Morning Exercises, Beijing
Being an American with a large gut and a penhant for loving room service, I was quite surprised to see the amount of exercise that occured on a daily basis around Beijing. The photo I have posted here is of morning Tai Chi being done (by two groups) at an office next to the hotel I stayed at.
But it wasn't just there. It was everywhere. I couldn't sleep well, so I would go to a nearby park at sunrise. There were large groups in the park as well. I am lazy, so I was very happy to watch them exercise each morning while I tried to figure out why bacon in Asia tasted different from the bacon at home.
Needless to say, in the morning, you can find people doing Tai Chi almost anywhere. Some of the hotels even have their employees do it. I was told by the people at the Gloria Plaza that they could find someone to assist me in learning it while I was there, but I declined (see the reasons listed above.) Still, it is low impact, but highly beneficial. If you plan on staying in Beijing for a long period of time (long enough to learn the moves) I would highly reccomend it as a good source of exercise. First, because in the morning the haze and the heat are less and it is just easier to breathe, and second because it seems like it would be a good way to meet the locals and learn about the culture.
As we drove through the congested streets of Beijing during the morning rush , I couldn't help but notice the locals , of all ages out taking their morning excercise. Every little available space it seemed would be used for Thai Chi or other types of activity!!
Mike enjoys playing JIAN with people. The Chinese are always amazed to watch him since he does all sorts of tricks. They clap and cheer him on.
A jian has long stiff feathers which are attached to a stack (1cm) of small cardboard disks. People play in the park or anywhere they can find space. You will see people of all ages playing. They usually play in a circle and it's passed from person to person.
Yeah I haven't quite got the hang of it yet :)
Some people come to Taoranting Park to learn to dance to the music of a cassette player.
Along with cuisine and landscaping, the art of acrobatics place the Chinese culture in a niche of its own. I watched this group go through its complex balancing routines for two hours without a single mishap. It's amazing that not one of these 54 spinning plates would fall. The odds are just against it!
Recently, the government mandated a 5-day workweek. Most Chinese now work Monday through Friday. The workday begins about 9 a.m., sometimes later, enabling thousands of Beijingers to do their morning exercises. The parks fill up with locals performing traditional tai chi or chi gong and sometimes even Western ballroom dancing. On the corner of the street of Jinghua hotel (see my accomodation tips) we saw ballroom dancing a few nights. They set up a stereo and people just start dancing in front of the restaurants. No one seems to mind being watched.
Like what I've Said, senior citizens of Beijing Never had it so easy that after retiring at 55 years old, they are well taken care of by the government and provided with sustainable needs that they have so much free time to do that they usually congregate at public parks around the Beijing Area and do many kinds of activities like playing Chinese Checkers, Singing, Dancing, Tai Chi, Card Games and many more. You can see them at the public parks around especially in the huge Temple of Heaven Area of Beijing.
Senior Citizens enjoy a good life in China since they retire early at 55 years old and since there is socialized health insurance and benefits, they are taken care of with free hospitalizations and medicines and also free entrance to public parks hence you can see many senior citizens of beijing just dancing or exercising at the various public parks around the city and the best is that the government gives them monthly living stipend so what you see are happy senior citizens dancing in parks here!
It's rather common place to see in the morning people exercising in parks or even on the street.
From what I saw these days, chinese people love the physical activity, beeing outside.
Whether is tai chi, other kind of sports that I don't know the name or just dancing, you can see them all over the place. Just go to a park early in the morning.
I took the picture on Sunday morning in the Temple of Heaven park.
In the mornings, people exercising in the park. So don't be surprised if you see people doing flag dances, group sing-alongs, kick boxing and tai chi.