What is common between
Senegal and ? I would say, the sight of ordinary people (and perhaps also some professional athletes), running on the streets and main roads, at anytime of the day! Young and old, men and women, in groups or as singles and really at any time of the day! In many countries, the cheapest and the most common form of exercise is running, especially long distance running because it helps to build stamina and endurance. Ordinary people running for physical fitness in large numbers creates a unique fitness culture and I often wonder what constitutes the “fitness culture” of my city? Japan
A few years ago, I was visiting
and one of the sights that amazed me was that of runners under the hot afternoon sun with their glistening muscular bodies and long legs effortlessly running in almost a rhythmic fashion. A couple of my friends also decided to go running around Dakar, Senegal in the morning and I really regretted not carrying my running shoes and a pair of track-pants. Then later the following year when I was visiting Dakar , the emphasis given to physical fitness by ordinary people of all ages was like an eye-opener. At any time of the day, the streets and parks have runners, of all ages, with ear phones on, doing their regular rounds. This time in Tsukuba, I had carried my shoes and was therefore able to immerse myself in the “fitness culture” of the place. Tsukuba, Japan
Every place has its own specific “fitness culture”. If one wants to understand and experience the place as a traveler (and not just as a tourist), slipping into the local “fitness culture” offers unique sights as well as insights. Burning of calories is an incidental bargain.