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Getting richer, getting fitter

By Yuan Quan | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-22 08:04

Getting richer, getting fitter

More than 150 yoga lovers practice on a 32.8-meter-long glass sightseeing platform in Shilinxia, Pinggu district, Beijing. [Photo/Xinhua]

The number of customers hitting the nation's gyms and fitness centers is growing as people try to gain the perfect body. Yuan Quan reports for China Features at Xinhua.

Two years ago, Han Chunjing was an amateur chef, parading her attempts at China's world-renowned cuisine on social media. Today, the 45-year-old is one of a growing number of fitness enthusiasts posting gym selfies to show off their impressive physiques.

Since September 2014, Han - founder of an NGO in the northern port city of Tianjin - has worked out for four to six hours a week, focusing on training programs including CrossFit and cardio sessions. She has lost 10 kg, firmed her abs and, more importantly for her, "regained a young woman's shape and confidence".

Han is one of the millions of Chinese who have taken up the Western habit of boosting their six packs and well-honed muscles via anaerobic or aerobic exercises.

Photos of running tracks, steps and amazing handstands are sweeping social media platforms, such as the micro blog Weibo and the instant-messaging service WeChat. Now, registering for some marathons is harder than buying a train ticket during the Spring Festival exodus. Web users never tire of discussing body-fat percentages and diet plans, while celebrities' posts of their gym pictures never fail to attract hits and fans.

Han says her passion came from a personal awakening - "Keeping fit means a better life" - and fitness classes, books and sportswear have cost her more than 30,000 yuan ($4,355) over two years. "It's not a small amount, but it's better than spending it on hospital bills, isn't it?" she said.

In the 1980s, when Han was young, most people had no awareness of physical fitness, preferring instead to believe the traditional saying: "Health depends on food rather than feet."

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