China's first National Fitness Guide, which was introduced on Thursday, is expected to provide sound and accessible guidance for the growing number of fitness enthusiasts nationwide.
The guide will be published soon on the website of the General Administration of Sport of China. It will also be provided to schools and fitness centers, and used for health promotion activities nationwide in both digital and print formats, according to the mass fitness department of the administration.
Compiled by the China Institute of Sport Science, together with supporting institutions, the guide explains the health benefits of different exercises and provides age-specific training regimens－with frequency, duration and intensity data－to help exercisers of all ages stay fit properly. The regimens make allowance for individual physical and mental conditions, and are designed to help people realize their fitness goals safely.
"Despite growing public participation in exercise, the lack of awareness that this is a science, not just a habit, is taking a toll on exercisers' efforts and even causing serious harm now and then," said Tian Ye, a sports physiology professor at Beijing Sport University and head of the group that compiled the report.
"It's urgent to publish a guide for the public," Tian said.
Based on public fitness data collected by CISS over the past 15 years, a group of researchers from Wuhan Institute of Physical Education and Shanghai University of Sport studied the health benefits and effective practices of five major exercise categories including cardiovascular, weightlifting and ballgames.
"Self-evaluation is extremely important. You can only exercise in a proper and safe way that matches your needs if you understand where you are and where you want to go," said Yuan Hong, deputy director of the sport science institute.
According to the latest national exercise survey－based on data from 81,828 people age 20 or older and released by the institute at the end of 2015－about 47 percent of respondents exercised without any guidance while 32 percent were guided by nonprofessional friends and colleagues.
The self-reliant approach to exercise has exposed some enthusiasts to deadly risks through improper practices, as highlighted by the deaths of distance runners from time to time.
The weekly training arrangement in the guide, which combines multiple sports and moves gradually from different entry levels, was praised by trainers for its compatibility and efficiency.
"A girl who wants to lose fat definitely needs a very different pattern from one who is preparing for a full marathon. A guide that includes everyone's condition will produce results," said Yang Bin, owner of the NowFitness gym chain in Beijing.