My Trip To China Part 2: Physical Culture


In the second installment in this blog series I want to briefly discuss the differences in the physical culture between China and America. As might be expected from a country whose people are more aware of life balance and who largely biked or walked everywhere until recently, there is a strong awareness of the need for physical fitness in China. Although China recently overtook the U.S. as the nation with the most cars in the world, bikes are still everywhere. Also, just as many people seem to walk everywhere they go as well. I know when I was there I walked an average of 7 miles a day. Additionally, there were large parks dedicated for calisthenic exercises all over the city. These parks typically featured 10-15 structures that could be used for situps, pullups, dips, etc. I used these parks frequently and regardless of what time I was there I was never alone. Likewise, the physical culture was present and even magnified to a greater extent on campus. Students and athletes could be seen playing pickup sports at all times of the day and evening. Soccer, tennis, and basketball courts were full for much of the day. As a final tidbit to help drive home the extent of the physical culture on the Beijing Sport University campus take a look at this picture I took of some shoes for sale at the campus store. Note that they are selling javelin boots, high jump spikes, and other specialty shoes that can typically only be purchased over the internet or through catalogs in the U.S.