Following the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, those living in China have been encouraged to stay at home. This kind of isolation has shut the door on many people’s daily exercise routines. For some of those, traditional martial arts can provide for their exercise needs without leaving home.
With soothing Chinese folk music played from her cell phone, Chen Jie, a 57-year-old retired worker, practices Tai Chi at home. “Tai Chi can help me do physical exercise at home instead of going to gyms these days,” Chen said.
Chen lives in Lanzhou, a city in Northwest China’s Gansu province. She has been practicing Tai Chi and other martial arts for two years since her retirement. Dressed in all white, she looks like a Tai Chi veteran as her 2-year-old grandson copies her movements.
Since the end of January, doctors began to urge Chinese citizens to comply with home quarantine. Authorities required people to avoid public events and postpone social gatherings.
Gu Ruiming, a middle-school gym teacher from Tianshui city also in Gansu province, recommends his students practice Tai Chi and other traditional martial arts at home. “Traditional martial arts can easily be practiced by kids at home instead of going outside,” Gu said.
Gu also mentioned that not only does traditional martial strengthen the body, but also it can relieve anxiety.
Since the outbreak of the virus it has become extremely popular for famous athletes to post their home work out routines on social media. These are made not only to keep people exercising but also to help alleviate some of the boredom.
Mellenial Kan Wencong, who was a gold medalist in women’s martial arts at the 2010 Asian Games and 2014 Asian Games, has posted several videos of Baduanjin on social media.
Baduanjin, a traditional aerobics form, with a history of over 800 years is divided into eight different sections. And Baduanjin does not need any equipments or a lot of space. “The most important part is that Baduanjin is very easy to learn for all,” Kan said.
Li Shaocheng, a professor in the Department of Physical Education at Lanzhou University, believes that traditional martial arts can improve people physically and mentally.
Recently, a statistic from one of the biggest sports video websites, PPTV, shows that home fitness products saw a year-on-year rises of 67 percent.
Other than traditional methods of exercises, people in China are also skipping rope and doing push ups, sit ups and squats at home.
Gu stresses that the key principle of home fitness is to take it slowly. Otherwise it is easy to get hurt. That gives the body some time to adapt to the new routine.
According to the government, more measures will be taken to ensure the supply of medical resources and daily necessities for all Chinese during the coronavirus battle.