Living in China

Going to the gym in China – wearing a miniskirt!

Going to the gym in ChinaPhoto by HealthGauge

I went to the gym today with my boyfriend and even though that is quite the news, I used to almost hate working out, but there was something much more interesting in the gym than my red face. As it was a Sunday afternoon, there weren’t that many people on the gym that is located at the Guangzhou University in Higher Educational Mega Center.

I’ve heard about this kind of thing happening in the gym before, but hadn’t witnessed it myself before. So I almost didn’t believe my eyes when I saw this girl on a treadmill. Her body was like from the pages of a fashion magazine. She was wearing leggings, leather miniskirt, high-heel sneakers and a small top that didn’t cover her stomach. She was walking on a treadmill with a mobile phone on her hand!

So how do you actually work out in a leather miniskirt? For her working out seemed to mean walking slowly and showing her body off to the guys lifting the weights. The way she was walking, like on a runway, it was quite clear she wasn’t there to get sweaty.

Sure I have seen girls and guys working on their jeans and stuff, but leather miniskirt girl was totally something special. Have you encountered something as strange in a gym somewhere in the globe?


  • Ellen

    Oh my!…. Well, there are different people in this world. I’m sure, such picture occurs elsewhere than only China… Yet I have to admit that it makes me sad that more and more girls in China are attaching too great importance to their looks and turn into barbie girls (or some other cartoon heroines). Foreign influence (especially from Korea) is definitely not doing good to the Chinese society and moral

    Chris_Waugh Reply:

    I’m sorry, but are you suggesting that before Reform and Opening Up, China had no ideals of beauty that were held up as models for Chinese women to aspire to? Young Chinese women were never taught about how beautiful 杨贵妃 or 西施 were? Young Chinese women have never been encouraged to be beautiful? I would agree that foreign influence has helped to change fashions, but I would be very surprised if it can be blamed for young women trying to model themselves to some kind of societal ideal.

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    This reminds me of one Chinese girl from few years back. She was taller and skinnier than me, a lot skinnier, but she was worried as she was the “fattest” in her dorm room. It was sad to hear she thought so little of her self and paid too much attention on something superficial. And she didn’t even have anything to lose from!

    Kaiser Reply:

    I agree that being obsessed with being skinny due to vain, superficial reasons is pathetic. Still, we shouldn’t forget that being overweight carries serious health risks such as diabetes and heart disease. So, people who exercise aren’t always conceited. I’d wager the girl you saw though is probably not at the gym to lower her cholesterol!

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Of course working out is good for everyone, but everything should be done with balance.

  • Kaiser

    很久以前,我记得有一次一个姑娘在健身房穿着和你描述一样的衣服可是我记得的姑娘是胖得不得了。 我虽然很支持胖人去健身房减肥但是如果人那么胖的话,请别穿小裙子。

    Kaiser Reply:


    Sara Jaaksola Reply:


    Sara Jaaksola Reply:


  • Nommoc

    1) Great job on going to the gym. Keep it up! Like learning Chinese, workout is hard and first, but worth it!
    2) Ignore the distractions at the gym. There are too many. Just get a good workout in and call it a day!

    Exercise and working out is totally necessary for us learning Chinese, we need to sweat out the toxic air and relieve all the “studying Chinese” stress.

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Haha, nice point on relieving that study stress. I hope that I will get to a point where going to the gym is relieving stress, not creating it.

  • chinaelevatorstories

    The gym I’ve been going to doesn’t seem to have any of the people I’ve heard others describe seeing in Chinese gyms. Maybe it’s not fancy enough to attract these kinds of people? The machines are definitely not the newest ones, but they still work alright. Sometimes people try out machines for the first time (those who are about to buy a gym membership), but other than that, people do all wear outfits that work well for working out.

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Well, the gym I go isn’t fancy at all. It’s located at an university campus and is much cheaper than those in the city. I would perhaps guess that she wasn’t a student, perhaps someone working in the area.

  • NatetheRonin


  • busrel .

    From your posts, seems that you ain’t into sports or any sorts of workout, maybe you are truely a introvert 宅女 :P

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Yes! I’m totally an introvert 宅女 and proud of it :) I do like horse riding and snowboarding though, but the first is expensive here and the latter impossible in Guangzhou.

  • Patf

    Hi Sara – Are you familiar with gyms in GZ? If so, can you please suggest some that are close to GZ East Railway Station or Tianhe area? I will be in GZ for about a month and am looking for a gym to workout (weights) in. Thanks in advance!

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hi Patf, sorry to keep you waiting for an answer! Have you found a gym already? There seem to be many all around the city, a year seems to be about 3000RMB or so. Unfortunately as I live far from the city center, I go to the University Island’s gym that isn’t convenient for others to come as it’s far away.

    Patf Reply:

    Hi Sara – Sorry for late response, as I was in China, HK & Thailand for 2 months. I did find a gym located inside Martyrs’ Park. Got a 1 month membership for RMB250.