It's 8:30pm on a Saturday evening and Cherry starts her jog around Flower City Square which usually takes about 40 minutes. Cherry works for a state-owned bank in Zhujiang New Town and started jogging after she found something wrong in her neck due to prolonged sitting in the office.
The number of sports-lovers like Cherry has grown dramatically in Guangdong in recent years. Despite an increase in living standards, many middle-class people are in sub-health condition due to increased work pressures and pace of life.
Mei joined a running team named "Paozu (跑族)", which has thousands of members and is one of the biggest running teams in Guangzhou. Mei says that jogging has become a way of life and she plans to bring her daughter jogging with her when her two-year old gets older.
Joe is a badminton fanatic who religiously joins his workmates every Friday evening to hit the birdie at a public stadium near his work place. Besides badminton, Joe said that his company also regularly organizes different kinds of sports events such as hiking and kayaking.
Many Guangdong companies now organize group sports for their staff so they can relax and cultivate a healthy life and work style. Besides jogging, badminton and other popular sports, individual sports like boxing are gaining in popularity.
Feng, the director of Meitai Boxing Club located in the Luogang District of Guangzhou, said that more boxing-lovers are coming out. According to Feng, there are now three boxing clubs in Guangzhou including his Meitai Boxing Club.
Feng admits that he is surprised at the growing number of boxers. Many people are gradually realizing the advantages that boxing has for body-shaping and fitness compared with jogging and other traditional kinds of sports.
Parks and other green areas have become the first choice for exercise among many citizens so the construction of green belts in cities has become one of the most important tasks for Guangdong officials.
According to the Nanfang Daily, after more than five years, Guangdong now owns 10,976 kilometers of green belts, with 8,909 kilometers in the Pearl River Delta Region. Guangdong Province has constructed a complete biological green corridor network so that citizens can arrive at community green belts within five minutes, municipal green belts within 15 minutes and provincial green belts within half an hour to 45 minutes.