Chinese people go to the gym at midnight
They are usually office workers stressed by work, insomniacs or middle-aged husbands kicked out of the house by their wives.
At 0:00, the gym at a building in Chaoyang District (Beijing, China) is still as bright as day.
Xiong Min was sweating profusely on a treadmill in the corner of the room. She chose this position because she felt safe and unnoticed. Only two hours ago, it was difficult for customers to come here to compete for such a beautiful place.
The customers of the 24-hour gym usually come around 22:00-23:30, there is a guest at 3 a.m. the next morning who still hasn’t left. They are mostly young men, have a habit of using treadmills, rarely use weights and other equipment.
“The people who come to practice late are usually office workers who work overtime, people with insomnia or husbands who are kicked out of the house by their wives,” said the manager of a gym.
According to Sohu, night exercise is increasingly popular in major cities in China. Stress, busyness, overtime work and too much pressure on appearance are the reasons why more and more young people choose these type of gyms.
People at a 24-hour gym in China. Photo: Vision China.
Sleep less, exercise more
Late at night, at a 24-hour gym, people seem to only hear the wind blowing from the air conditioner.
Xiong Min wears a black tracksuit and cap. She turned on the TV program on her phone and walked briskly on the treadmill. Having prolonged insomnia, she fixed the exercise time after 22:30 every day.
There was a time, Xiong Min always went to the gym at 1 or 2 am. Working at an Internet company, she often has to work overtime until 10pm. Less than 30 years old, the female employee suffered from stomach, spine and lumbar diseases.
In early 2020, Xiong Min was fired by the company because of the epidemic. She broke down heavily, returned to her hometown thanks to her parents and overeating. In just 2 months, she gained up to 10 kg.
“I’ve always lived in a state of play with no goals. Running is the only thing I can do,” she said.
In August 2020, she found a new job in Beijing and decided to buy a pass at the nearest gym to the company to run at night.
At first, Xiong Min could only run 3 km, 5 km, then 15-20 km… As the speed increased, she found her heart beating abnormally fast and painful. “ByteDance employee dies suddenly in gym”, “Beijing man dies suddenly in gym, family demands 1.66 million yuan”, “34-year-old Chongqing man dies suddenly after working out in the gym”… a series of news about deaths in the gym made her worried.
She went to the doctor to check her health. The results showed that she only suffered from insomnia. The next day, after working overtime at the office, she continued to go straight to the gym. She finished training at 1am, walked home and slept at 2am. At 3 or 5 o’clock, she woke up because she couldn’t sleep deeply, then prepared for a long day of work.
According to SohuXiong Min’s place of practice is part of a 24-hour gym chain that was established 5 years ago and has now grown to 800 facilities, including 141 in Beijing. In particular, there are 59 establishments in Trieu Duong district, which means that there is a gym of this type every 8 km.
Compared to the traditional gym with an area of thousands of square meters, the 24-hour gym is only 300 square meters in size, with simple facilities and lower costs. All room activities are through scanning the application code. Even when unattended, customers can get in and out with ease thanks to scanning a pre-issued code.
For many young people in big cities in China, exercising at night helps them relieve work pressure. Photo: qq.
10 pm is also the time Pan Chenjun comes here to practice. He is a restaurant worker, finishing work at 21:30. After cleaning the kitchen, he cycled straight to the gym to jog for 40 minutes, then use the equipment to help lose weight. He practiced like this continuously for about 2 hours.
A year ago, Pan went to work at a restaurant in Beijing, starting a busy life until “dark eyes, dark nose”. At that time, his weight was 220 pounds (about 100 kg). Looking at himself in the mirror, Pan always comforted: “Handsome, not fat”, until a colleague advised him to lose weight.
In Beijing, this young man was unhappy. Working at a restaurant every 10 hours, clothes are always covered with grease. At the busiest time of the day, Pan felt like he was on a cloud, his mind was blank, he was not aware of what he was doing.
“I’ve always felt like a machine on an assembly line, repeating the same movement from morning to night. It’s only when I exercise that I find I have a life goal,” he said.
“Every time I lose weight, I have a strong feeling that things are getting better. In big cities, only by changing yourself can you come into contact with many unknowns. “, he added.
Regarding the midnight exercise, according to medicine, there is no exact conclusion about the most appropriate time to exercise.
But Hou Xihe, a lecturer at the Shanghai Sports Academy, said that sleep quality is especially important in maintaining health. Studies have shown that from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. the next morning, people have the ability to fall into a deep sleep. Therefore, he advises people not to exercise at night.
However, for those who are always in the gym 24 hours, sleep no longer seems to be important.
A mother of two shared that she was always busy with school and work, and had to take care of her family and small children. But when she entered the gym, her mood was very high.
“To lose weight, she can do anything,” says her trainer.
According to Zing
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