naka Sports Center, is no different.
I highly recommend the Naka Sports Center to anyone who lives in the area for a number of reasons. First, the place is super affordable; we're talking like 200 Yen per visit. Also, the treadmills have neat ways of measuring your level of activity by showing you what food you can eat with the same caloric value as your workout.
Additionally, it has everything from a swimming pool to sports courts to a swimming pool. On top of all that, if you forget anything--like goggles or shoes or whatever--they'll lend them to you.
All that being said, there are a few things that stand out. One thing is the strict rule about only wearing shoes that have been worn indoors; it's reminiscent of high school rules on gym shoes. If I reflect on it, it's a totally understandable request, but it still caught be off-guard on day one. Another thing are the horse-riding simulators. That's right, you can sit on a machine that mimics a horses movements. It's a bit disconcerting to watch, but I suppose it works on some stabilizer muscles. Lastly, they're still using those vintage fat-shaking belts from the middle of the last century. I just read up on these vibrating belts, and it seems the jury is still out on whether or not they are effective. Either way, it stunned me to see people lining up to use them in 2020.
My gym experience here in Japan has been overwhelmingly positive and I'm thankful for the Naka Sports Center staff for being so kind and accommodating. The international corporate gyms are located throughout the city, but the prices are a bit too steep for my liking. I can spend the money I've saved on the apple pie I earned during my workout!
Come see what results you can earn with our English workouts: https://stage-line.com/school/nagoya/