Smart gyms enhance mass happiness in China

At around 7pm, You Zuming, 73, leaves home with a table tennis bat in hand. He is going to play ping-pong with neighbors in the smart gym located in the community where he lives.
You, who lives in Guiyang City, capital of southwest China’s Guizhou Province, is an out-and-out sports fan and enjoyed competing regularly in his youth. But as he aged, You gradually changed his exercise routine and became fond of playing table tennis.
“I take part in this exercise almost every day,” he said.
Equipped with various exercise machines, the gym is the first one to provide a 24-hour service in Guizhou. It opened on July 10 last year.
According to gym manager Chen Lei, they provide most of the equipment to the community residents free of charge, except for running and spinning machines, and have also hired several professional instructors to offer fitness courses, such as yoga and aerobics, to community residents at a lower price than commercial gyms.
Chen said the annual card for this gym costs only 240 yuan (37.6 U.S. dollars) while the seasonal card costs 68 yuan. What’s more, residents can also choose an annual family card for 480 yuan, which allows three family members to share it simultaneously.
Wei Rong, who works at a bank, signed up for a seasonal card about two months ago and is planning to sign up for another annual one later. “I come here five times a week and exercise for about one hour each time, I usually run and spin,” she said.
At the start, Wei used to have sore muscles after exercising, but now she feels much better.
“After workouts, citizens can access their physical tests and exercise data by scanning the QR code with their mobile phones, based on which they can make a more scientific exercise plan,” Chen said.
Data released by the General Administration of Sports of China shows that nearly 60 percent of people who take part in sport choose to exercise within 1km from where they live.
In Chen’s view, smart gyms meet the needs of those users. “About 500 residents in the community have signed up for memberships at our gym, most of which are annual cards, and about 50 of them come to exercise every day,” he added.
Smart gyms have popped up in other cities in China for several years, such as Beijing, and Chongqing in southwest China. In early 2021, at least two other intelligent fitness venues were newly opened to the public in Guiyang, thus making fitness more convenient for residents living there.
In China, with the continuous improvement of living standards, physical exercise now plays a much more important role in people’s daily lives.
According to You and others, smart gyms not only provide them with sports venues, but also enrich their lives. “Doing exercise every day keeps me in good heath, ensures I can enjoy my life better and enhances my happiness, so why not?” You smiled.

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