Burning for Bargains

Here are some ways to get in shape that don’t require going to the gym:

I have a deep, unsettling confession to make: I absolutely despise traditional exercise. Ever since I was a student, I have tried every method available to keep myself in a healthy condition without having to succumb to the monotonous rhythm of working out at a local gym. Even when I was in the prime of my youth, I avoided sports like the plague. Any time there was any kind of fitness rally being held at my school I avoided such event at all costs, I never considered myself well coordinated or to be particularly good at sports, and I defiantly don’t have the natural build or talent to truly succeed at any competitive physical match.

However, as time grew on I began to realize that a student diet of wine and pizza was eventually going to catch up with my waistline if some form of balance wasn’t eventually achieved. When I first started working in Japan, I was fortunate enough to be living within a five-minute walk from a private gym equipped with a giant indoor pool. I have been fortunate enough to learn basic swimming skills since I was child. And even though it is a form of physical activity, it is definitely not anywhere near as draining as a jog around the block for an hour. I grew up in Northern Ontario in Canada and basically spent every summer down by the lake with my friends in the sunshine. 

However, I never found myself with enough time to use the pool as much as I wanted for the price I was paying, so I eventually quit my membership at the gym and was forced to find some other ways of keeping the calorie input and output balance in my life.

Luckily, one of my favorite Tokyo pastimes can accommodate such a balance. I am a closet shopaholic. I love running around on trains on my day off looking for the best deal I can for all sorts of new products. Tokyo’s never ending collection of fancy department stores and limitless outlet malls provides the greatest and most exciting training course anyone could hope for.

Shopping takes a lot more effort and burns a lot more calories than most people realize. If you are a true bargain hunter, you will leave no shop unsearched and no sales bin unchecked.
Running around the mall for long hours can be tiring, and the journey back can take a toll when you are trying to carry all your new found treasures home at the end of the day. This is especially effective when you are looking for just the right outfit. If you are comparing prices at multiple stores, you may have to journey back and forth across the mall a few times in the hope that you may discover another deal.

Shopping can be a great way to burn off that extra bit of cake you had for your birthday, but to be fair, any amount of extra walking, hiking or exploring of local neighborhood can have the same effect without burning a hole in your pocket. If you get out and explore all that your area has to offer, you will probably be surprised how quickly you can drop the pounds in the same way as you can when you shop for something new.



succumb (v) ? fail to resist pressure, temptation, or some other negative force
avoid … like the plague (idiom) ? to do your best not to do something or to evade a particular situation
burn a hole in one`s pocket (idiom) ? to cause someone to be tempted to spend money
monotonous (adj.) ? dull, tedious, and repetitious; lacking in variety and interest