Try classic indoor exercise: Ba Duan Jin

By Zhu Linyong | | Updated: 2020-02-21 15:03
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Editor's notes: Doing exercise regularly is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. But the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia has kept millions of people from partaking in outdoor activities since late January. Since then, indoor workouts have become an important way to keep healthy and protect against illness, especially during a time like this.

We're introducing some of the most popular traditional Chinese indoor exercises which have been practiced for centuries and proven effective for health and fitness.

This photo shows an illustrated explanation of ba duan jin, an easy-to-learn qigong exercise suitable for the office, the home and even the ward. [Photo/]

Ba duan jin

These days, the sports community, medical experts and public health officials have all been actively promoting indoor exercise to fight against the epidemic. And ba duan jin is among the most frequently recommended exercises.

Ba duan jin, which literally means eight pieces of brocade, is an indoor exercise or form of qigong for health cherished by the ancient Chinese. Today, it is almost as popular as tai chi in China, especially among seniors.

Qigong, which combines qi, meaning energy, and gong, meaning exercise, is a term coined by the traditional Chinese physician Liu Guizhen (1902-83) in his 1953 book A Handbook of Qigong Therapy, describing classical regimen techniques or sports Chinese people have found highly effective in improving their health or enhancing their martial arts capabilities.

The ba duan jin qigong exercise, which doesn't require much space or time, uses special breathing and concentration techniques to improve both the body and mind, with eight well-designed sequences of movement.

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