Monday, September 8, 2008

China's Fitness Craze

This AP piece on China's recently-developed fitness craze made me fondly recall the great gyms I worked out at in Ningbo. I work out pretty much daily, and did during the years I lived in China as well. The gyms in Ningbo were really great! They were well equipped, well lit, and for the most part, well staffed. There was a bit of frustration with gym etiquette (ever driven in China?), but in general, the atmosphere was conducive to working out.

There is a scene in many gyms, however, that I believe must be common across China. I'm almost certain that any expat you ask will describe a similar scene, and that is the group of confused, middle-aged Chinese gentlemen huddled in the locker room, wrapped in towels (or not), smoking. I'm sure it's getting better now, but it definitely prevented me from spending much time in the locker room!

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