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Sports in China

The sports that Chinese people like have always had distinctive traditional characteristics. For example, outdoor sports such as Tai Chi and fitness square dance (not traditional Chinese dancing) are the most popular. However, most of the participants in these sports are middle-aged and elderly people. In recent years, fitness activities in China have gradually changed, and people begin to enjoy running, hiking, and other sports. Among them, the fitness club has become a new sports venue for the younger generation. Many people enter the gym with the hope of having a strong physique like an athlete.

What are the most popular sports in China for young people?

Running and jogging is the most popular sports in China for young people in recent years. It is welcomed by the young group for many reasons.

Running exercise is convenient to practice. There is not too much limitation about running when it comes to site and time. You can do it in the early morning before work; you can also choose to exercise after work or even at the end of the day.

Whether you choose running on the treadmill or outdoors, it has the same effects, so poor weather conditions have no significant impact on this sport.

Running is also a good way to explore a new city. For example, when learning Chinese in Kunming, you may go out jogging at Green Lake, one of the parks you must see in Kunming. By jogging around this area, you can make friends with local runners; see how locals spending time in the park, and appreciate the pretty scenery of Green Lake at the same time. There are also many fancy cafes and Chinese restaurants (Do you know what to order in a Chinese restaurant?) in the surrounding for you to chill after exercise.

Young Chinese make friends by joining the online and offline running community. If you have no idea how to make friends with Chinese, join a running community and find your group while exercising.     

Unlike most sports, you don’t have to prepare a complex kit for running. A good pair of sneakers and light sport wearing is enough for you to enjoy the sport. You may wear a smartwatch to monitor your body index to better know about your state while exercising.

In a word, running is the most popular sport in China for the young generation.

What are the most popular sports in China for elderly people?

People may change their hobbies and sports types at different ages.

For example, when aged 17 to 22, people normally prefer active and intensive ball games and sports. This kind of sport not only provides the joy of movement but is also treated as a sort of social event that you can set up connections with others. This feature makes ball games and sports very attractive to the young group, especially students.

When in age from 23 to 30, people start focusing on the benefits of exercising, such as keeping the body in good shape and good fitness. Strength training, yoga, and dancing are all preferences for people around this age.

When there are many pressures from work and family, weekend hiking and cycling become popular among people aged 31 to 40. They treat exercise as a way to relax and get rid of pressures.

As the increasing of age, Chinese people tend to practice exercise with moderate intensity instead. Elderly Chinese people seek balance and harmony between body and mind by practicing mild physical activities, such as fast-walking, Tai Chi, group dancing, and hiking. This kind of mild sport can help elderly Chinese maintain fitness and is also good for preventing sports injury, which is common to see when exercising improperly. 

In Kunming, many elderly people prefer to enjoy group dancing and fast walking.

Can everyone in China do Kung Fu?

Many people got misunderstandings about Chinese people that all Chinese are masters of Kung Fu.

Kung Fu is more like a Chinese culture rather than pure fighting in China. It is usually cited as “Martial Arts” when being mentioned in western society. Because for people who try to discover more about Kung Fu, they will notice that the core spirit of Kung Fu is not to encourage people to fight with others, but to more focus on the cultivation of decent personalities such as courage, empathy, integrity, and inclusion.

Kung Fu has combined many elements of classic Chinese philosophy. “阴阳 yīn yang: Yin and Yan,” “以柔克刚 yǐ róu kè gang: to use softness to conquer toughness; conquering the unyielding with the yielding” and “上善若水 shàng shàn ruò shuǐ: Great virtue is like water.”

Therefore, the answer to this question is “Yes and No.” Many Chinese people have inherited the core spirit of Kung Fu. The stronger you are, the less violence you would apply.

Not every Chinese person can actually practice the real Kung Fu fighting movement, but you can find professional institutions for experiencing and learning Chinese Kung Fu.

Is it easy to access sports facilities in China?

According to statistics, in 2019, there were 3.162 million sports venues in China, with an average of 1.86 square meters per person. From traditional gyms, swimming pools, badminton halls to the emerging climbing gyms and ski resorts, the Chinese have more choices for fitness.

You can use Baidu Map and Meituan App to find access to many sports facilities you’re interested in. There are many useful mobile apps you can use when learning Chinese in China. These mobile apps can make your life easier and more convenient.

When learning Chinese at Keats School, you will have free access to the Keats Fitness center. The fitness center is next to the student dormitory, which is very convenient for the student to sweat up and relax after an intensive learning schedule.

By studying and exercising at Keats School, you can save many daily expenses on these items. Learning how to save money while studying in China will be beneficial for cultivating one’s independence in the long run. Besides the Keats Fitness center, you will also have free access to the Keats Library, Keats self-study room, Keats meeting room, and Keats Laundry room when learning Chinese in China at Keats School.

After the class, Keats School will also organize various activities for students. Kunming is a lovely city to explore and enjoy daily life; there are many indoor and outdoor events and things to do in Kunming. You will have a chance to join the free weekend excursion organized by Keats; you can also choose to attend the cultural classes arranged by the Keats team on weekdays, such as movie nights, language exchange, and Friday meal gatherings. Your life of learning Chinese at Keats School will be colorful and unforgettable.    

Chinese vocabularies for sports ——The Best Resources to learn Chinese Vocabulary

Rugby 橄榄球 gǎn lǎn qiúRunning 跑步 pǎo bùSwimming 游泳 yóu yǒng
Basketball 篮球 lán qiúJogging 慢跑 màn pǎoHiking/Trekking 徒步 tú bù 
Football 足球 zú qiú Sprint 短跑 duǎn pǎoCycling 骑行 qí xíng 
Baseball 棒球 bàng qiúMarathon 马拉松 mǎ lā sōngEquestrian 马术 mǎ shù
Volleyball 排球 pái qiúCross-country 越野跑 yuè yě pǎoRowing 赛艇 sài tǐng
Cricket 板球 bǎn qiúHeel-to-toe walking 竞走 jìng zǒuSurfing 冲浪 chōng làng
Ping-pong/Table tennis ball 乒乓球 pīng pāng qiú High jump 跳高 tiào gāo tiào gāoSkateboarding 滑板 huá bǎn
Badminton 羽毛球 yǔ máo qiúLong jump/broad jump 跳远 tiào yuǎnBoxing 拳击 quán jī
Tennis ball 网球 wǎng qiúTriple jump 三级跳 sān jí tiàoWeight Training 负重训练 fù zhòng xùn liàn
Golf 高尔夫球 gāo ěr fū qiúPole vault 撑杆跳 chēng gān tiàoAerobic/Cardio Training  有氧/心肺训练 yǒu yǎng /xīn fèi xùn liàn

Download the PDF of [Sports in China]

More free online lessons for Chinese learning and practice can be found on Keats School’s website. You can also follow Keats School on other social platforms to enjoy daily Chinese Character learning and interesting tips for Mandarin study.

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I love hiking. Is there any good places in Kunming for doing it?

Yes. Kunming is the provincial capital city that sits on the Yunnan-Guizhou plateau, making the landscape amazingly beautiful. There are many mountains and hills in Kunming for you to hike on weekends and trek if you have a longer holiday. Besides hills surround Kunming, you can also choose to visit the Jade Dragon snow-capped mountain in Lijiang and Meili snow-capped mountain in Shangri-La. Both of these mountains will leave you with unforgettable memories. The Tiger Jumping Gorge is also an ideal place for hiking and enjoying a magnificent view of canyons.

The Green Lake park sounds like a good place for running, is it near to Keats School?

Keats School is located in the city center and has convenient access to parks, shopping malls, supermarkets, hospitals, and restaurants. From the Green Lake park to Keats School, there is only a short distance of 2 subway stations. It will only take you 15 minutes to get to the park for running and chilling time around the park.

Is there swimming pool at the Keats Fitness centre?

The swimming pool service is not available at Keats School at the moment. However, across the street where the school building is located, the Tuodong stadium, where you can enjoy swimming properly in a standard swimming pool. There are also fields for basketball, badminton, and tennis in this stadium. Many runners are running in this stadium in the evening as well.

What if I want to play golf? Is there any good place to go?

Keats School has set up well collaborations with many local companies, including the golf fields.  If you are a Keats student and a golfer, you can have a membership price for green fees in most golf courses in Kunming.

Do I have to pay for using Keats Fitness centre?

One of the Keats students’ benefits is free access to the Keats Fitness center 24/7. When you want to sweat and stretch for a little while, you are welcome to use the Keats gym. You can enjoy weight and strength training here and use the treadmill and the spinning bike for cardio training.

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Matteo | Italy

Small Group Chinese Class

I really enjoy studying Chinese in Kunming at Keats. The teachers are great and my classmates are awesome. It is an unforgettable experience for me. I also got the chance to travel to other places in Yunnan. Those places are amazing and you definitely need to visit these places when you study Chinese in China at Keats.


Emiliano | Mexico

Small Group Chinese Class

I come to Kunming because I think the environment in Kunming is better and I heard that Keats School is better. I like the small group Chinese class because my classmates study hard and our teachers are very good. I like the teaching method of Keats because I like the activities at Keats. I think Yunnan is a particularly beautiful Chinese province.



Jade | UK & Mauritius

Small Group Chinese Class

I think the Chinese learning environment here is great. The teaching methods are also very interactive and fun. What I particularly enjoy here is the fact that my teacher does not stick to the textbook. We spend a lot of time discussing general topics, such as Chinese culture, world news, typical expressions used by local people. We also discuss social and economic topics.


Joleen | Germany

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

About studying Chinese here, I think the living condition is very convenient because the dorm is very close to the classroom. Our teachers really enjoy teaching Chinese. They are also very passionate. Compared with other cities in China, Kunming has really good weather.


Joep | Netherlands

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I have been to Keats School to learn Chinese for 4 times now. The reason for coming back to this school is pretty much that the teachers I did work with were very good Chinese teachers. I make it a 5-year plan or even a 10-year plan to come back to this school.  All the teachers have methods of looking at what your skills are. They are aware of at what level you are. I think it is worth for everyone.


Stew | UK

Small Group Chinese Class

The place is very cool. I am with a great group of people in my class, so coming to classes is very enjoyable. It is fun, we have a lot of discussions, games, activities. Our teachers are also very good, very supportive. Learning Chinese is intimidating at the start because you have so many questions. But I would advise coming to Keats because the atmosphere for learning is great. It is very relaxing. I would recommend the school.


Hitanshu | UK

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

It doesn’t matter what level of Chinese you have, or even you can start from the zero level. Your teacher will prepare the lessons according to your requirements. The advantage of living in the school is that you will have your tutoring, you will have your private accommodation with your own bathroom and all the meals provided. I highly recommend everybody to actually take the whole package because you get to meet other students.


Aliza | USA

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I found Keats School and I am so glad that I did. When you learn Chinese in China at Keats, you are fully being taken care of. My teacher is really great and we become lovely friends.

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