Views and Visions: Exercising in the new normal Part 1

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. all in all / ɔl ɪn ɔl / (idiom) – considering every part of the situation

    It rained during our trip to the amusement park, but all in all, I had a great time!

  2. pursue / pərˈsu / (v.) – to engage in or do something

    Retirement gave my dad the opportunity to pursue his love of gardening.

  3. overcome / ˌoʊ vərˈkʌm / (v.) – to successfully deal with or control a problem or difficulty

    Practicing public speaking helped Mark overcome his shyness.

  4. turn to (something) / tɜrn tə / (phrasal v.) – to start doing or using something to solve a problem

    I lost my job last month, so I turned to selling baked goods.

  5. unlikely / ʌnˈlaɪk li / (adj.) – not typical or expected

    James is an unlikely choice for a romantic lead, but he somehow got the part.


Read the text below.

I’ve been lucky to be able to telework since the coronavirus began spreading in Japan.

All in all, this has been a positive thing for me. I have more time to pursue my hobbies now that I no longer have to commute, I get to eat lunch in the comfort of my own home and I can complete household chores during my break time.

After overcoming some difficulties with technology and communication, my job began to go smoothly as well.

But one area where I have struggled has been exercise.

Before I started teleworking, I would walk a minimum of 6,000 to 7,000 steps every day by just going to and from work. Despite my best efforts to be active in the evenings and on the weekends, my average steps per day dropped to 4,000 in April from over 9,000 in February.

I gained a little bit of weight and I was starting to feel like I had less energy during the day.

I decided that joining a gym was a bad idea due to the virus so I turned to an unlikely source for my daily exercise: video games.

At first I was very unsure about the idea. Working out while holding a video game controller seemed kind of silly.

Still, I decided to give Fit Boxing for the Nintendo Switch a try. (Joel Tansey)

To be continued…

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The author says that his teleworking caused his steps to drop from 9,000 in February to only 4,000 in April. Aside from the daily number of steps, how else do you think teleworking has affected people’s health (either negatively or positively)? Why? Discuss.
  • Many experts say that you should aim for 10,000 steps a day. Do you think it’s important to pay attention to your daily step count? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • The author says he used to walk a minimum of 6,000 to 7,000 steps every day by just going to and from work. In your daily life, what’s your biggest source of physical activity (ex. doing chores, commuting to school)? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The author was able to notice that he had gained a little bit of weight. Do you think it’s always easy to notice when you gain weight? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, is it ever appropriate to point out when someone has gained weight? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Many people in the US talk about the “Quarantine 15,” or the 15 pounds (about 7 kilos) that they gained by staying home in 2020. Do you think many people in your country also experienced this? Why or why not? Discuss.