Feature: 15-min fitness circle helps residents live healthier lives in NW China's rust belt city-Xinhua

Feature: 15-min fitness circle helps residents live healthier lives in NW China's rust belt city

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-09-02 14:49:15

LANZHOU, China, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- After playing badminton, 30-year-old Zhang Lingqian and her friends began to jog around the Qin Chuanhu Park and enjoy the fresh air.

Zhang's hometown is Pingchuan District of Baiyin City, known as rust belt city in northwest China's Gansu Province. The formation of a 15-minute fitness circle here has helped residents live healthier lives in recent years.

Qin Chuanhu Park, which covers over 100,000 square meters, resembles a green diamond in the urban area of the district. It is said that the park used to be a ditch with lots of garbage.

"The man-made lake of the park looks like a green mirror," said Zhang, adding that she often exercised with her friends in different parks.

Pingchuan District, with an annual output of nearly nine million tonnes of coal, is rich in resources, but coal mining subsidence and ecological deterioration came into reality a few years ago.

"We can't jog or walk too long outside because of air pollution at that time," Zhang said.

Green space and several urban parks have been built to help local people enjoy a friendly environment Since 2017. The increase of parkland has gradually improved the local environment, and more and more people were willing to go out and get involved in sports during last few years.

Zhang said it would take her about 10 minutes' walk from her home to Qin Chuanhu Park, then she would arrive at Pingchuan Park after walking less than 500 meters along the fitness track.

1,450 sets of fitness equipment have been distributed to 148 outdoor fitness venues since 2015, according to the Administration of Sport of Pingchuan District. The urban green coverage rate of Pingchuan District reached 40 percent, and the district's outdoor fitness venues reached 768 with nearly 500,000 square meters in 2021.

"One park connecting to another makes it very easy for us to exercise," Zhang said.

In order to help more local people exercise in a good environment, the district has built over 100,000 square meters of man-made lakes, and the urban green coverage area was more than 8.4 million square meters at the end of last year.

"The formation of a 15-minute fitness circle has begun to take shape in recent years. The district began to build a sports park and a children's park with a total area of 280,000 square meters in early 2022," said Liu Huaipeng, director of garden administration office of Pingchuan District, adding that the office has completed the construction of 60,000 square meters green space with fitness equipment by the end of 2021.

The construction of 15-minute fitness circle by Pingchuan District is part of the fitness program of Gansu Province. The province plans to fulfill the construction of 15-minute fitness circles covering all communities by the end of 2025.