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Nighttime activities flourish in Xi'an

China Daily | Updated: 2023-08-29 09:19

Enthusiasts play Frisbee together at a community park in Xi'an, Shaanxi province. [Photo by Qiang Jun/For China Daily]

XI'AN — One evening after warming up, jogging and stretching near the banks of Qujiang Pool, a renowned scenic spot in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, Zhao Wenlong uploaded his exercise data to his WeChat moments.

Born in 1988, Zhao has been a regular jogger for nearly 20 years. He even founded a club 10 years ago, drawing thousands of fellow jogging enthusiasts.

"People are busy working during the day. Night running is not just an efficient use of time but also a way to unwind after an intense day of work," he said.

Against the backdrop of Xi'an's illuminated urban skyline, a growing number of people have turned to nighttime activities across the city's parks, roadways and riverbanks amid the summer heatwaves.

Zhao said that in the past, as many as 100 club members ran together near landmarks such as the Daming Palace and Qujiang Pool, but now, the group is divided into smaller ones, each consisting of three to five joggers.

"It's not because we have fewer joggers, but because our club members have more routes to choose from," Zhao said.

Xi'an is home to about 13 million people, more than 1,000 miniparks and greenery squares, and a greenway exceeding 1,000 km. Many of the parks and squares are equipped with exercise facilities, making them perfect destinations for fitness buffs.

Zhao Wenzhe, 29, has developed a penchant for night cycling.

"Nighttime offers favorable road conditions as well as an opportunity to admire the city's night scene while staying fit. It is a rewarding experience," he said.

As one of some 300 members of an online cycling group, Zhao habitually checks the group's "ride invitation" messages before he finishes work.

"We ride together if our route is the same. This way, the night ride is safer and more fun," he said.

It is not just night runs or rides that have gained popularity. Frisbee, flag football, land surfing and even barroom baseball have emerged as popular nighttime activities, providing individuals with diverse options to break a sweat in the evening.

Guo Jianjun, a professor at the Capital University of Physical Education and Sports, said nighttime sports have become a widespread phenomenon, with an increasing number of young adults engaging in nocturnal physical activities.

This trend not only bolsters the physical well-being of young people amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life but also forges an innovative avenue for social networking, Guo emphasized.

Figures show that the revenue in the cultural, sports and entertainment sectors in Xi'an saw a remarkable 15 percent surge in the first half of this year.

The infusion of sports has not only invigorated the nighttime economy but has also broadened leisure options for residents and tourists alike.

According to Yang Jianshe, dean of the School of Sports and Leisure at Xi'an Physical Education University, engaging in nighttime activities not only fuels advancements in sports equipment and services industries but also weaves sports into the realms of dining, culture, entertainment and tourism. This interconnection contributes to the flourishing expansion of the nighttime economy.


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