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Fit uncle is my long-term health guru

By Zhao Xinying | China Daily | Updated: 2021-03-18 09:48
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As a gym user, I see some inspiring seniors in fitness clubs from time to time. But in my eyes, none of them can compare with my uncle, who is my keep-fit model.

Every time I feel tired and lazy and want to give up on physical exercise in the gym, I think about him and am immediately full of energy again.

Despite being 72 years old, my uncle looks as if he is 50 at most. Over recent decades, he has visited the gym every day, with the exception of a period of convalescence after a traffic accident.

That was seven years ago, when he was hit by a motorcycle as he walked home from his regular gym workout one morning.

We were very worried because the bike was traveling at a speed of at least 40 kilometers an hour when it collided with him.

Fortunately, my uncle was only diagnosed with a light rib fracture and a few bruises. He received minimal treatment and rested for two months. On the day the doctor announced that he was fully recovered, he went straight back to the gym and resumed training.

"It was fortunate that the accident occurred on my way home from the gym, after I had done many warm-up exercises and stretches. It could have been worse if it had happened in different circumstances," my uncle said.

"Also, I would not have been able to recover so quickly if I hadn't maintained my habit of going to the gym," he added.

Since I was a child, my uncle has always had smooth, elastic skin, firm white teeth and shining black hair, with just a hint of gray.

His health is even better than his appearance suggests. As far as I can remember, he has always been strong and energetic. I have never seen him sick or displaying any weakness.

Admiring his excellent physical condition, I often ask him to pass on his "magic formula" for staying young and healthy. His response is always, "Go to bed and get up early, go to the gym every day, and keep doing those things for 20 years."

That's what he has done since his life was changed by a misdiagnosis about 20 years ago, when doctors told him he had a terminal illness.

Although it turned out that the medics were wrong, my uncle realized that good health is the best source of happiness and decided to take regular exercise.

First, he jogged 20 km a day on the streets. Then he started going to the gym with the purpose of enjoying different activities.

His exercise routine at the gym starts early in the morning, including an hour's weight training, jogging for an hour, 30 minutes of swimming and then stretching for half an hour.

After going home for lunch and a nap, he often returns to the gym to play basketball or chat with friends while doing some other form of light training.

He's taught me the power of persistence and shown that it can help people excel at whatever they do.

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