Opinion / From the Press

Exercise your way to good health

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-15 07:19

Bama county in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region has come to occupy a special place in the minds of Chinese people, because people there are known to lead a healthy and long life. But Bama's reputation seems to have become a curse for its residents as thousands of tourists from across China flock to the county in search of a healthy and long life without following any of the norms that has made its people different, says an article on Excerpts:

Many of the people making a beeline for Bama in search of "secret health therapy" are obsessed with finding an instant cure for all their ills. People infatuated with "Bama therapy" are looking for cures to ailments that they have contracted by leading the modern way of life. They thus display a mentality which at best is escapist and at worst selfish. They seek instant cures for not only their diseases but also their failings.

The environment, air and water quality in Bama are replicable elsewhere. What is perhaps most important is Bama residents' attitude toward life, which visitors to the county are not ready to replicate because it is self-restraining and calls for strict discipline.

Because of the influx of tourists, Bama is fast losing its serene and rustic charm. Modern buildings and billboards advertising healthcare products and equipment, traditional Chinese medicine and longevity food can be seen everywhere, and have tainted the originally simple folk customs with the stink of money. Ironically, many of Bama residents who owe their good health and long life to physical labor and healthy dietary habits have fallen prey to the lure of easy money by posing for photographs with tourists and even asking for tips.

If the authorities don't take measures to stop the commercialization of Bama, the once serene county could soon turn into just another tourist spot. The authorities should also figure out how to respond to the influx of tourists. Otherwise, it would be difficult to maintain the characteristics of the county.

Very few Chinese today exercise regularly or adhere to a healthy diet. They don't pay attention to the requirements of healthy living until they fall ill. So instead of rushing to Bama, they should follow what Bama residents do: indulge in physical work or exercise and have a healthy diet, adding little or no seasoning other than salt to their food and always looking at the brighter side of life.

The opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

(China Daily 04/15/2014 page9)

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