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ART & LEISURE: Keeping Mind and Body Young
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Keeping Mind and Body Young
By Caitlin Hardy

BT 201712 Art 04      我们曾在过去的期刊中与大家分享过中国的公园的特别之处:它承载了父母为孩子找对象的期望,具有相亲的功能,当然更常见的功能是为中老年人提供一个自由活动的场所。不论是在这里打太极拳练剑,一起唱老革命歌曲,还是三五成群地聊天、打球、踢毽子,他们都能在其中自得其乐。除了传统的一些运动方式外,你还可以看到公园里的部分区域成为舞池,大家聚在一起翩翩起舞。除了运动的健身方式,用乐器来调节身心,娱乐自己及听众,也是公园中常见一景。这边起舞那边太极,凉亭一角又有人拉二胡吹笛子,好不热闹。

      但反之,看看现代年轻人的生活,大部分都是中规中矩的朝九晚五,甚至加班加点的办公室生活。有研究表明,现在年轻人大部分都面临睡眠问题,他们的工作压力和焦虑,持续不减,无法得到有效缓解。晚上的时候,年轻人往往在睡前通过看电视上网,或网上购物来缓解自己的压力。但其实电脑辐射与蓝光,严重影响了他们的视力和睡眠。年轻一代,尤其是上班族,应该多多进行体育锻炼。他们可以从老一辈身上学到很多东西,为自己未来的健康和晚年生活的幸福保障,做好准备。

      身心健康缺一不可,所以除了定期的身体锻炼,精神上的刺激和培养也是非常必要的。中国人喜欢聚在一起,聊聊天,拉拉家常,这是很好的心理建设方式。经常蜗居的年轻人,应该借鉴之并应用之。毕竟,人是社会的人,我们无法脱离他人的存在而存在。现在就开始为自己的身体健康及心灵健康做好准备吧,多多锻炼,多多走出家门拥抱朋友,拥抱更加健康和真正“年轻”的自己。

BT 201712 Art 02Walking through a park on a lazy Sunday afternoon can be the perfect way to spend the day in preparation for returning to the office to start a new chaotic week. Parks in China offer a great insight into a unique cultural phenomenon. Groups of people get together to socialize and at the same time take part in a favourite activity.
 

Groups of older people congregate in open spaces, on a daily basis, to get their regular dose of exercise, either tai-chi, some easy-going dance routine or simply stretching exercises using equipment in the park. This keeps all the major muscles supple and prevents any unwanted weight gain. Others enjoy playing their traditional Chinese instruments, like erhu or singing to a select audience who are very grateful for a bit of entertainment.

BT 201712 Art 03BT 201712 Art 06Elsewhere, couples can be seen practising ballroom dancing together. They seem to take it so seriously, but really are just focusing on remembering the whole routine. Memorising the complicated steps is great exercise for the brain, in addition to the physical exercise. Fully appreciating that the moment they sit back in their chair and concentrate on the odd ache and twinge they feel in their hip or back is the moment in time that the ageing process starts to speed up, they are motivated to put lots of effort into these activities.

BT 201712 Art 07BT 201712 Art 08Members of the younger Chinese generation may need to think about their current lifestyle and the effect it could be having on their minds and bodies when they grow older. Research shows that a large proportion of young adults have developed sleep problems, mainly due to stress and anxiety from the pressures of work. Not helping their problems is the fact that vast majority spends several hours before bedtime using their smartphones, watching television or doing some online shopping. The blue light obviously affects their sleep and they should know this.
 

Added to this, they don't do anything like the amount of physical exercise they should be doing. These young ones could certainly learn a lot from the older generations in terms of how to take good care of themselves to ensure that their later years are healthy and active.

BT 201712 Art 09BT 201712 Art 10The inevitability of the aging process is something many of us fear. As the years pass by, which aspects of our lives will be most challenging, and at what point will we have to give up certain activities that we have previously taken for granted? We are all just human, after all.

BT 201712 Art 13The key to staying young and fit is to consider both body and mind. Regular physical exercise for the body and mental stimulation for the mind are both essential. Somehow, many older Chinese people seem to have got this right, especially when you add on the social aspect. With the Chinese society being collective in nature, meaning people live as a community rather than thinking of themselves as individuals, this implies that rather than sitting alone all day, as many older people in other parts of the world do, they talk, eat and discuss with a number of different people each and every day. This is taken for granted in China and it is a part of peoples' psyche to be together in groups. They couldn't imagine living alone and spending most of the day with only themselves for company. It's just not how this culture lives. They don't realise how their lifestyle is keeping their minds young and agile. Western societies could certainly take a leaf out of their book to make sure that the later years are as healthy and enjoyable as possible.
 

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