Exposures
October 28, 2012
I Care: Chinese exercise keeps the doctor away

20121023_AOC_ICareYee_156w.jpgIt's a chilly Tuesday morning in south Sacramento and wispy clouds suggest that rain may come. Fresh air rustles through the trees as a dozen people gather for a Quigong class at Reichmuth Park. Gene Yee, 84, leads the group with rhythmic sets of 24 exercises, each having a name such as White Crane Spreads wings or Grasp Bird's Tail. "Woooon, twoooo, threeeee..." he sings out until he reaches 10, then leads them to the next movement. "It circulates the blood," says Charlotte Holder. "every part of the body is represented."
Anyone can join the group, which meets at 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday, weather permitting. Membership, which includes two communal meals, is $20 a year.
"All the time, get stronger," Yee says. "Makes you younger too." He laughs heartily. "Keeps the doctor away. Happy all the time."
20121023_AOC_ICareYee_159w.jpg

This exercise group was originally founded by the late, Toy Wong, in the 1980s in her garage. The class outgrew her garage and moved into the park and at one point reached about 100 people. While numbers have now dwindled the enthusiasm for the benefits of this outdoor exercise has not. Participant Roy Yee credits the class for keeping him healthy. "If you sit too long you'll be in a wheelchair," he said. Most participants are in their 70s, 80s and 90s.

20121023_AOC_ICareYee_200a.jpgGene Yee transforms from a serious focused figure into a laughing jovial man after class. During exercises people stand far from one another as if existing within their own little bubbles, but they socialize afterwards and come for the companionship just as much as the exercise. No experience is necessary to join. One must only follow the leader and can customize the exercise to their own ability.

If you know someone who volunteers to make a difference in the lives of others please email your suggestion to Autumn Payne at apayne@sacbee.com.

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Watch Bee news, lifestyle videos | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying