Can you do the splits? I certainly can’t. Prepare to feel inadequate and inflexible because this Chinese grandmother can do the splits. Like a boss. She tells the cameraman that she’s 69 years old.
If you’ve ever wondered why China’s elderly seem (on the most part) to be fitter than their western counterparts, NPR’s Rob Schmitz has an explanation:
Sixty-three-year-old Tu Dongxiu is off to the side of the group, dancing on her own. “Once I begin to dance, I put all my troubles behind me,” Tu says with a chuckle. “I don’t have high blood pressure, diabetes, nothing. If I keep dancing, I won’t ever have to see a doctor!”
And that’s part of the reason so many seniors like Tu return here every morning. If they don’t, at some point they’ll end up five miles due West, where the Street of Eternal Happiness ends, at Shanghai’s Huashan Hospital.
“All of us here must exercise. We simply can’t afford a hospital visit. Our retirement salaries are just a few hundred dollars a month. Once you get ill, you’re finished,” says Xu.