RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- Spend minutes a day exercising at your desk and you can improve your alignment and core, says a Ridgewood fitness enthusiast, who founded a new technique based on a Japanese tradition.
JobuFIT was created by Alessa Caridi, 30, in 2013 after she lived in Okinawa, Japan for three years with her husband, a Captain in the US Marines.
"There were speakers on the poles outside and at the same time everyday music played and people of all ages stopped what they're doing and exercised," the mother of one said.
The moves were simple, circular motions, nothing too difficult, she said of the 18-minute ritual.
"It’s like a stretch and awakening routine. To see it is very cool."
Radio workouts or "taiso" as they as known in Japan, date to the 1920s and were intended to promote health and well-being.
When she and her husband returned to Ridgewood, she decided to choreograph the Japanese "radio workouts" into something busy Americans could do at their desks.
A certified IM=X Pilates instructor, artist, and dance technician, she put her training to work and developed the subscription-based JobuFIT.
"Jobu" translates from Japanese to English as "solid and strong," Caridi said.
She originally developed an 18-minute head to toe cubicle workout that wouldn't cause a sweat.
"People in test markets said it was too long," she said.
Back to drawing board, she reduced the workouts to 10 minutes long, concentrating on various sections of the body.
"It was still too long. Americans really don't like to take time out of their workday. They don't realize taking the break will make them more productive," she said.
The magic length ended up being a workout six-eight minutes long.
"I only work on one body part at a time," she said.
Subscribers get an upper body routine one week and a lower body workout the next.
Each session is designed to,
- be sweat-free
- work on good posture and alignment
- build muscle tone
- stretch muscles
- help with productivity
"I tell people to do this (JobuFIT) instead of reaching for an afternoon snack. It prevents that sugar crash."
The library is rotated every four months so people don't get bored by the routine; feedback has been positive, Caridi said.
She tapes new workouts every three months and the rest of the time she spends at speaking engagements at places like Manhattan's Princeton Club.
Her goal is to continue to build membership by introducing the concept of exercise as a matter of lifestyle.
"Fitness should be incorporated into your daily life. It's good injury prevention for normal wear and tear on the body.
"JobuFIT can be done anywhere. It’s about creating healthy habits where you can't control the environment you’re in," she said.