I‘ve been to 32 countries in my 32 years, and I’ve never known one to be as exercise obsessed as Korea. During my time spent living in both Daegu and Ulsan, my daily (doh!) walk or hike was spent in awe of the armies of men and women dressed to the nines in expensive, activity appropriate clothing to burn their daily dose of calories.
Making this outpouring of sweat extremely easy (theoretically anyway) is the plethora of free outdoor exercise equipment dotting every park and hiking trail. If ever I walk by without stopping, I could feel the glares of middle aged women on the elliptical trainer, their expressions of disdain telling me that I am extremely lazy and ogreish.
On one occasion, I did stop for a quick set after some intense guilt from a tiny old woman spinning her arms on a strange wheel contraption, but some of the equipment confused me. What is this for?
It seemed like a medieval torture device, stretching my ankles and draining the blood from my body, but Steve enjoyed watching me squawk in fear and flap around like a giant bird as I nearly lost my balance and slid head first into the dirt.
All this weight loss and toning on fancy machines going on around me is very inspiring, but I think I’ll stick to my hikes, walking and yoga for now. Thanks anyway Korean exercise equipment!