When I want to go walking or jogging, I go to a junior high school in my neighborhood. It’s not that I sneak into the school grounds, but there is a sports club that is run by a NPO.
In my area, the local government recommends residents to work out with the slogan of 3033 (san-maru-san-san). It means that we should do 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week and at least continue for 3 months. The objective of this movement is obvious. On the face of it, it’s to improve local people’s health, but actually it’s to reduce the medical insurance cost for the coming super aging society.
The NPO club provides us with a variety of sport programs and some culture classes like tea ceremony and shogi (Japanese chess). The price is dirt cheap. It may come as a surprise, you only need to pay 1,000 yen for a month no matter how many classes you attend. It’s a really encouraging and friendly community based sports club.
As they use school facilities, the environment is quite good. Speaking about the walking and jogging class that I often join, we use a 250m race track. It’s a well-maintained race track that is adequately soft enough to absorb the impact on our knees and ankles. So we don’t need to worry about injuring our joints as we are likely to do on asphalt roads.
The members are eager runners. Some of them have run at famous marathon competitions like the Tokyo marathon. Now, all members except me are going to run at a local ekiden race. Members have invited me to run with them, but I haven’t reached that level yet. Maybe, I’ll cheer them on with a flag of the club in my hand along the road this year.
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