Staying Fit While Studying – Inspired by Young University Students

Being around all these young university students has giving me an inspiration to be fit. I’ve taken up running, playing basketball and doing pull-ups.

I don’t normally run because my ski knees would protest every time I do it. The difference this time is that I’m running on a squishy track surface rather than on a hard surface. I like squishiness! My lung and legs can only take about 10-15 laps around the track. Seeing people around me running and doing other sport activities really help me keep going. I don’t think I would run this much if I am running by myself, say, in a forest. I would end up walking.

The last time I played basketball was when I was in high school. I took it up again because it’s relatively cheap to get started. A basketball from Walmart costs me less than $3 CDN. There are also many outdoor basketball courts throughout the campus so it’s easy to find an empty court to work on my dribbling and shooting. Now and then I would play pick-up basketball with the locals. At this point, I’m not fit enough to keep up with them.

Hunching over a study desk for hours is not good for my posture. I accidentally came across an internet article talking about how good it is for the posture to do pull-ups because it strengthen the muscles of the back, the stomach and the upper body. I can see why.  My whole upper body and arms were really sore the next day after doing pull-ups. My immediate goal is to do 3 sets of 6 pull-ups (moderate speed). Right now I can do about 2 sets.

Here’s my workout rotation. Day 1 run 10-15 laps on the squishy track. Day 2 play basketball. Day 3 run 5 laps on the squishy track and then do pull-ups. Day 4 – rest.

That’s about it for my exercise repertoire. I’m becoming more fit thanks to those young students. Enjoy the photos below.

A knee-friendly squishy track at the school. Finished running 10 laps and cooling down. Perfect weather for running. Cool and not sunny. Some university locals come here to walk and do other activities. Inspiring to see which inspires me.

Me shooting around with my dorm neighbour. Photo taken by Leekie — my dorm neighbour.


Studying Chinese Language at Zhejiang University

Access to Facebook in China is not allowed unless I have a VPN, a proxy or something that can bypass the great filter wall. The school add an extra layer of security. It can be overcome. I chose to not do it as being Facebook-less (social media less) is proving to be good for my study :)

I’m staying at the Yuquan campus of the school. It’s the oldest campus (built in 1800s) but my residence is very modern. Here are some photos of my residence, its surrounding and a view out of one of my classes. Enjoy.

The entrance of my residence. A big red banner welcoming new students.


My comfy room where I spend most my studying time here. The bars on the window detracts a bit but my room is on the ground floor. Safety first.


Looking out from my last class of day on a beautiful afternoon. Looking forward to playing basketball after class.

The cafeteria for international students is attached to my residence. Dinner time. Typically, a meal with 2 dishes and a bowl of rice (cost about 8 cents – 0.5 RMB) is about $3 CDN. This is considered expensive. It’s about 40% less if I eat at one of the many eateries where local students eat.

The campus street outside of the residence. Yuquan campus is the oldest of Zhejiang University campuses. Mature trees line the road and the recent rain really helps make this campus very lush.