I’ve been traveling to some remote areas of China
the last few days; areas that most foreigners never
see. Due to this – as well as a promise to my son that
I’d take him to see the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi’an –
I’ve been out of the loop for nearly a week.
It’s been hot here – temperature wise even hotter than
Hainan Island – but not as humid.
Per usual I’m up early and training in the parks wherein
I observe a diverse display of exercise methods; everything
from tai chi to classical dance, badminton, walking, running,
Chinese long-life exercises, chi kung, and so on.
This time of year people are exercising as early as six a.m.
A good many start at 7 a.m. But after 8 o’clock, virtually no
There are many good reasons for this cultural exercise behavior,
but at this time of year – the best reason is simple: It’s not as
Chinese people do not like to be in the sun. If a Chinese person gets
a bit darker from the sun, he or she is very concerned about the
social status of this; i.e. peasants have dark skin – not people who
are more educated and sophisticated. Mark my words, if anyone tells
a Chinese that his or her skin is getting dark – this doesn’t go over
well. You’re far better off saying that you’re getting fat.
In the evening you’ll see many Chinese out for an evening walk – some
might be out for a run. But few are doing any sort of vigorous exercise
after the morning hours.
Universally, the morning is the best time to train.
Sure, there are exceptions, such as the evening swim – or those who
train in gyms – or at home. But in terms of the people who train outdoors,
the do it early.
There’s much to learn from this. In the a.m. the air is cleaner, fresher
and of greater help to your body. In the a.m. – you are most in need of
getting your body revved up for the day.
So take this cultural trait seriously if you train outdoors. Do it early.
Stay out of the hot sun when you train. Don’t worry about getting too
dark – that’s not a problem in the U.S. But do be concerned about the
sun and heat zapping you.
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P.S. I’ll have another report for you in a day or two. Stay tuned. It’ll be