Healthy Social Habits

By | April 11, 2007

I am sitting in a subway in Tokyo, Japan.  A man sits next to me and we start to talk.  Come to find out he is 65 years old, but he looks like he is in his forties.  How can this be?

I was thinking over my visit to Tokyo, Japan vs. the way things are in Houston, TX.  I believe their are many reasons this is:

1) Food choices – Most meals have some sort of fish and rice.  Fried foods are hard to find.  McDonalds are there, but hidden away.  Just taking the default in Japan is healthy.

Compare this to Houston where every corner has a fast food place serving fried foods.  Fresh fish is not commonly served.  Yes, you can eat healthy in Houston, but it is not the default.

2) Green tea at every meal.  Every meal I had in Japan, I was given green tea.  I had to ask for water when I wanted.  And sodas are available, just not common.  Most of the vending machines do not have coke or pepsi.  You can get various flavors of green tea though.

Compare this to Houston where Coke and Pepsi are the common drinks that are taken with every meal. 

3) Washing hands before every meal.  Every meal I ate in Japan, I got a wash cloth that was meant to clean hands before eating.  This is a very good way to prevent sickness.

Here if you want to wash your hands, you have to go to the restroom and often encounter more germs and dirt than you already had on your hands.

4) Walking every day.  In Tokyo, you are going to walk.  You will walk to the subway, train station, to the bus, etc.  Walking is a way of life.  This little bit of exercies no doubt has a big effect on the health of the population.

Compare that to Houston where you can walk a few feet, get in your car, get food through drive throughs without even getting out, drive to work and have to walk just a few feet to a desk were you will sit all day.

5) No polution.  In my entire 8 days in Tokyo, I do not remember smelling exhaust one time.  There are cars and buses, but not many.  Most people take the train and subway.  These run on electricity.  So, the people riding them are not exposed to polution.  This has got to have a positive effect on health.  Yes, I know a lot of that electricity is produced by polution producing means, but with the electric trains and subways, you can choose to seperate the polution from the people.  This does not happen with cars.

Compare this to Houston where the first smell that greets you at the airport door is that of automobile exhaust.

6) Very clean.  The streets in Tokyo are spotless.  There is no litter.  There are no cigurette buds.  Everything is clean. 

I do not need to comment on this one for you about the way it is in Houston, trash everywhere.

Guys, we need to make better choices.

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