Opinion / From the Press

Running to embrace nature

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-11-24 09:06

Running is becoming increasingly popular in cities because it is a good way of keeping fit. More importantly, it signifies a society's awakening against the slavery imposed by the modern way of life, complete with the Internet, mobile phones, iPads and apps which make people lazy, says an article in Xinhua Daily Telegraph. Excerpts:

Not only are more people taking to running, they are also using wearable devices and using software on their cellphones to record the distance they cover and the amount of calories they burn. Besides, charting out ideal running routes in cities has become a popular topic of discussion among runners.

But apart from physical fitness and stress-relief, there are other reasons why running has become so popular in China. When an activity becomes fashion, it has to satisfy some psychological needs of people.

Cars, buses and subways may have reduced the time needed to go from one place to another, but while commuting people rarely shed significant amount of energy, which is essential for a healthy body.

The commute from home to office and back, or a drive to a shopping mall, has become routine in today's "concrete jungles". Living in rooms equipped with air conditioners, many people don't even feel the changes in the season. We are moving farther away from nature thanks to the knowledge we have acquired and the technologies we have mastered. Is this what modern life is all about?

To some extent, running is an escape from the risks and boredom of modern life. It can be seen as people's longing for a return to nature.

Running has become a metaphor in today's China. Industrialization and commercialization have transformed this agricultural society to such an extent that people desperately want to get rid of the restrictions of modern life. And a pair of running shoes and perseverance are all one needs to become a runner and embrace nature.

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

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