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Beijing is best for public sports spots

By Du Juan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-10 07:14

 Beijing is best for public sports spots

Cheerleaders welcome runners during an event at Beijing's Olympic Forest Park in August.Lin Hui / For China Daily

I started running in 2010 when I realized I'd gained weight and wasn't feeling well. At first, I worked out in a gym and used running machines, but I gradually found the air stifling.

Now, I like to run outside and just use the weights in the gym.

Beijing is best for public sports spots

I travel a lot with my work, and I usually take my running shoes on business trips. Out of everywhere I've been in China, I'd say Beijing has the best public sport facilities. It has many parks with good walking trails.

My favorite is in the Olympic Forest Park. I go there for a run or a stroll three times a week: Twice on weekdays, to run at least 5 kilometers; and once on the weekend for a 10-km jog.

The trail is professional - soft and wide, and my knees are well protected. Some sports companies have sponsored construction of several rest stations along the trail where you can buy drinks or sit on a bench, which is convenient and considerate.

I've found many interesting places while running around the capital. For instance, I sometimes run in the Shichahai area, just north of the Forbidden City. It's beautiful and peaceful, although there's no professional trail there.

I guess it's not realistic to build trails there because it's often full of tourists, and the streets are narrow. But in the morning and evening I see many locals walking comfortably around the lake, which is nice.

Another place I enjoy to run is Yuan Dadu City Wall Ruins Park, which is further north. The trail is a bit hard, not great for running, but walking is a pleasant experience, as you can feel a mixture of ancient times and the modern world.

I do like the atmosphere of Shanghai's small streets, but they are not for people who want to walk or run. It's more for hanging out and enjoying the atmosphere. Last time I went to Shanghai, I saw a walking trail was being built along the Bund, which means the city is improving in this area, too.

But in terms of public sport facilities, Beijing leads the way. Saying that, the capital has natural disadvantages, too, like the weather and smog.

It's too hot to run during the day in summer, so I have to wait until after 8 pm. Some of my friends get up before 5 am to run when the temperature is still cool. In winter, the smog is the biggest problem, as it prevents us from enjoying outdoor exercise.

Qin Long was talking to Du Juan.

 

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