The just-concluded week-long Spring Festival holiday in China saw fitness activities become increasingly popular and witnessed significant growth in sports-related consumption, as more and more Chinese discovered the benefits of working out during the important annual holiday.
Sales of fitness equipment and services boomed during the Chinese Lunar New Year. Statistics indicated that in the first 10 days of a nationwide Chinese New Year online shopping festival, sales of skipping ropes, chest expanders and dumbbells soared 351.1 percent, 91.9 percent and 78.9 percent year on year, respectively.
After opening on Feb. 16, the fifth day of the Chinese New Year, Hongkou Football Stadium in Shanghai welcomed nearly 100 football fans and their families who came to play football as a way to celebrate the Spring Festival.
In another mass sporting event, over 200 people gathered on the bank of Jialing River, southwest China's Chongqing municipality, on the second day of the Chinese New Year for the first winter swimming invitational tournament held there.
Meanwhile, east China's Shandong province opened 13 sports-themed travel routes aimed at bringing citizens a wonderful athletic culture experience during the seven-day holiday.
With the number of people looking to join physical activities during the Spring Festival rising, public sports facilities in many cities kept their doors open during this period. For instance, 40 stadiums in Beijing were open to the public during the holiday. Among them, Ditan sports center, Dongdan PE center and Tiantan Sports Center were open free of charge or at discounted rates during designated business hours.
The continued operation of sports venues during the Spring Festival reflected the fast-growing enthusiasm for physical activity among citizens who are gradually forming a habit of keeping fit.
An online fitness gala, hosted by China's General Administration of Sport that kicked off ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, drew widespread participation from netizens across the country. Joined by celebrity athletes such as Olympic taekwondo champion Wu Jingyu and freestyle skiing world championship gold medalist Li Nina, the event has encouraged many fitness enthusiasts to share their experience of working out on social media.