1 November 2010

Physical Exercise and Parkour

From my point of view I would have to say people in China, including the elderly, are more keen on fitness than many of their western counterparts. Physical education in school and the overall mentality of the culture really seems to give some legitimacy to the importance of having an active lifestyle. I could probably walk through any park in Hong Kong or Guangzhou in the morning or afternoon and find children, parents or the elderly engaged in some form of simple exercise. 

Numerous facilities in Hong Kong offer working men and women an assortment of activities to choose from, everything from yoga, Latin dance, football (the beautiful game), badminton and the list goes on. However, interest in yoga has seen a steep decline since the beginning of the year.

But today while I was riding the MTR, I noticed an advertisement for a sport I had never witnessed in Hong Kong called parkour. I had heard of parkour before and have seen it performed gracefully by French practitioners. 

Then it got me to thinking about space restrictions here in the city and that how even pedestrians are somewhat limited in their movement, especially given the day-to-day construction. Personally I find parkour an exciting sport (if it's acceptable to call it that), but wonder if enough room exists in our urban environment to accommodate parkour enthusiasts.

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