Radio Taiso is an exercise routine that anyone can follow, broadcast every morning at 6:30 am on the Japanese public station NHK Radio 1. It is also referred to as Rajio Taiso and Radio Calisthenics and has become a morning routine for many people in Japan and around the world.
Radio calisthenics was first broadcast nationwide in 1929. Its purpose was to promote social happiness as a byproduct of maintaining and improving the health of its citizens. These exercises were to be easy and accessible for people of all ages and that could be performed anywhere. The current radio exercise No. 1 has been ongoing since 1951. An excellent timeline is available here, use Google translate to read the information in your language.
- Designed for anyone and for any age
- Movements are gentle and easily picked up - there are many videos available to follow (see below)
- Movements are cued to music
- Only takes up 3 minutes of your day
- No equipment is required
- It is performed while standing up, but you can modify the movements if seated
- Can be done anywhere, all you need is a small space
- Can be done alone or with a big group
- A great way to start the day
- Promotes physical movement, camaraderie and wellness
- It is fun and the music and movements will grow on you!
- "The Japanese Morning Exercise Routine - Rajio-Taiso" from JapanKuru
- "Wake up, hike out, tune in, move it" from Japan Times
- "Expo 58: Don’t stop moving" from Monocle magazine
- "Radio Calisthenics: Japan’s easy secret to keeping fit" from The Bridge
- "Japan’s Self-Defense Forces take “radio calisthenics” to an interesting new level" from Soranews24
- "Cultural exercise: Japan radio taiso" from Michigan State University Extension
I first became aware of a daily morning exercise routine when I was a little kid. It was while watching the Michael Keaton film "Gung Ho," and the Japanese leadership liaisons attempted to get all the workers to do some group exercises (movie clip here). While it wasn't exactly "Radio Taiso" with the music, it still served the same concept. I think that morning stretching and movement, whether at home or to start your work day, allows you to get off on the right foot and can really help with your overall wellness. I have been doing the first 3-minute Radio Taiso program with my students everyday for the past three years, and it is part of our morning routine and we call it "AM Stretch." I really enjoy these exercises and believe that anyone can benefit from it, and that's why I set up this web site. So please come back here every day and enjoy the videos, join our online Facebook community, or Zoom in on our upcoming weekly Radio Taiso stream. Thanks for stopping by!
Events – Where can I find public Radio Taiso gatherings?
Radio Taiso Introductory Overview and Explanation, courtesy of the Japan-America Society of Dallas-Fort Worth
Our latest Radio Taiso on location