I was up early on Sunday morning last week in Beijing, so I decided to ride around on my trusty-ish bike, looking for whatever I could find. Aside from the boys wandering out of Beijing’s major gay club Destination at the early hours of the morning, I also happened across a gym near Sanlitun:
Although the machines are pretty low-impact (meaning all body-weight, no jerking kinds of exercise) and are more to “move around” than “work out” (by Western definitions), they were actually quite effective for the purposes of well, moving around and toning muscle… That’s more my kind of gym anyway, as it was more akin to a playground for old Chinese people than a gym for one to “pump iron” at.
But even though most of the senior citizens were simply moving around and shaking out the kinks, there were also some Beijingers doing some serious work at that place… Take, for example, this elderly yet very flexible lady:
I love how this gym was 1 – filled with old Chinese people; 2 – outside; 3 – free; 4 – open to all; 5 – low impact (or high impact, if you would so choose). The fact that anyone just passing by could use the equipment and do a little loosen up mid-day was baffling to me… It seems like common sense to promote general public health, and still I have yet to see one of these gym parks in the US.
I mean, seriously, how great does this stretch look here? Who doesn’t need to stretch their back like this, especially if you’re hunched over a chair all day…
Not only would this feel great, but it would also give you a great perspective… Can you imagine stretching your back like this and staring up at the sunlight peaking through the beautiful, rustling canopy?! These elderly Beijingers knew that there is no such thing as too old to work out and/or play around a bit. So keep hopes high, spirit young, and body healthy everyone!.. And take the time to lay on your back and look up once in a while, it will do wonders for your mind and perspective.