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'Fragmented time' no barrier to China's fitness boom

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-06-05 15:16

Young women practicing yoga [Photo/VCG]

LANZHOU - After a morning spent mired in paperwork, several office workers in China's northwestern city of Lanzhou like to unwind at lunchtimes by exercising in a nearby gym.

The occasions during the day when people have free time to spare is sometimes called fragmented time. In recent years, more and more young Chinese are making use of these pockets of time to maintain their health and fitness.

At noon, in a so-called Pure Gym, office worker Wang Lu is exercising under the watchful eye of a personal trainer.

"Work hard and party hard. I like doing some exercise after a morning's work and then returning to my office," Wang says.

This gym is located in downtown Lanzhou, where many major corporations have offices. It costs Wang $50 for every session with her personal trainer, and she spends over $1,400 on fitness kit every year.

Wang's personal trainer told Xinhua that 80 percent of the gym's attendees are white-collar workers from various companies, adding that the gym also lays on yoga and pilates classes in order to meet the rising demand.

Many in this gym choose to practice yoga and meditation with their personal trainers, all the while logging their progress and uploading selfies on a selection of apps and social networks.

In addition to office workers on a lunchbreak, a growing number of university students are also seeking to keep fit.

Mu Xiaoming, a PhD student from Lanzhou University, often exercises in a gym near his college. "Scientific methods can teach me how to keep fit. The more you exercise, the healthier you get," he says.

In order to help people to keep fit, four fitness modules were established across different communities in Lanzhou last year.

Zhang Xuanning, from Lanzhou's Bureau of Sports, said that 400,000 people joined public fitness activities in the city last year, a year-on-year increase of 12.5 percent on 2017.

According to a 2018 report on the development of public sports in China, over 90 million people exercised on or around the country's National Fitness Day in 2017.

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