China's fitness industry transforms Chinese perceptions of health
Updated 18:15, 08-Aug-2019
By Wei Diqi

August 8 marks National Fitness Day in China, where ideas around fitness continue to undergo tremendous changes. And, with the fitness industry booming, people's perceptions of being healthy are also transforming.

Supermonkey is a self-service fitness gymbox in China. If you go there, you will find people of different ages and various occupations dance and exercise every day with the same goal: keep fit, get healthier and be happy.   

"We offer courses of different levels. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, you can choose a course that fits you. There are more and more young people joining us. That's because they are facing so much social pressure. In here, they can relax," Joyce, Regional Training and Development Director of Supermonkey, told CGTN. 

An evolution is happening in China's fitness industry. Over the last five or six years, there has been an explosion of new types of businesses models. In the current fitness world, it's not just about becoming fitter, it's also a lifestyle, and about giving people a community to be a part of.  

"You will see the changes as the time goes by. You have a goal to reach. Today you finish these exercises, and tomorrow you will do more. In this community, people are working together and reaching their goals... It's not simply about training. It's about team spirit and people working together," said Xu Yao, head coach from Crossfit Long. 

Young people are exercising in a gym. /VCG Photo

Young people are exercising in a gym. /VCG Photo

Nowadays, changing values and perceptions are reshaping China's fitness market. For Chinese women, especially women in their 20s or 30s, the definition of beauty is changing.  

Andy Mok, senior research fellow at the Center for China & Globalization, said that Chinese women used to believe beauty is about being thin and having white skin, but now more and more Chinese women value looking fit.  

"So they go to Crossfit, they go to these other types of activities…So they can look better, they can feel better. And it's really quite a remarkable thing to see," he said. 

More and more young people in China are paying a premium for new experiences. These experiences are more about shaping their bodies and having better health.  

It's difficult to anticipate the future of the fitness industry in China, but one thing is certain: Chinese people are paying more and more attention to their health than ever before.