China’s New Prosperity Fuels Fitness Craze

AP (via Boston Globe) reports on the increasing popularity of fitness clubs in China. Gyms, rarely patronized in the past, are now in higher demand by China’s new .

Several days a week, Wu Ruiyao hits the gym, where she sweats on a treadmill, tones her abs in a group exercise or stretches under the guidance of a personal trainer.

The 90-minute workout is routine to Wu, a 36-year-old ad sales representative. But the surroundings — a four-story fitness club catering to different fitness levels and needs — would have been unimaginable just a decade ago.

“When I thought of a gym in the 1990s, it would be bare with dumbbells and maybe running machines in a room,” said Wu, a small woman with big, smiling eyes. “My mom thought doing house chores was working out, but that’s not a truly aerobic sport.”

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