Skip to content

A yoga teacher is teaching yoga via livestream at a studio in Lianyungang City, eastern China's Jiangsu Province, August 8, 2021. /CFP

A yoga teacher is teaching yoga via livestream at a studio in Lianyungang City, eastern China’s Jiangsu Province, August 8, 2021. /CFP

A yoga teacher is teaching yoga via livestream at a studio in Lianyungang City, eastern China’s Jiangsu Province, August 8, 2021. /CFP

In 2022, the realm of home fitness witnessed a remarkable surge, with women emerging as the driving force behind the fitness consumer market, according to a data report on China’s fitness industry published at ChinaFit Convention in June this year.

Fitness enthusiasts in China are experiencing a change in sports habits thanks to the fast development of online platforms and the use of smart technologies.

Home fitness embraced a dazzling evolution in 2022. Empowered by social media and live-streaming platforms, a multitude embarked on a thrilling journey of health and vitality. Smart fitness mirrors, smart skipping ropes, and other ingenious gadgets enriched Chinese people’s workout quests and enhanced their motivation and engagement in fitness endeavors. 

A screenshot of Chinese singer Liu Genghong and his wife livestreaming their workout session on Douyin, or Chinese TikTok. /Xinhua

A screenshot of Chinese singer Liu Genghong and his wife livestreaming their workout session on Douyin, or Chinese TikTok. /Xinhua

A screenshot of Chinese singer Liu Genghong and his wife livestreaming their workout session on Douyin, or Chinese TikTok. /Xinhua

Fitness Influencer and world champions to lead and inspire

According to a Douyin report in March 2021, the number of fitness videos in 2021 increased by 134 percent, while followers of fitness trainers were up by 208 percent compared with the previous year.

Chinese singer Liu Genghong (Will Liu) quickly rose to fame on Douyin back in 2022, not from his songs but from his fitness videos on social media.

Liu is usually seen exercising with fast-paced dance and aerobic moves set to pumping background music by China’s pop singer Jay Chou, who also happens to be his friend. The rhythm and, on the face of it, easy movements, combined with Liu’s detailed explanation and constant encouragement, are just some of the elements that make the sessions so popular.

Liu’s meteoric rise to fame has made him a household name, so far, his account on Douyin has drawn more than 68 million followers and 1.9 billion likes, igniting people’s interest in indoor exercise.

The General Admission of Sport of China organized a nationwide online challenge last year, with support from over 50 platforms, providing more than 100 online sports events. 

In addition to everyday fitness enthusiasts, online challenges have attracted Chinese Olympic and world champions, including short-track speed skating Olympic champion Wu Dajing, Olympic weightlifting champion Lyu Xiaojun and women’s shot-put star Gong Lijiao.

“We place special emphasis on harnessing the role of Olympic and world champions to lead and inspire. This also represents a form of sharing the achievements of competitive sports with the public,” said Ding Dong, an official at the General Admission of Sport of China. 

An exercise instructor guides participants to follow along with online video classes, Beijing, China, June 18, 2020. /CFP

An exercise instructor guides participants to follow along with online video classes, Beijing, China, June 18, 2020. /CFP

An exercise instructor guides participants to follow along with online video classes, Beijing, China, June 18, 2020. /CFP

Fitness platforms underscoring the social interaction

Since the beginning of 2020, the downloads of apps concerning fitness have been increasing rapidly, indicating the growing popularity of online fitness, according to Xinhua. 

China’s leading mobile exercise app, Keep, saw a remarkable increase in revenue during the first quarter of 2022, rising by 37.6 percent from 3.03 billion yuan ($422 million) in the same period of 2021 to 4.17 billion yuan, according to General Admission of Sport of China.

According to the 2022 National Fitness Trends Report published by General Admission of Sport of China and People’s Daily Online, among the conscious and actively engaged sports and fitness enthusiasts surveyed, 56.2 percent of individuals indicated that their motivation for sports and fitness originated from “invitations from fitness partners.” This option surpassed the motivation of “self-discipline,” underscoring the social interaction and interpersonal relationship regulating functions inherent in sports and fitness activities.

Especially in the context of home fitness, sharing fitness achievements serves as one of the motivational strategies in fitness routines. Sports and fitness guidance service platforms hold a distinct advantage in this aspect. Among the fitness enthusiasts utilizing sports and fitness guidance service platforms, over 40% of individuals update and share their sports and fitness data on a daily basis, the report shows. 

Respondents believe that the data-based rewards offered by platforms, such as fitness digital badges, are an effective form of fitness motivation. These rewards have a greater impact on motivating individuals in sports and fitness compared to the “prompt reminders from fitness facilities,” according to the report.

During this year’s Two Sessions, National People’s Congress deputy Qi Xiumin submitted a proposal to regulate virtual sports, including cloud fitness, to improve the fitness market and further promote sports and exercise among the public.

“Online fitness apps have solved the problem of lack of time and space for exercise, and some free courses can meet the needs of fitness beginners,” said Qi, adding that various online apps also sell sports-related peripheral products, such as sportswear, yoga mats, fitness trackers, and even health and weight-loss meals.

[ad_2]