(RP) You have visited countries all over the world in your main business of trading, working with countries that have various time zones. Do you have your own unique way of managing your physical condition?
(Kojima) Yes. I am 46 years old now, so I pay attention to my own methods and results of physical condition management.
(RP) In addition to your main business, you write books in foreign languages, you are involved in educational activities as an advisor for a student club every week for almost 20 years. You are a trade advisor for local governments and economic organizations, and you do daily running and muscle building, which sounds fulfilling and busy at the same time.
(Kojima) I choose activities that are important to me and work on them as much as I can in my daily life, so I don't feel "busy." But since they all require accumulation and continuation of efforts over a long period of time, I regard my body as the most important asset, and take care of my health, which is the source of everything I do.
(RP) The older we get, the more we realize the simple fact “body is asset”. How do you build up your body, which is your asset?
(Kojima) There is no particularly difficult way to devise it, but if I divide it simply, I try to keep three things in mind: improving stamina, strengthening muscles, and making joints more flexible. And before that, I emphasize "making the body lighter" as a basic condition.
(RP) While all of these are important, weight control is a basic condition, isn't it?
(Kojima) If your body is heavy, you will not be satisfied with exercise itself in the first place, and you will not be able to improve your health. If your body is heavy, you will be tired quickly when you move, you might get injured before you can strengthen your muscles, and you will put extra strain on your joints. When you think about it, feeling "heavy" itself is a simple and important sign. Therefore, I wear clothes in sizes that allow me to immediately recognize changes in my body shape.
(RP) You position the necessary conditions for health in stages, and the first step is to manage your weight, and the next three elements are stamina, muscle strength, and joints. Which of those three do you think is the most important?
(Kojima) I suppose they are all equally important. But in my opinion, if I had to say, I would say stamina. Without stamina, overall exercise performance will suffer and you will not be able to carry out the exercise menu to achieve your health goals.
(RP) I see. Then, what do you do to build that stamina?
(Kojima) I try to improve muscle strength and joint flexibility through daily muscle training and stretching before running. I do not do anything special in this area except these regular exercise. What I focus on in terms of stamina is a score called VO2Max (Volume of maximal oxygen uptake).
(RP) That sounds a technical term. What kind of value is it?
(Kojima) Simply put, it is the capacity of how much oxygen our body can take in at a given time. The higher this number is, the better the blood does its job. The higher the performance of exercise can be maintained, and the greater the body's ability to remove wastes and fatigue from our body.
(RP) So VO2Max is the number that has to do with the cycle in which blood produced by the heart and oxygen taken in by the lungs are delivered throughout the body through the arteries and wastes are removed through the veins.
(Kojima) To be more precise, VO2Max is a numerical value that indicates how much oxygen can be taken in per minute per kilogram of body weight, and the amount of oxygen is measured in milliliters (ml). The number varies from person to person depending on age, gender, body size, and athletic ability. And generally speaking, the higher the VO2Max, the less fatigue you have. And the more oxygen you can supply to your muscles, the longer you can exercise. Or, it takes less time for a quality workout.
Official ambassador and exclusive contract runner of Blut Runners Q
Mr. Naotaka Kojima（Instagram @naotaka_kojima）
Born in Fukuoka Prefecture in 1975, Mr. Naotaka Kojima passed the overseas work exam while a student at Seinan Gakuin University in 1995 and joined a trading company in Malaysia. After returning to Japan, he worked as a business writer and sales planner in a business magazine publishing company in Fukuoka City.
In 2001, he started his own business as an editor and translator, and after working in the business education field, he started his trading business in 2009.
After serving as a director at a medium-sized general contractor in Malaysia, a food trading company in Serbia, and a resource development investment fund in Hong Kong, he has been the managing director of J-Tech Transfer and Trading (export and international technology transfer business) since 2014. He is currently working hard to develop overseas sales channels for small companies in Kyushu and western Japan.
March 2021 "Hitoyoshi Marathon" (half marathon category) 7th/402 runners (1:27:52)
1987 Fukuoka Prefecture Elementary School Athletic Game (Heiwadai Athletic Field), 800m, 8th place/prefecture
1988 Chikushi District Marathon (5km), champion (18:10)
1990 "Tobiume National Athletic Game" torch runner (16:34/5km) *selected from junior high school track and field clubs in the prefecture