Climbing up Shrine Steps: Shizenha Bio-Hacking

In Japan, Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples are often located on an elevated ground and there are steps leading to them. Because of it, Japanese people end up climbing up steps a lot without intention. I think it is another factor of Japanese longevity.

I find walking up shrine steps a moderate and suitable exercise. While it usually takes several hours to climb a mountain, going up shrine steps takes only 10 to 30 minutes depending on the length of steps. It isn’t too hard and yet it is strenuous enough. It is much harder than regular walking. Steps are quite steep and it is intense to climb them.

I sometimes do HIIT while climbing up steps. I walk up 20 steps and rest for 10 seconds, and repeat this process 8 times.  If there is a shrine or temple with steps nearby you can do this as your daily workout.

Shrines are usually surrounded by many trees and it can be great Shinrinyoku. They are usually located at a power spot with sacred energy, it can be walking meditation.

Once you reach the top of the steps you pray at the shrine. So you don’t just exercise, you get to greet gods and that will bring you good luck. It is a great custom to have if you do it on a regular basis.




The Ikigai Diet: The Secret Japanese Diet to Health and Longevity

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