A new exercise routine based on an ancient Chinese healthcare system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and meditation was launched on Sunday.
The “328 model” consists of eight sets of choreographed movements that are practiced twice a day, three times a week.
It was developed by the Chinese Health Qigong Association and online fitness platform Health Mall to promote health and fitness among the country's urban population.
Qigong, which dates back thousands of years, is a system of prescribed physical exercises or movements performed in a meditative state.
The new routine was proposed by Health Mall based on an analysis of customer feedback and has won approval from the China Institute of Sport Science.
“Most exercise routines are designed for specific sports and don't apply to other situations,” said Li Xiangchen, a senior fitness researcher at the CISS.
“This one is different though, as the frequency and intensity is quite flexible yet the regime is scientific, adapting a variety of forms such as qigong, tai chi, martial arts and regular aerobics exercise.”
Chang Jianping, head of the Chinese Health Qigong Association, said the routine was ideal for urbanites leading busy lives.
“It doesn't take a long time, like going to the gym would. It just takes 15 to 20 minutes to do some slow-motion moves and to maintain your posture while breathing in rhythm to relax the muscles and meditate. It's easy to get into a habit,” he said.
To further promote the routine, and a healthy lifestyle in general, Fitness Mall and the association will organize a mass fitness event in eight different cities on March 28, with 1,000 people expected to take part.