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Physical Perfectionists

By Leslie Flores,2014-02-18 17:17
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Physical Perfectionists

    Physical Perfectionists Physica?Perfectionists

    BvINESAPLESKACHEUSKAYA

    MILLIONSofChinesepeoplestarttheirsummer'sdaywithafight

    abattle,thatis,foraplaceintheshadeinthelocalpark.The72year

    oldBaiYixuisoneofthem,Everymorni'ng,sherisesat6am,drinksdownayo-gurtwithasmall

    cake,andrushestoherlocalcommontoper

    formherdailyexercises.Thereshemeetsdozensofherpeers, allcompetingforthatspotintheshadethatwillprotectthese healthenthusiastsfromtheblazingsun.Summertimetempera

    turesinBeijingsoarwellabovethe30s,eveninthemorning. Asregardstheexercises.choiceisvirtuallyunlimited.One canpracticeaerobics,taijiboxing,swordplayorqigongex

    ercises.Andaftertwohoursofactivitieslikethese,partici

    pantspairoffforabitofoutdoorballroomdancing. BaiYixuhasbeenparticipatinginthesemassphysical exercisesformorethan15years.Shesays,"Iiustcould notimaginelifewithoutexercising.Itmakesmefeelener- getic.andputsmeinagoodmoodforthewholeday.Wle gettogetherherewhetherit'srainorshine,andduringevery seasonoftheyear.Wehaveformedstrongfriendshipsover theyears.Youknowwearenotyoung,butourmorning exercisesprolongourlives.''

    BaiYixuandherfriendspayRMB2(roughlyUS$O-25) f(ranentranceticketthatisvalidforamonth.Andafew monthsback.hergroupdecidedtobuyabettercassette playerfortheirballroommusic.witheachpersoncontribut

ingRMBl0(US$1.25).

    Everygrouphasitsleader.Theyarechargedwithbring? ingthecassetteplayertothepark——aswellasarrivingthere

    first——tosecurethatspotofshade.Leadersvolunteertheir servicesinChina,prestigeisoftenregardedasmoreim

    portantthanmoney.

    Thegovernmenthelpsout,too.Itsupportsandencour- agesfitnessenthusiastslikeBaiYixu.Ithasimplemented anationalprogramtitled"FitnessforA11."andinstalled orrevampedoutdoorfitnessequipmentincommunitiesall overthecountrywithfundsgeneratedbythesportslottery. Thefacilitiesaresimple,buttheyprovidetheuserwitha fullworkout.Theyarequitepopularamongtheelderlyand children——orthosethatdonotgotofancygymnasiums. Infact.inChina.the"generationgap"isatitsmost gapingwhenitcomestophysicalexercise.Seniorcitizens likeBaiYixuthrongtherelativelyinexpensiveparksevery morning.whileyoungwhitecO11arworkersprefersports

    clubsandgyms.WithmanyyoungChineseinhotpursuit oftheperlectbody,fitnesscentershavemushroomedinbig citiesallaroundthecountry.Andmorecompetitionmeans membershipismoreaffordable.too.Lastyear,itwaspretty difticulttofindanannualmembershipforlessthanRMB 6,000(US$750),butnowyoucanjoinagymforRMB 4,500foran18monthperiod.

    AsmanagerofaBeijingfitnesscenterAlyonaVostriko

    vaexplains."Thereisanewsportclubunderconstruction nearby.sowedoourbesttoattractpotentialclients."Aly

    onawasborninBIagOveshchensk,intheFarEastofRus

    sia.ShegraduatedfromtheKhabarovskPhysicalCulture

    Institute,andhasspentthelastnineyearslivinginBeijing. ThankstoChina'sfitnesscrazesheforgedagoodcareer, progressingfrominstructortofitnessmanager.Nowshehas evenopenedherownyogaclub.

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