• Houhai English

STAYING IN SHAPE IN BEIJING

No matter where you decide to live, staying in shape will always be a feat that is part of your life. Thankfully, if you choose to live in Beijing, staying in shape comes with the territory! There are countless ways all over the city to seek out your ideal go-to health and fitness rituals. Staying in shape is a mindset and can also be fun and a life-affirming endeavor. Read on about the different ways you can find your health sanctuary in Beijing.

THE GYM EXPERIENCE



There are plenty of gyms to choose from all over Beijing. Nico, a Lead Teacher at Houhai English, tells us about the different ways he stays in shape: "I go to the gym. It's not difficult finding a suitable gym around Beijing. You usually pay for an upfront package plan for six months or a full year when you sign up. The longer you sign up, the less expensive it will be per month. It can cost around 3000 to 5000 RMB a year for full gym access. Depending on the quality of the gym, the price can fluctuate." You can expect a wide range of facilities and amenities at the gym, like swimming pools, spin classes, and saunas. If you would like to get in serious shape, think about hiring a private trainer! On average, a personal trainer will cost you around 400 to 700 RMB per session. Let's get fit, ya'll!

YOGA

Breathe in, breathe out. Get rid of all that unnecessary chatter and stress in your life. Yoga is rising in popularity in China, with new studios opening up all over the country. Yoga studios offer various styles like Astanga, Vinyasa, Yoga Sculpt, Pre-natal, Yin Yoga meditation, and Fine Barre. There are even specialty classes like shoulder, neck, and hip therapy. One thing to keep in mind is that yoga classes are usually taught in Chinese. Fortunately, if you've practiced your fair share, it will be easy to follow along. Yoga is an incredible way to get connected to your body and mind while getting some rest from the busy streets of Beijing.


TENNIS



There are tennis courts and facilities across the city. Grab a partner and hit the court! Tennis is a wonderful way to burn off those extra calories and have some fun outdoors. You will most likely need to reserve a court in advance. If you're new to the game, consider hiring a tennis coach! A coach will cost you around 220 RMB per hour, and they will take care of booking the court for you!


BOXING



Boxing is an amazing way to keep both the body and mind in shape. Boxing will surely get your heart pumping, strengthen bones, and burn lots of calories. You can find places to box throughout Beijing. There are boxing facilities in some gyms, too!

TOUCH RUGBY



Nico is also a huge fan of playing touch rugby in Beijing. "I got introduced to a touch rugby group through a friend of mine. We spoke about sports and getting involved in rugby. So, he added me to a touch rugby WeChat group. One Sunday afternoon last year, I went and made so many new friends. We still hang out even outside rugby. We play and go out to play tournaments." Nico adds, "Being open-minded and willing to try new things is what's important. I love the outdoors. When I was told I could meet new people and play outdoors, I was immediately down. It's great meeting new people, talking about jobs, and where they're from. On average, when I play touch rugby on Sundays, there will be twenty to thirty people with over ten different nationalities. It's nice hearing all the different accents and perspectives on life."


BIKE EVERYWHERE



One of the insane perks about living in Beijing is the ability to bike all over the city! You don't even need to own a bike. There are shared bikes at literally every corner of each block. Biking not only alleviates stress, but it's an incredible source of exercise too! At first, you may perceive the streets of Beijing as a tumultuous sea, although you'll soon find there is a way to vibe with the traffic. There are also so many beautiful streets to bike around, and it's an incredible way to see this massive city.


EAT



Okay, people, let's eat! Is it possible to eat mouthwatering, delectable food and still stay in shape? It certainly is with mindful eating! Beijing is a goldmine for fresh produce and quality ingredients. Eating healthily will lead you to your ideal body and health goals. You will find many Chinese people are pretty slender in shape. Of course, our body goals need to be realistic, and not everyone is made of the same DNA. Despite this, adapting to similar eating habits won't hurt. In China, the most commonly eaten food groups are fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fish. Opt for extra veggies and fewer carbs. Also, cooking more at home is known to help take in fewer unwanted calories. There are tons of delivery options to order fresh food right to your door. Go for the boiled option! Many eateries offer boiled options instead of fried. Lastly, don't forget the tea! Tea is very commonly served with meals to aid digestion.

Well, there you have it! Staying in shape is a choice. Luckily, living in Beijing makes that choice a bit easier due to the many options available. The best thing about dedicating yourself to your healthy lifestyle goals is seeing the results. All your hard work will shine bright, inwards, and outwards.

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