BEIJING: No treadmills, no iphone and no sweat-wicking fabrics. No protein shakes, no hot yoga and no Fitbit. Armed with just jungle gym equipment and mind-boggling levels of physical fitness, these elderly Chinese people are putting on a showcase of human dexterity at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven Park.
Exercise equipment like that shown in this video can be found in most Chinese neighborhoods, with jungle gyms and metal exercise bikes offering the raw material needed to construct a workout regimen. Metal bars are the platform for some high-flying aerobics, but traditional Chinese beliefs about the need to balance one’s inner qi (“life force”) also have many aging athletes simply standing in one place and rubbing or hitting their limbs.