Business / Industries

Lean, mean fitness machine

By Wang Zhuoqiong (China Daily) Updated: 2015-08-17 07:52

Lean, mean fitness machine

A personal trainer helps a client workout in a gym in Zhengzhou, Henan province. [Su Jingbao / China Daily]

The sports industry in China is starting to cash in on the growing trend to workout at gyms

Dong Wei went on a long, luxury cruise with her family to the Caribbean earlier this year. When she returned home to Beijing, she surprised her friends after losing weight.

"Usually, people on a cruise put on extra weight," she said. "But I kept exercising and worked really hard on controlling my diet during the trip."

Dong, 38, has been keeping in shape with the help of a private fitness coach since last December through her WeChat account, an online soical networking platform owned by Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.

She visits the gym twice a week and has a punishing routine of 100 push-ups, 100 stomach crunches and walks "10,000 steps every day". She also takes belly dancing lessons once a week.

"A private coach has worked on my program and helped me with my diet," Dong, an executive at a tourism agency, said. "Working out has helped me feel more positive as a person."

Her story is not unique. Fitness training has become fashionable in China. Television actress Yuan Shanshan recently posted online a photography showing off her smooth stomach after revealing her workout routine.

Winning the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games has also raised people's interest in physical exercise. "The upcoming Games has certainly fueled a passion for sports and fitness programs just like the summer Olympic Games in 2008 did," Adam Zhang, founder of the Key-solution sports consultancy, said.

The State Council has predicted that the consumer sports industry will be worth 5 trillion yuan ($806.4 billion) by 2025.

Jin Yuqing, chief executive officer of Tera Wellness Management Company Ltd, a fitness chain with one million members and more than 200 gyms in China, has seen the market grow rapidly in the past few years. "Daily visits to our gyms are rising and revenue is up this year compared to the same period in 2014," Jin said, without disclosing detail-ed financial figures.

"A young generation of fitness fans born after the 1990s are fueling the sharp rise. Total membership at our chain of gyms has increased 21 percent year-on-year."

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