Old people in China are active, chatty and everywhere. You may notice that Chinese retirees have some pretty weird habits that they openly partake in with no shame. But all of their “weird” tendencies have purpose and actually improve their quality of life! Here are the habits Old Chinese People have that you should start copying.
What? The new exercise trend amongst China’s elderly is Spiderman Crawling.
Why? While it may look silly and uncomfortable, this exercise/walk/crawl has a lot of benefits in strengthening muscles. Old Chinese people believe this style builds shoulder and leg muscles as well as help with spinal trouble and stretching. Put on your handwalking gloves and find yourself a nicely paved flat road in a park and get to crawling. Get some friends to join in and make a crew.
What? Old Chinese peoples’ favorite daytime activity is street Mahjong, which can usually draw quite large crowds and is a source of entertainment for hours. Often times small amounts of money are involved.
Why? Mahjong is a 4-player game that Chinese people love to play because it is social, you can win (or lose) some money and it keeps their wits sharp. Mahjong, similar to poker or bridge, is a game of subtly outsmarting your opponents to get rid of all of your tiles first. For old Chinese people, it’s like mental exercise that keeps them smart. If the game isn’t too crowded, you can watch and maybe join in on their daytime gaming marathons to learn how to play.
Morning Grocery Shopping in Pajamas
What? Chinese retirees like to go grocery shopping early in the morning just as the shops open, often in the pajamas they slept in.
Why? Especially at the “wet markets” where produce is sold, Chinese old people love to shop as soon as the doors open to ensure they are getting the freshest product. That makes sense right? So why the pajamas? Wearing pajamas out in public during the day is a sign that someone is wealthy and doesn’t have to work. Shopping in your pajamas shows that you’re in no rush to go to work and your life is going well. To get the best products in the most comfortable fashion, do as these old people do!
Dancing in Public
What? Old Chinese Aunties (ayis) and Uncles love to dance in public squares, parks, and open areas to old Chinese music at night.
Why? Not only is it great exercise, but the elderly in China love dancing in public for the fun and social aspects of it. The large troupes of dancing aunties are often all friends, while the swing dancing groups are sometimes used to meet other “hot, older” singles. You should join in, make some friends, improve your dancing skills, and maybe flirt a little ;) .
Walking Backwards and Clapping
What? Another favorite exercise of old people is to walk around backwards and seemingly clap their hands together in a deliberate manner.
Why? While the walking backwards is a great exercise to prevent hunching and improve posture and joints, the clapping is not really an exercise. Instead it’s tied to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Similar to acupuncture, clapping the hands together opens up the body’s “shui-dao” channels, helping energy circulate through your body. This is a great reason to congratulate people more by clapping!
Hitting a Tree
What? Old Chinese people will often hit their body parts, usually their backs, on the trunk of a tree.
Why? Another Traditional Chinese Medicine tactic employed by the Chinese elderly, hitting your back very lightly against a tree or wall helps with promoting blood circulation. Originally employed by monks to help with strengthening, older Chinese retirees have amended this exercise to suit their needs. Next time you feel your back getting thrown off, give a nearby tree a few bumps.
Having a Pet Bird/Cricket
What? A popular pet among the older generation Chinese people are crickets and birds, and they like to show them off in parks together.
Why? Back in Ancient China, only people of royalty were allowed to keep birds as pets. Their beautiful singing wasn’t suitable for regular citizens of the empire, but when the dynasties ended, birds became a popular pet because they weren’t allowed before. Now, older people love pet birds because of the songs they sing and the company they provide.
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