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October 24 – tackle

October 24 – tackle

October 24, 2019 =========

☆  tackle タックルする

============================

One of the useful phrases this week is, “Did you see him tackling the other player?”

You could use this phrase in various ways. Firstly, it could be something that you say to the referee or coach at your kid’s game, when you want to say that the umpire should have stopped it or given a foul.

Another way might be if you are watching a professional game with friends, you might use your intonation to express surprise at the way the player tackled the other player. Or you might use your intonation to express respect because you thought the player tackled well.

What other situations might you useRead more about October 24 – tackle[…]

October 23 – spectate

October 23 – spectate

October 23, 2019 =========

☆  spectate 観戦する

============================

To spectate means to watch an activity, generally a sports event, without taking part. So, for the Olympics next year, there will be lots of people spectating at all of the events. For the triathlon and things like the marathon, will there be places along the course, where you can spectate for free? Or will it all be closed to the public and you need to have a ticket?

My Japanese friend who lives in Adelaide with her Aussie husband said that she wants to go to Japan to spectate and experience the atmosphere of the Olympics. She wants to take her kids, so they can experienceRead more about October 23 – spectate[…]

October 22 – scream

October 22 – scream

October 22, 2019 =========

☆  scream 叫ぶ

============================

One of the useful phrases this week is, “I lost my voice from screaming at the referee!” Ha ha, this reminds me of a great commercial for Ajinomoto stadium from years ago. I wonder if you know it?

In the advert, a young guy has moved to Tokyo to live. He is surprised by all the pretty girls in Tokyo. Then when he hears the girls speak, he is surprised again, because they all have very husky voices. In the end, he meets a girl with a feminine voice, and she explains that she doesn’t go to the soccer games at Ajinomoto stadium.

The final scene is ofRead more about October 22 – scream[…]

October 21 – coach

October 21 – coach

October 21, 2019 =========

☆  coach  指導する

============================

When you coach a person or a team, you help them to become better at a particular sport. Have you ever played a sport and had someone coaching you? Sometimes if you don’t have a good relationship with the person coaching you it can make it really hard to have fun and improve.

When I was young, although I don’t remember the woman who was coaching my netball team, I do remember that we didn’t get along. She never chose me for the team! She was coaching us like she thought we were Olympic athletes! We were just 10-year-old girls!

Luckily, now as a runner, I don’t needRead more about October 21 – coach[…]

October 20 – packed

October 20 – packed

October 20, 2019 =========

☆  packed 満員の

============================

This week’s useful phrase is, “The stadium is packed.” Our local soccer team is Adelaide United, and their home stadium is tiny. It can fit 15,000 people maximum. It’s great for watching soccer, because you are so close to the pitch. But, even at a busy popular game, there is only about 8 or 9,000 people there. So, yes, you could definitely not say that it was packed! Ha ha.

How about at sporting events in Japan? Are the arenas and stadiums usually packed for things like baseball and soccer? Or does it depend on the team? I guess the Olympics will sell out of tickets, right?Read more about October 20 – packed[…]

October 19 – visionary

October 19 – visionary

October 19, 2019 =========

☆  visionary 先見の明がある

============================

A visionary is someone who has strong, original ideas about how things could be different in the future, in particular, about how things might be improved. I’m not sure who you could describe as visionary in the topic of sports… Do you?

I think the people who originally thought of the game or sport, and the rule makers would definitely have to be considered visionary. But, how about the athletes themselves? Is there anyone in Japan that comes to mind, that you feel is a visionary?

In commonwealth countries, cricket is very popular. The game of cricket has not really changed, but there have been new styles ofRead more about October 19 – visionary[…]

October 18 – gripping

October 18 – gripping

October 18, 2019 =========

☆  gripping 人の心をつかむ

============================

Something that is gripping is fascinating, compelling, engrossing, riveting, spellbinding, thrilling, enthralling, and exciting! So many words to choose from!

This week, there is a useful phrase, “What a gripping finish!” When might you use this kind of sentence? You might use it if you are watching the marathon event at the Olympics, and there are two or three runners that are in the lead and keep changing positions from first, second, or third.

Or it might describe a team sport, where there is not much time left and the score is even, for example in soccer, the penalty shootout to decide the winner, is especially gripping! It’sRead more about October 18 – gripping[…]

October 17 – engaging

October 17 – engaging

October 17, 2019 =========

☆  engaging  魅力的な

============================

An engaging person or thing is interesting and entertaining. As I mentioned, my kids love to watch YouTube videos of other people playing soccer and doing tricks. For them, it is completely engaging, and they find it hard to stop watching when I ask them to!

For me, though, I’m not much of a fan of watching sport. I don’t really find many sports that engaging. I much prefer to be playing the sport instead of watching it. One sport I do find engaging to watch though, is the marathon in the Olympics. It’s so amazing to me how fast they can run, and they make itRead more about October 17 – engaging[…]

October 16 – legendary

October 16 – legendary

October 16, 2019 =========

☆  legendary 伝説的な

============================

If you describe someone as legendary, you mean that they are famous and there are many stories told about them. Are there any Japanese athletes that could be described as legendary? Perhaps Ichiro? And definitely within Japan, some Sumo wrestlers would be considered legendary, right?

In Australia, cricket is a popular sport, and Don Bradman is one of the most famous players ever. In fact, he is described as the “greatest batsman of all time.” He is legendary, without a doubt, and even though he died in 2001 at age 92, many of his batting records are still unbeaten!

Is there anyone with that kind of legendary statusRead more about October 16 – legendary[…]

October 15 – brilliant

October 15 – brilliant

October 15, 2019 =========

☆  brilliant  素晴らしい

============================

In sport, a play or performance, or person that is brilliant is extremely clever or skillful. You could say something like, “Nagatomo is a brilliant soccer player.” Or, “Did you see that serve? It was brilliant!” Or, “She deserved to win after such a brilliant performance.”

These days, my kids love watching YouTube videos of other people performing soccer skills. Some of the people are brilliant, and yet they look like ordinary people, as opposed to professional athletes. There are even videos of young kids doing brilliant tricks with the soccer ball. It’s amazing to watch. I wonder if people are getting more and more skillful becauseRead more about October 15 – brilliant[…]

October 14 – inspiring

October 14 – inspiring

October 14, 2019 =========

☆  inspiring 奮い立たせる

============================

I think athletes are very inspiring, don’t you? Although, I think a lot of them are paid waaaaay too much money for their salary!! Obviously, there is a reason why they are earning so much just for playing sport – they are champions at the sport, the best of the best and that is very inspiring to watch.

This week, we have a quote from Billie Jean King, American tennis player, says, “Champions keep playing until they get it right.” I think this is what makes athletes inspiring. The real champions are the ones that just keep going and going, until they get it right – whetherRead more about October 14 – inspiring[…]

October 13 – perform

October 13 – perform

October 13, 2019 =========

☆  perform  行う

============================

Today’s word is interesting, because it is not often used before an event. An aggressive coach might say, “Get out there and perform!” before a game. However, it’s more likely to be used after a game in this way:

You performed really well, today, I’m proud of you.
You guys didn’t perform as a team today, what’s going on?

And of course, a good coach would use it during the break time or time out, to coach their team to keep performing well, and win the game. Or if the team is performing badly, the coach will give them pointers and advice on how they can perform better inRead more about October 13 – perform[…]

October 12 – draw

October 12 – draw

October 12, 2019 =========

☆  draw 引き分けになる

============================

This is actually mainly a British word, but it’s the word I always use. It means that in a game or competition, if one person draws with another, or if two teams draw, they have the same number of points or goals at the end of the game.

Do you know the American word for the same meaning? In America, they tend to say, “tie.” Here are some examples:

England and France drew one-one.
They drew with Ireland in the first game.
The two teams tied, and it went into a penalty shootout.
I couldn’t believe it that both teams were tied for first place!

Of course, in the Olympics, tying orRead more about October 12 – draw[…]

October 11 – defend

October 11 – defend

October 11, 2019 =========

☆  defend 守る

============================

In sports, you can use the word “defend” in two ways. Firstly, an athlete who has previously won an event, will be defending their title, the next time the play that event. You will often hear this in tennis, for example, when players defend their titles. Last July, the news report from Wimbledon was, “Novak Djokovic defends Wimbledon title in five-set thriller.”

Secondly, you can use it to talk about what a player is doing. For example, “The goal went in, because there was no one defending or helping the goal keeper!” Or “You are good at defending, so I want you to play in the secondRead more about October 11 – defend[…]

October 10 – compete

October 10 – compete

October 10, 2019    =========

☆  compete 競争する

============================

If you compete in a contest or game, you take part in it. So, “The athletes will be competing in the Olympics next year” is a simple example of how to use this word. The hard thing for the athletes though is that they have to compete against their team mates if they want to be on the Olympic team.

For Japan, as the host nation, I guess it will be easier to send many athletes to compete in the games. It will cost a lot less money, right? Whereas, in Australia, there is not a lot of budget to use to send athletes to theRead more about October 10 – compete[…]

October 9 – beat

October 9 – beat

October 9, 2019   =========

☆  beat 打ち負かす

============================

In sports, if you beat someone, you defeat them and you win the game or completion. This week, there is a useful phrase: “I don’t’ think they’ll beat them.” We were saying this about my son’s soccer team quite a bit this season! Not because we didn’t think his team was any good, but because they were younger kids playing in an older league.

So, all the other teams were bigger and stronger and had one more year of experience. Naturally we thought it would be unusual for them to beat the other teams. However, they proved us wrong! They didn’t beat the teams in theRead more about October 9 – beat[…]

October 8 – root for

October 8 – root for

October 8, 2019      =========

☆  root for 応援する

============================

If you are rooting for someone, it means you are cheering them on. You are supporting them while they are doing something difficult or trying to win a game. Rooting for someone is basically the informal way of saying cheer someone on.

However, cheer on is usually only used for sports. On the other hand, you can use root for in many different situations. For example, if someone you know is trying to get a new job and has an interview, you might say, “Good luck, I’ll be rooting for you.” Or if you are watching a movie, you might be rooting for one ofRead more about October 8 – root for[…]

October 7 – cheer on

October 7 – cheer on

October 7, 2019 =========

☆  cheer on 声援を送る

============================

When you cheer someone on, you shout loudly in order to encourage them. Who will you be cheering on during the Olympics next year?

In the swimming, hopefully Kyle Chalmers, the Australian swimmer will be taking part. He won a couple of gold medals in 2016. I’ll be cheering him on for sure – his swim club is just a 10-minute walk from my house! Earlier in the year, there was a swimming event held at the center, and we went to see him swim and cheer him and the other swimmers on. They are so fast!

Bye,

Chris

October 6 – course

October 6 – course

October 6, 2019 =========

☆  course コース

============================

In sport, a course is an area of land where races are held. For example, the marathon course refers to the route and the land where the runners will race. Some other examples:

The Tour de Frances is a course of over 2,000 miles.
Tom is currently in fourth position on the Boston (marathon) course.
What part of the marathon course do you like the best?

It can also refer to a golf course, too. Will the Tokyo Olympics have a golf course? Where will it be? Golf has been included again since 2016, right? I’d like to know where the course in Tokyo will be – many people willRead more about October 6 – course[…]

October 5 – position

October 5 – position

October 5, 2019 =========

☆  position ポジション

============================

On the topic of sports, there are a couple of ways you can use the word, position. Firstly, it can describe the position you are in relation to other players. For example, in the grand prix, Honda is currently in ninth position. Or in tennis, Sampras is hoping to win the world No. 1 position.

It can also mean the place or location where you are watching the sport from. For example, I got to the game early, to get a good spot / position to see all the action.

And finally, it is used to describe your place in the team, you might be the goal keeper,Read more about October 5 – position[…]

October 4 – arena

October 4 – arena

October 4, 2019 =========

☆  arena 競技場

============================

An arena is a place where sports, entertainment, and other public events take place. It can also be a called a stadium. So, what is happening for the Olympics next year? Are they building a new arena? I haven’t really followed the developments that much, so I’m not sure what is being planned.

I just looked on Wikipedia, and it says the old arena was demolished, and a new one is being built and almost finished. Is that right?? Wow, that’s a big thing to do for a one-time event! Obviously, the plan is to use the arena for lots of other events, right, but Wikipedia saysRead more about October 4 – arena[…]

October 3 – talent

October 3 – talent

October 3, 2019          =========

☆  talent 才能

============================

One of the useful phrases this week is, “He’s got such a lot of talent.” Who might say this? When might they say it? If you are watching the high school baseball on TV in Japan, you might say it about one of the young players. I know that the Koushien attracts young players with a lot of talent, many hoping to play professionally.

A coach might say it to a parent, in fact, they might use it to imply that he has a lot of talent, but he is wasting his talent. The child might not be training at home, or might not be focusingRead more about October 3 – talent[…]

October 2 – opponent

October 2 – opponent

October 2, 2019      =========

☆  opponent  対戦相手

============================

In a sporting event, your opponent is the person or team you are playing against. I think that’s one of the reasons I like running – the only real opponent is me! Did I run better than yesterday? Am I running better or faster or stronger than me a few weeks or months ago? And, even if the answer is no, I’m a pretty friendly opponent, and don’t get mad at myself. Ha ha.

In my son’s soccer games, though, it’s much more important! His coach checks out who the opponent will be each week, and gets ideas and tips on how to win against differentRead more about October 2 – opponent[…]

October 1 – awe

October 1 – awe

October 1, 2019     =========

☆  awe 畏敬の念

============================

This month, we are looking at the topic of, “Sports is entertainment” … by this time next year, the Tokyo Olympics will have finished. I wonder how they will go?! I know that I will be in awe of all the Olympians and volunteers and spectators that take part during such a hot time of year!

Awe is a feeling of respect and amazement that you have when you are facing something wonderful (and sometimes even something frightening.) It’s a feeling of wonder, admiration, astonishment, respect, and even sometimes fear. I know that the feeling of awe at the marathon runners in Tokyo summer, might definitelyRead more about October 1 – awe[…]

September 30 – alfresco

September 30 – alfresco

September 30, 2019 =========

☆  alfresco  野外の

============================

And, we’ve come to our final day, and the Q&A for the month and topic of Spending time outdoors. Our question is, “Do you like to dine alfresco?”

I love it. A BBQ with friends, or a coffee outside the café people watching. And some of my favorite memories of living in Japan are of the yakitori shop Iseya in Kichijoji. Actually, the seating is all inside, but you can get takeaway and go to Inokashira park and picnic! Perfect alfresco dining!

So, what is your answer? Do you like to dine alfresco?

Bye,

Chris

September 29 – underestimate

September 29 – underestimate

September 29, 2019 =========

☆  underestimate  軽く見る

============================

When you underestimate something, you do not realize how large or great it is or will be. This verb is often used together with “never” as in “never underestimate…” For example, “Never underestimate what you can do / achieve.” Or, “Never underestimate the benefit of 10 minutes of exercise each day.”

Of course, you can also use it without “never.” Some examples are:

I underestimated how long the run would take me.
She underestimated the elevation in the hike.
I think I underestimated his ability!

Bye,

Chris

 

September 28 – relax

September 28 – relax

September 28, 2019 =========

☆  relax  リラックスする

============================

Do you prefer to relax indoors or outdoors? I love going to the park, and picnicking with friends. However, with young kids running around, it’s hard to actually relax, because we need to watch them and make sure they don’t hurt themselves.

On the other hand, I know my house is pretty safe for kids, so when we have people over for a BBQ in our backyard, it’s much easier to relax and enjoy myself. I know the kids are safe, and they are playing with each other.

How about you? What is your favorite way to relax? Indoors or outdoors?

Bye,

Chris

September 27 – picnic

September 27 – picnic

September 27, 2019 =========

☆  picnic ピクニックに行く

============================

Now, I know you are familiar with this word as a noun, as in let’s have A picnic. However, did you know, it can also be used as a verb? One of the useful phrases this week is, “We should picnic more often, it’s fun!”

Here are a couple more examples:

Afterwards, we picnicked at the beach.
It is a perfect day for picnicking!

Of course, you could just use the word picnic as a noun, for example, “We should have picnics more often, it’s fun!” but why not try using it as a verb instead?

Bye,

Chris

September 26 – exercise

September 26 – exercise

September 26, 2019 =========

☆  exercise  運動をする

============================

I think if you are someone that loves to exercise, then you are very lucky! I like running, in fact most of the time, I love running. Despite this, it’s easy to stop exercising as soon as life gets busy. As you know, I’m training for a marathon, so I really should be exercising a lot… but some days, it’s just too hard! Luckily, I exercised yesterday! Phew!

So, how about you? Do you exercise? Do you like to exercise? Do you schedule it in your calendar and make sure you never miss a workout? Or are you more like me, and sometimes let life get inRead more about September 26 – exercise[…]

September 25 – sweat

September 25 – sweat

September 25, 2019 =========

☆  sweat 汗をかく

============================

Ha ha, I just came back from an early morning run, and boy am I sweating now! How is the weather in Japan at the moment? In Adelaide, it’s still early spring, so there are cool days and warm days, but even in the cool morning, going for a run means you will sweat a lot.

As always, there’s lots of research about sweating and sweat. Is it good for you? If so, should you sit in a sauna for hours every day? Or is exercising enough? I don’t the answers, but I do know that I have sweated enough for this morning and it is timeRead more about September 25 – sweat[…]

September 24 – check out

September 24 – check out

September 24, 2019 =========

☆  check out 調べる

============================

One of the useful phrases this week is, “Do you want to check out the new running path with me?” This is a phrase I have used both in Japan and now in Australia. Actually, I probably said, “a new running path” rather than “the” … do you understand the difference?

“the new running path” would refer to a path that both me and my friend knew about. It would also be talking about a new path, as in a path that has been recently built. In this situation, it’s probably a new local running path.

On the other hand, “a new running path” could be anyRead more about September 24 – check out[…]

September 23 – schedule

September 23 – schedule

September 23, 2019 =========

☆  schedule  計画を立てる

============================

The most common reason for not exercising is, “I’m too busy.” Right? The best way to combat this excuse is to schedule in your daily exercise, right? Have you ever tried that? I know that I need to schedule running into my day in order to find the time to do it, but I never used to actually schedule it. I would “think”

My next running goal is a marathon, so I need to schedule a lot of runs! Some long ones, some short ones, some fast ones, and some hilly ones. I have scheduled all the runs into a calendar, and have been following it forRead more about September 23 – schedule[…]

September 22 – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

September 22 – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

 

September 22, 2019 =========

☆  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)  季節性感情障害

============================

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that is related to the changes in the seasons. It starts and ends at the same time each year. For most people, it starts in autumn, and continues through winter. If you are suffering from SAD, you might feel depressed and moody, and have no energy.

In the past, this Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) used to be thought of as just the “winter blues”, and most people felt like they didn’t need to or shouldn’t go to the doctor. However, now that it is more commonly known, more people go to the doctor for help.Read more about September 22 – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)[…]

September 21 – green exercise

September 21 – green exercise

September 21, 2019 =========

☆  green exercise 自然の元での運動

============================

Green exercise is the kind of exercise you do when you are out in a natural environment. So, it doesn’t mean running through the streets of a big city, but rather running along paths and trails (or walking and hiking of course!) in green areas, where there is a lot of nature. Green exercise is supposed to have the positive effects of reducing stress and mental fatigue.

Blue exercise has recently become popular too. Blue exercise refers to physical activity that is close to water. Exercising near water can help with anxiety, stress and even help you sleep better.

So, if you are feeling stressed, go forRead more about September 21 – green exercise[…]

September 20 – healing

September 20 – healing

September 20, 2019 =========

☆  healing 治療

============================

Healing (noun) is the process of becoming healthy again. It could mean the healing process of a simple cut or graze from falling, or it could be the healing needed for a more serious injury, such as a broken bone. Or, it can also be used to refer to the healing that someone goes through when a bad situation ends or starts to improve.

Here are some example sentences:

This herb is used because of its healing powers.
Get enough sleep to promote healing.
The healing process is going to take a long time.
Cover the wound with new gauze each morning.

Can you use healing in a sentence?

Bye,

Chris

September 19 – wellness

September 19 – wellness

September 19, 2019 =========

☆  wellness 健康

============================

Your wellness is how healthy you are, and how well and happy you feel. Here are some examples of how it is used:

The university has established a wellness program for its students.
We need to promote health and wellness.
I try to maintain wellness by eating healthily and exercising often.
She has started going to her local community wellness center.

More and more people are focusing on mental and physical wellness, and the industry is now $4.2 trillion dollars apparently! That sounds like a crazy amount of money, but at least it is money being used to make us healthier!

Bye,

Chris

September 18 – stress

September 18 – stress

September 18, 2019 =========

☆  stress ストレス

============================

So, I have a question for you today. Why is “stress” written in Katakana? Is there an actual word in Japanese (hiragana or kanji) that means stress? Is there some way that it is decided, “Oh, this word should be in Katakana” or “this word should be in hiragana.”?

Or, maybe Japanese people never felt stress until the met English speaking people?! Ha ha! 

If you don’t know the answer, no need to feel stress! I won’t mind. It’s just that I couldn’t find the answer on Google, so I thought I’d check in here with you guys.

Bye,

Chris

September 17 – exertion

September 17 – exertion

September 17, 2019 =========

☆  exertion 大変な努力

============================

If you exert yourself (a verb) you work physically (or mentally) hard to do something. So, exertion is the noun of this meaning effort, exercise, strain, and struggle for example.

Continuing on from yesterday, about cortisol, when you put in a lot of physical exertion in exercise, the body produces cortisol. So, you might here doctors say, “Exercise, but not too much.” What they mean by that is there is a good level of exertion that will allow your body to be fit and healthy, but not produce too much cortisol.

I’m trying to run more regularly, but without too much exertion, so that I can run longerRead more about September 17 – exertion[…]

September 16 – cortisol

September 16 – cortisol

September 16, 2019 =========

☆  cortisol (ホルモンの一種)コルチゾール

============================

As you probably know, cortisol is a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands in the body. It helps us deal with stressful situations, however, when the level of cortisol in our body stays too high for too long, we can have problems, such as memory loss, tiredness, weight gain, and of course, a feeling of high stress.

Interestingly, some studies have found that cortisol decreases after an activity outdoors. The research showed that people had less cortisol in their system after gardening outdoors, compared to the people who were reading a book indoors. I think this is interesting, because I love reading books, so that wouldRead more about September 16 – cortisol[…]

September 15 – explore

September 15 – explore

September 15, 2019 =========

☆  explore 探検する

============================

As adults, we probably don’t really “play” in nature, as I said the other day. However, I definitely spend time exploring outdoors, how about you?

One way to explore outdoors is to go on a “Nature Scavenger Hunt.” Have you ever heard of this idea? Basically, you go hunting for things in nature. They can be simple things like a flower, butterfly, something straight, something round and so on. Or you can make it more difficult, and look for things that are harder to find, like certain animals or insects.

The idea is to get the kids exploring outdoors and having fun. It doesn’t just have to beRead more about September 15 – explore[…]

September 14 – immerse

September 14 – immerse

September 14, 2019 =========

☆  immerse 熱中させる

============================

One of the useful phrases this week is, “Immerse yourself in nature.”

Recently, they started a Community Garden at the oval near our house. This means everyone in the community can come and help grow things like vegetables, herbs and fruits. If you want to join, it’s only $10 a year to be a member, and you can join in and help grow things, and just immerse yourself in gardening whenever you want. And of course, when all the fruits and veggies grow, they are yours to share with other members.

It’s a fantastic idea, adults make friends in the community, and kids get to immerse themselves inRead more about September 14 – immerse[…]

September 13 – alleviate

September 13 – alleviate

September 13, 2019 =========

☆  alleviate (病気などを)癒す

============================

Being and playing outdoors has many benefits. One of which is that it alleviates stress. Research all the way back in 2003, showed that being in nature, or being surrounded by many natural play areas alleviates stress in children. (Research by Wells & Evans, 2003).

I’m sure that being outdoors in nature can help alleviate stress in adults, too. In fact, we often talk about green therapy, which basically means getting outdoors in nature and surrounding yourself with greenery. This kind of “therapy” has been shown to alleviate depression. Even just a 20-minute walk outdoors in a green space can alleviate depression and a lack of focus…Read more about September 13 – alleviate[…]

September 12 – play

September 12 – play

September 12, 2019 =========

☆  play  遊ぶ

============================

Most of the time when we talk about playing outdoors, we are talking about children. Kids play outside, doing unstructured things like I mentioned yesterday, climbing trees, jumping over things, picking up sticks and stones to look at or play pretend sword fights with.

Unfortunately, as we get older, we don’t really tend to play in nature anymore. We do things outdoors, but they are usually structured, or organized, like skiing, or hiking, playing tennis. All of these are great fun and good for us, of course, but what about just being in nature, without anything to play or do… can you do that? I’m not sureRead more about September 12 – play[…]

September 11 – promote

September 11 – promote

September 11, 2019 =========

☆  promote 促進する

============================

On a parenting website in Australia, they promote that children aged 0 – 8 years old, should be playing outdoors several times a day. This could something simple like playing in the garden, or at a playground, climbing trees, playing in the sand and water or mud. Older kids can go on nature walks or even build cubbyhouses. Even at elementary school, the teachers promote getting outdoors and running around and having fun.

I wonder why we stop promoting the outdoors and getting outside for teenagers and adults? Teenagers are prone to stress, with so much study to do, so getting outdoors would help with that. AndRead more about September 11 – promote[…]

September 10 – optimize

September 10 – optimize

September 10, 2019    =========

☆  optimize  最適化する

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To optimize something means to get as much advantage or benefit from it as you can, or to improve something so that it runs more smoothly and efficiently. So, for example you could talk about optimizing your health by drinking juice only, or cutting out sugar, or eating less carbohydrates and so on. There are so many different systems and fads out there to “help” you optimize your health or your weight loss.

Or, you might optimize your exercise routine, by running outdoors rather than on a treadmill, so that you can get the benefit from wind and weather, and the natural ups and downs ofRead more about September 10 – optimize[…]

September 9 – heighten

September 9 – heighten

September 9, 2019   =========

☆  heighten  高める

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If something heightens a feeling, or a feeling heightens, the feeling increases in degree or intensity. It is often used in negative situations, such as “The tragedy has heightened our awareness of the need for improved safety measures.” Or “The tension between the two groups has heightened.”

However, you can use it in a positive way, too. For example, “Being out in nature heightens my senses and I can really smell the fresh air.” Or, “When I close my eyes, I can really heighten my hearing.” And even meditation, many people say that focusing on their breath and slowing it right down, can heighten all theirRead more about September 9 – heighten[…]

September 8 – vigorous

September 8 – vigorous

September 8, 2019      =========

☆  vigorous  活気のある

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One of the useful phrases this week is, “Vigorous activity each day is good for our health.” Some examples of vigorous activity are running, jogging, swimming laps, tennis, bicycle riding, jumping rope and hiking uphill.

These days, a lot of people wear the activity trackers, the ones with heart rate monitors can also track the intensity, so you know whether it is moderate or vigorous. The Mayo Clinic in the US, suggests that 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous activity is good, but if you really want to improve your fitness, aim for 300 minutes!!

I wish I could do 300 minutes weekly, but itRead more about September 8 – vigorous[…]

September 7 – rugged

September 7 – rugged

September 7, 2019 =========

☆  rugged  でこぼこの

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Rugged is used to describe a place where the land is uneven and covered with rocks, without many trees or plants. I remember climbing Mt. Fuji and the way up was actually OK. Hard word, but OK and I felt like I could do it.

The way back down was crazy! The path was so rugged, with the volcanic rocks, it was hard to grip and I felt like I was going to slide all the way to the bottom! Trying to grip onto such a rugged landscape was really hard work for my legs. All of the pain and muscle aches I felt were fromRead more about September 7 – rugged[…]

September 6 – fresh

September 6 – fresh

September 6, 2019 =========

☆  fresh  新鮮な

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One of the great things about living close to the beach is that there is generally a fresh sea breeze coming in, so the air smells clean. One of my favorite times in Tokyo for smelling fresh air was right after a typhoon. The sky was always so clear and the air was so fresh and clean! Is that still true?

Near our house, there is a big oval where they play football and soccer. Some mornings, when it has been very cold at night, the air smells like a forest! The grass gives the air a fresh grassy smell. It’s hard to describe, but even thoughRead more about September 6 – fresh[…]

September 5 – active

September 5 – active

September 5, 2019 =========

☆  active  活動的な

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If you are an active person, it means that you do a lot of things. We often hear that it is important to be active to lead a long and healthy life. You might describe someone who is active as energetic or lively or even busy, but busy in a good way – not just busy with going to work every day.

These days, most of us do desk work or have jobs that require us to sit down, rather than be active. The opposite of someone who is active, is someone who is sedentary. A sedentary lifestyle is one where you are sitting down a lotRead more about September 5 – active[…]