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Indoor exercise boom amid efforts to curb novel coronavirus outbreak

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-02-12 07:10

Fan Dongquan, a fitness coach with Jinan Hot Blood Fitness Studio in East China's Shandong province, conducted a free 90-minute fitness course online late last month.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has kept millions of Chinese like Fan from partaking in outdoor activities since late January, so indoor exercise has become an important way to keep healthy.

The Chinese sports community, from individuals like Fan to the sports authorities at all levels, have been actively promoting indoor exercise to fight against the epidemic.

China's General Administration of Sport has called upon sports departments at all levels to promote simple and scientific exercises at home and further fitness knowledge, and advocate a healthy lifestyle via various media during the epidemic.

"I believe that regular physical exercise can protect against illness, especially in a time such as this," says Fan.

The fitness coach adds that the number of participants viewing his courses have increased to more than 300.

In fact, sports departments around the country have already released a series of indoor exercise programs with accompanying texts, pictures and videos.

For example, the Beijing Municipal Sports Bureau released a complete set of at-home workouts, including stretching and strength training, on Jan 29.

Rizhao Municipal Sports Bureau of Shandong province has also released instructions for tai chi and yoga. Meanwhile, they invited local social sports instructors to demonstrate the methods on video, so that citizens can follow the experts to learn how to work out at home.

Sports bureaus in Qingdao and Yantai of Shandong province also released the health-promoting ancient Chinese exercise, baduanjin, with detailed instructions on their WeChat platforms.

Baduanjin, literally meaning "eight-section brocade", is one of the most common forms of Chinese qigong exercise.

Beijing Sport University recently issued a video of baduanjin via their WeChat account and had more than 100,000 comments.

The Chinese Health Qigong Association released a combination of Chinese exercises on WeChat. Qigong, a Chinese system of prescribed physical exercises or movements performed in a meditative state, is free of restrictions such as venue and equipment.

The State Council, China's cabinet, issued a new Healthy China guideline in July 2019, which promised support for fitness programs with Chinese characteristics, including tai chi and qigong, which channels the body's inner energy to achieve physical and mental harmony.

Cui Yongsheng, a staff member at the Health Qigong Management Center of the General Administration of Sport, notes that practicing qigong will play a positive role in the fight against the epidemic.

"In the future, we will make more efforts to promote qigong, so that more people can benefit from it," says Cui.

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