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Fitness and Sport for Expats in China

Submitted: August 2013

The fitness industry in China is fast-growing, with the State Physical Culture Administration adopting several measures in an effort to promote nationwide fitness such as the Nationwide Fitness Program. Chinese people enjoy sporting activities like hiking, water sports, badminton, volleyball, gymnastics, table tennis and martial arts, with many other activities becoming increasingly popular, both Chinese and Western.

China has facilities which cater to many sporting activities and events which are popular in the Western world, ranging from yoga or horseback riding to cricket and football. Popular participant and spectator sports in China with strong western influence include:

If you are interested in joining a particular amateur sport club, the following link may prove useful in providing information on the many sporting clubs available in Beijing and how to go about joining them. -  https://www.beijingwelcome.com/beijing_information/Html/10367.aspx

In addition, many activities are available which can be done during leisure due to China’s extensive rural areas and developed cities, making both outdoor and indoor activities available. Common activities include:

If you are considering enrolment at a fitness centre (gym), China has about 3,000 health clubs, most of which are commercial, with around 3 million members. Most of these centres are located within 1st and 2nd tier, with Beijing and Shanghai having far more than other cities. However, there has been recent growth in the number of centres in western China in accordance with the ‘Go West’ policy. The two largest gym chains in China are Tera Wellness, which is based in Shanghai, and Hosa Fitness, which is based in Beijing. Many international gyms have also penetrated China’s market such as Bally and Powerhouse Gyms, California Fitness and Fitness First. Each of these gyms has its specific costs, with annual membership fees vary depending on several factors; on average you can expect to pay an amount  anywhere between US$ 91 to US $763.
For a comprehensive list of gym option, the following links may prove useful:

Beijing- https://www.cityweekend.com.cn/beijing/listings/sports/gyms/

Shanghai - https://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/sports/gyms/



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