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For nearly 100 years, people of all ages in Japan have practiced a simple mobility routine. It’s called Radio Taiso, or radio exercises—and it takes just five minutes to complete.

If you spend time in Japan, you’ll notice groups coming together in outdoor parks to practice Radio Taiso in the morning or office workers practicing after lunch to aid in digestion.

“In Japan, everybody knows about Radio Taiso because we needed to do it every day in school,” says Kumiko Kanayama, Shiatsu Grandmaster and founder of The Five Lights Center of Shiatsu. “Beyond school, it’s broadcast on the public national TV station and radio. Many large companies organize their own Radio Taiso every day, so everyone exercises together at the office.”

For many in Japan, it’s not just about exercise, but also about coming together as a community.

“When I go back to Japan every summer, I go to the park each morning because there’s Radio Taiso,” Kanayama says. “I see people who are in their 80s or 90s exercising—and they’re strong and healthy because they leave the house, exercise, and meet people.”

That said, you don’t need to live in Japan or be a specific age to experience the benefits of Radio Taiso for yourself. Here’s how Radio Taiso originated, the benefits of the practice, and how to try it at home.

What is Radio Taiso, exactly?

The Japanese practice of Radio Taiso was originally inspired by morning exercises broadcast by the U.S. insurance firm Metropolitan Life, according to the Japan America Society of Houston. In November 1928, Japan launched the National Health Exercise Program (which was a precursor to Radio Taiso) to honor Emperor Hirohito’s formal ascension to the throne.

In 1951, it started being broadcast on public radio and has continued to air every day at 6:30 a.m. (and several more times throughout the day). In a 2003 survey, more than 27 million people said they took part in morning calisthenics more than two times per week, per the Japan America Society of Houston.

Since Radio Taiso launched, it has barely changed, though it was banned for a while after World War II due to its association with militarism, per The Guardian. Construction, factory, and office workers all partake in the practice—and in fact, the 10,000 employees of Tokyo’s metropolitan government are urged to practice it every weekday.

Although it’s so widely practiced throughout Japan, many in the United States are not familiar with it. Alessa Caridi, founder of JōbuFIT (a workplace wellness program modeled after Radio Taiso), attributes part of this to cultural differences between the East and the West.

“A few years back, I created a 12-minute movement routine that was very reminiscent of Japanese routines, but with more of a base in alignment and Pilates,” Caridi says. “When I started shopping it around 15 different offices in New York, they all loved the idea, but hated that they had to do the same thing every time.”

Repetition is a key part of Radio Taiso. While the practice is short, it incorporates iconic moves like raising your arms above your head and bringing them back down. Although Caridi has since shifted her offerings to fit more into a Western mindset, she notes that repetition is important for achieving excellence in many forms of exercise—from dance to Radio Taiso.

What are the benefits of Radio Taiso?

In the book Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, authors Héctor García and Francesc Miralles spoke to 100 of the oldest people in Okinawa, Japan. This

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