An overseas'posting, holiday or study tour can be an
excuse to let the fitness routine slide. Everyone's heard of or experienced
the situation where you come home a little heavier than you left-and we're not
talking about the gifts in your suitcase!
Here we were determined to be good hosts while you're in our town, and not
let that happen to you! We want to make sure the only thing that expands while
you are here is your business network!
We propose to do this by listing the most popular fitness trends from around
the globe along with some local favourites and matching them with convenient and
high-quality service providers right here in Beijing. So get your running shoes
on and check out whats on offer.
Invented by Joseph H. Pilates more
than 75 years ago, this series of floor movements and apparatus exercises (which
proponents claim combine the best of Eastern and Western conditioning
programmes) reached its current level of massive popularity only in the last
decade. Pilates demands two sessions a week, and promises you'll feel the
difference after 10 sessions, see the difference after 20 sessions £ and that
others will see the difference after 30 sessions.
'Boxercise' or 'Boxaerobics'
An extremely physical form of exercise that mirrors the kinds of
training Olympic boxers endure. Constantly moving, hands held in front of the
face in the classic 'boxing' stance, the exercise looks a lot like what a
previous generation would have called 'shadow boxing'. Because of the high level
of aggression involved, proponents claim this physical regime helps them develop
the sort of mental toughness associated with success in life.
Indoor Cycling or 'Spinning'
If you've got a
mental picture of sedately pedalling a fixed bicycle, maybe with a portable MP3
player taking you to your own 'zone' you have never seen a Spin Class! Indoor
cycling has gone extremely high energy. Because cycling is a very 'low impact '
activity (especially if your cycle is kept at low resistance), there is a huge
potential for cardiovascular aerobic workout in 'riding' your indoor bicycle
very, very fast! Add high-volume dance music, and an instructor who rides at the
front of the room exhorting you not to quit now, and when to turn the resistance
up, and you have spin. Much more fun than it sounds!
Yoga is actually a set of holistic
spiritual beliefs, but most people know it purely for the exercise regime part
of the system that takes the same name. Devotees will tell you that there are as
many systems as there are people doing yoga, but in fact it is fairly easy to
divide yoga into several different "schools" that have quite different emphasis.
Characterised by its gentle stretches and subtle position changes, breathing
exercises and minimal equipment, yoga can be practised well into old age.
No list of exercises available in
Beijing would be complete without mentioning China's homegrown perennial
favourite, Tai Chi. Westerners who follow a Tai Chi exercise regime often report
that they 'picked it up' on a visit to China and they saw no reason to stop.
Often associated with the crowds of senior citizens one sees in Chinese public
parks on weekends, Tai Chi can really be done anywhere once one has learnt a
personalised set of movements. There s no excuse for spending any length of time
in Beijing and not at least getting out there and trying it once!