How Chinese People Stay in Shape

Local Shanghainese spending an afternoon in the park playing badminton.

Last week on my day off I ventured to a Northern suburb of Shanghai called “Hong Kou”. Hong Kou is well known in Shanghai as the home of the cities football (soccer) stadium and is also famous for having one of the largest and best known public parks in the city, Lu Xun Park.

Public parks are an important part of Chinese society especially in large urban cities like Shanghai. With thousands of high-rise building and over 20 million people living here, it’s important to have some green space available for everyone to come and enjoy some natural scenery.

It’s no surprise that most of the park’s visitors are Shanghai’s retired elderly community. With Shanghai’s cold winter months behind us, the retired Shanghainese are now taking to the parks to engage in many different activities ranging from fishing, picnicking, badminton, playing cards, and socializing with friends.

By far the most fascinating part of my visit to Lu Xun was observing the locals complete their exercise routines amongst the park’s various exercise stations. Several years ago the Shanghai government installed exercise stations in many public places around the city to provide locals with a way maintain their health. I’ve uploaded some videos from the park on YouTube and invite you to watch them.

These videos are fascinating and give a great insight into life in Shanghai for many retired people in the city. Very inspiring, I hope to be in such good health as some of these people when I reach this age in the future. Its an amazing part of the local culture here in Shanghai, something every country around the world should adopt into their society.

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About Cyrus Janssen

Spending 2014 traveling the world with my wife, learning about other cultures, people, and most importantly ourselves. Follow the blog to keep up with our journey.

Posted on May 28, 2012, in China, Chinese Culture, Life in Shanghai and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Pamela Ramsdell

    What a wonderful way to spend the day. Very interesting writing and perspective. Enjoy! Rick and Pamela :)

  2. Clyde Stephens

    Cyrus, You are enjoying modern Shanghai, which has flashed overnight into a vibrant city. One of my island neighbors in Bocas del Toro, Panama, has shown me hundreds of pictures of Shanghai, beginning when his British father was there as a business man in the 1920s. In 1940+, my friend and his parents spent WWII in a Japanese camp for British in Shanghai and I have incredible details of how they lived before, during and after the war. One of James’ campmates and playmates was J G Ballard, the British writer who wrote Empire of the Sun, which was made into a movie by Stephen Spielberg. See this movie for a glimpse of that period. The Japanese guards allowed James’ mother to paint some camp scenes, plus views of the rice fields through the barbed wire fence. This camp site is covered over now with development, no doubt. Enjoy your exciting career to the fullest.

  3. I don’t know you, but I was trying to explain this to a friend. Your videos are perfect. Thank you.

    Susannah

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