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Home, sweat home

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2020-02-12 07:30
Trainers at a fitness club in Shanghai record video material for people to work out. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Long is now exercising on a daily basis and tries out different aerobic and anaerobic regimes on the Keep app to enhance his physical strength.

"The tennis court where I usually play has been closed, and so is my gym," Long says, adding that he and his friends all agree that the shutdown is the right thing to do given the circumstances.

Hi-Lefit, a Hangzhou-headquartered gym chain, shut all of its nearly 500 branches countrywide on Jan 27.

The measure was undertaken to ensure safety of its more than 4 million members and followers, says Yang Shuting, Hi-Lefit's brand officer.

"We'll extend the membership accordingly, and the opening time will depend on developments and State regulations," Yang says.

Yang predicts Hi-Lefit's offline income will continue to drop in the following months and it will also have to deal with such challenges as customer account management.

Yet, the company, based in East China's Zhejiang province, might be considered lucky compared with other conventional gym operators, thanks to its online and app-based fitness tools.

"Because we don't have a prepaid mechanism, there are no problems such as consumer conflicts," Yang explains.

Despite being affected by the outbreak, Yang is still optimistic about the future of the fitness market.

"The outbreak will make the public pay more attention to health," Yang says.

He expects the market will grow rapidly in the next decade, especially after the country's ongoing focus on boosting national fitness.

"We might see a wave of people joining the gym after this," Yang says.

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