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Adventures with Alisha

Working Out in China

CHINA | Tuesday, 5 July 2011 | Views [840] | Comments [1]

Yesterday, my host sister and I decided to go "work out" because that's a healthy thing to do no matter where you are in the world.  However, I was flummoxed because I hadn't seen any gyms around and never anyone really running on the streets (there are way too many people and street shops for that).  Anyways, it turns out that everyone goes to the public park and powerwalks.

As soon as I stepped through the entrance, people were everywhere.  I was surprised about how scenic the park really was.  There were Chinese weeping willows everywhere.  A huge lake with self-powered duck boats sailing on the water, authentic Chinese songs floating through the air, groups of people playing ping pong and practicing taichi and dance teams jigging out.  Families with their little kids playing ball and running around in the sand.  Futhermore, there was a path you could take to walk around all these things happening, if you wanted to run or powerwalk.

As soon as we started, I instantly agreed with the atmosphere.  Surprisingly, mostly old people were in the park - walking slowly, though there were some who had headphones on and armbands and legitimate tennis shoes that were powerwalking their way through the crowd.  I spotted a ton of mother-daughter pairs that were walking in 4 inch heels at a leisurely pace - most likely delaying their return to home or trying to be seen in public.  Or maybe I am being cynical and they just enjoy the refreshing walk in a park in dresses and 4 inch heels?

Nevertheless, there were people who were serious about the actual exercising.  For those people, there was a man selling sports wear outside the park on the street (always the best way to make money).  I was really excited after I spotted a couple cement-made Chinese ping pong tables.  As much as I wanted to stop and watch, I knew how serious my host sister was about losing weight, so we kept trucking on.

Ultimately, the walk was great.  My host sister and I made it three times around and then returned home to eat more calories: vanilla ice cream!

Tags: china, exercise, public parks, xian



The women in 4-inch heels probably were working out, or attempting it. I've met a surprising number of Chinese women who tell me that walking or hiking in heels is better for your leg and butt muscles. I also have several Chinese friends who wrap their abdomen in plastic wrap before doing any cardio. Seems to be a trend....

  Nicole Jul 13, 2011 7:20 AM

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