How to Exercise in China

You can’t go far in China without coming across people exercising in the outdoors. In fact, it is such a common occurrence that you might begin to notice that there are a few rules that you must adhere to.

  1. You must start exercising the moment you retire and not a moment sooner.
  2. Continue this routine up until the point that there is no possible way of getting one foot in front of the other.  If you are able to take even one step, you must continue exercising.
  3. You must always start with a rigorous stroll on the walking path closest to your home.
  4. Turn on your radio from the 1930s and strap it to your hip. Turn up the volume to it’s highest level.
  5. While you are walking make sure to swing your arms as high as possible, just to the brink of dislocation.
  6. Once you have completed the walking path complete the same path while walking backwards.
  7. Find a location where many people can watch you perform the next part of your regiment.
  8. Begin by clapping your hands in all directions. You missed one. Keep clapping!
  9. Circle your arms in both directions until they begin to feel like jelly.
  10. Now that your arms are warmed up it is important to use as much force possible to smack all body parts. Start with your neck and move downwards.Yes, even there!
  11. Locate the nearest tree.
  12. Throw yourself backwards as hard as you can against this tree. Repeat until you experience shooting pains up and down your spine.
  13.  Rest throughout the day.
  14. When the sun goes down, be sure to find your local grocery store dancing troupe. Join them as they dance the night away.

All humour aside, it is amazing how active the elderly people are here. I just wish they would lower the stress levels for the younger generation so that they could get outside and join in too!

This is of course a generalization, but I really enjoy observing the different routines. They seem to take it so seriously and don’t seem to mind how silly they may appear while they are doing it. I wish I was as self-confident as they seem to be.

6 thoughts on “How to Exercise in China

  1. Hard to believe this is actually true, but if you say so, it must be so. By the way, are they dressed for the arctic? When in California, I notice that the Asian population always has multiple layers on as they are out walking.

  2. I’m laughing out loud here! Who would have thought that there could be such cultural differences in exercise? Thank you so much for sharing this–you made my day!

  3. Love the “how-to” structure. I found myself laughing out loud while reading this piece. It kept getting funnier and funnier. I really enjoyed how you so lovingly poked fun at the elderly in China. You pointed out the extreme in every case. I had to re-read it, simply because it was so enjoyable to read. Thanks so much for sharing! What a great slice written in a unique and creative way. Awesome work!

  4. I’ve never been to China but it does sound like they take their exersize seriously! I kept trying to picture this in my mind and giggling. “Find the nearest tree” hee hee

  5. I found myself giggling as I read your post. You described it perfectly! I wonder if it’s so funny because I’ve seen it in real life or if I would find it funnier as an outsider. Hmmmm

  6. Love this! It reminds me of evening strolls in Shanghai when visiting my daughter. The park was full of blooming music and dancing elders. And then there were the little exercise park, everywhere. Fun post. Nice way to end the day .

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