Friday, June 10, 2011

A Long Awaited Exercise Post

I've been putting this off for far too long. After almost a year in China, I feel I've gotten a good chance to experience and witness what is known as "morning exercise" here in China. The thing is, the Chinese will do just about anything if you tell them it's good for them. I've been compiling a list of the most common exercises here. Chinglish-y names are my own creation. So put on your yoga pants and get ready for a great workout!

Laughness Scare Away Bad Feelings: To be fair, I haven't actually witnessed this one, but I've heard rumors of its following, both from other foreigners and my Chinese students. Apparently, Chinese fitness nuts gather in the park in the early morning to share in a long, good laugh. This is good for the chi. Or something like that.

Swinging the Leg Like Gentle Rocking Boat: This exercise can be performed almost anywhere. Simply find a loose chain, such as one that forms a small gate to keep people off the grass, place your foot on the chain, and gently swing your leg back and forth. Do this 763 times. Repeat with the other foot.

Hardness on Tree Back: This is a popular exercise with the elderly. For good posture, stand rigid in front of a tall, smooth tree. Without bending your legs, lean back and hit your back against the tree trunk. Hard. Repeat until all feeling has been lost.

To Walk Backwards for Longevity Lifetime: I first witnessed this one down south, in Guilin. It's pretty straightforward: just walk backwards. It doesn't matter where you are. It doesn't matter if you are also pulling a baby carriage around a big lake. Don't worry about running into people; that's part of its efficiency.

Clapping the Hands in Loudly Methods: This is a partner exercise to Laughness Scare Away Bad Feelings. The noise from this exercise woke us up every morning that we stayed in Guilin. Rhythm is not important here.

Me Tarzan, You Jane: OK, not the most Chinese title, but an apt description of this exercise. Only men perform this one, so ladies, you'll have to sit this one out. Men: remove your shirts and walk down the street, beating your chest and back with alternate fists. Scowl at people you pass. Does wonders for your virility, and the red fist marks all over your body are sure to attract a date.

Me No Need to Thighmaster: Here's one for the ladies. Place your foot on a stool or use the chain from exercise Rocking Boat. With your thigh at a 90 degree angle, gently slap your thigh fat back and forth for about two hours. Switch legs. Guaranteed to get rid of dumpling fat.

Heavenly Pearl Tooths Are Happy: I only recommend this for those with dentures. In a public place, chomp your teeth repeatedly. Be sure to make a lot of noise or it won't work.

Jumping High Into Jade Paradise: This is one of the only legit exercises I've seen. One night I saw about 100 people in People's Park jump-roping together as I went to my favorite ice cream shop around the corner.

Go to any of the public parks in China on a warm night or sunny morning, and you'll see tons of Chinese people group exercising. It's actually quite nice the way they use their public spaces. Elderly people in particular are most likely to be seen exercising. They especially love dance and tai chi.

Hope this helps you all keep fit!

1 comment:

  1. Hehehe. I love the laughness one. Totally believe that will do you good.