Brisk walking grows in popularity in northeast China
Accompanied by rhythmic music, Liu Shuangyao and dozens of teammates line up, evenly spaced, and walked orderly along the Labour Lake in Qiqihar City, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
Liu Shuangyao, a fitness enthusiast, and his friends walk on the banks of the Labour Lake every day. Under the accompaniment of music, dozens of people walk with a purpose and a steady pace.
"There were a lot of people walking by the Labour Lake, but everyone walked in different ways at different speeds. I used to play with mobile phone while walking. It was not easy to achieve my purpose of gaining fitness." In order to increase the intensity of the exercise, Liu hung a small speaker on his waist, played rhythmic music and fixed his walking speed.
"Later there were more and more people following me," Liu said. The small speaker around Liu's waist has brought together many people who like to walk. Li Meng is one of them.
"My knee is injured and I am not suited to running. Walking is very suitable for me, especially when I am driven by music. I don't want to be left behind when I walk with other people. An hour of exercise will make me sweat a lot," 34-year-old Li said.
"Every day we exercise at a fixed time, one person and one position, it is easy to find who is not here," Liu said.
There are many walking teams that exercise at the Labour Lake in Qiqihar City. As Chinese people pay more and more attention to their health, more people are taking part in walking.
In Fujin, Heilongjiang Province, there are two signs standing in the middle of the city square with the words "Starting Point" and "End Point" respectively. Between the two signs is a fitness trail that is hundreds of meters long, attracting many citizens to walk on the trail.
There are many water systems in Heilongjiang, and the riverside of each city is an important place for local people to exercise. In Harbin, Jiamusi, Hegang and other places, people can often be seen walking along the river in the evening. The local government also often organizes large-scale walking activities along the river to attract more people to participate in exercise.
In order to better meet people's fitness needs, several new sports parks have been built in many cities in Heilongjiang Province for people to walk in.
In Harbin, the government converted a golf course into a free sports park, with thousands of meters of fitness trails shuttled around the park and covered with shock-absorbing plastic. Many cities have also converted shanty towns and abandoned factories into comprehensive fitness venues.
Since the opening day of Beijing Summer Olympic Games on August 8, 2008 was set as China's first "National Fitness Day", mass sports have developed rapidly. In the following years, the government launched a series of policies to promote national fitness. Today, the number of people in China who regularly participate in physical exercise is about 400 million, and there are more than 3 million sports venues across the country.