Temple of Heaven

We recently returned from a trip to China and I took this photo outside of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. A short walk from the temple gates, there is a playground for adults. Perhaps “playground” is the wrong term but the park was full of interesting exercise machines that were sized for grown-ups. My 2 and a half year old son walk from one piece of equipment to the next in consternation because he was far to small to use them as intended.

As the late hours of afternoon turned into evening, the park filled with families and adults of all ages, some very old by my estimation. While the children occupied themselves with the lovely games that kids can conjure with a simple stick, the adults got busy on the equipment working out and chatting and the beads of sweat soon trickled. The atmosphere was convivial and several elderly ladies convinced me to get onto a machine and the movements were on the borderline of risqué.

Reams of new research are constantly emerging which suggest that dedication to fitness from early life can prolong healthy life and improve quality of life. The image of an unhappy person toiling away in a gym does not have to be the reality as these individuals in China showed that fitness can be achieve in a communal setting with family and friends of all ages. I suspect this can even be achieved without the odd equipment!

My best,


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