In all my time living in China I’ve often wondered how the Chinese stay so slim. Their diets are high in fat, salt and MSG not to mention rice, which let me tell you from experience, eating rice nearly every meal makes you bloat!!! And then I discovered the secret, a secret that the whole world could learn from, the communal, out door gym!
For many years I’ve told myself “I’m going to start working out” and just as many times I’ve rocked up to a gym and had one of those consults where they try and up sell you on the top membership lowing your self esteem in the process. So when I was wandering down a neighborhood street with my friend in Beijing and just happened to stumble across an outdoor communal gym with better yet NO MEMBERSHIP FEE, of course I was going to try it out!
Hell, I was a young and (should be) nimble 21 year old and here were what must have been 60 year olds working out, I could do this for sure! So there we were testing out the gym equipment, working out Chinese style, Chinese instructions on one side English on the other, clearly they must have been expecting us! It was great, here I was working up a sweat, using muscles that may never have been used in all my life. All this workout equation was missing was some hot, buff, sweaty gym instructor, but who needs that when you have nimble old men, showing the world how it should be done!
I’m pretty sure I wasn’t grinning that much once I was done!!!
So here we were, two western girls working out at the neighbourhood gym. All the while getting curious stares and even sniggers from the locals. I’m sure for them this was not a sight they would often see on their streets.
So here’s a tip, if ever find yourself feeling like you need a good workout in China then find yourself a neighbourhood gym. And for all those Prime Ministers and Heads of State world wide who read my blog, maybe consider putting these gyms in your own country, who would possibly be overweight and un-fit if going to the gym was FREE!!!
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