Cold winds in Beijing might be brewing, but that’s no reason to stay cooped up indoors. The capital offers some of the most exciting and entertaining options for exercise – for both adults and kids – so don’t retreat to your couch just yet! Lace up your sneakers and join one of Beijing’s many fitness activities.
A 300-strong international swim team, Dragon Fire Swim Team provides training and instruction according to FINA requirements. Annual swim camps are offered for kids; there’s even a Baby Swim class for 3- to 4-year-old swimmers. There are also master classes for adults. During the swim season, training is offered seven days a week at four different locations (Canadian International School, British School of Beijing, Beijing Rego British School and Western Academy of Beijing).
Another option for kids is the Aqua Warrior Swimming Club, which practices at the Paralympic swimming pool and the British School of Beijing. Kids are coached both by age and ability, with an average of 10 swimmers per coach. Coaches speak both Chinese and English. Cost per session is RMB 150.
Aqua Warriors Swimming Club
Paralympic swimming pool, 321 Tianbei Lu, Houshayu, Shunyi District (136 8352 7243 Arthur, 136 0110 2151 Sandy, 134 8877 8089 Amanda)
Dragon Fire Swimming
(136 0106 4534, Kevin Hua, head coach; email@example.com)
Hiking and Cycling
Beijing Hikers hosts hiking trips for different experience levels until the end of November. Families will be interested to know of their easy upcoming hikes: the Silver Pagoda loop, the Ming Village (a day trip), Tang Dynasty cave dwellings, and a Miyun countryside walk. Those with teenagers and older kids should link up with Dandelion Hiking for overnight hiking, camping on the Great Wall, and cycling trips both around and outside of Beijing.
Bike Beijing, a branch of Bicycle Kingdom Rentals & Tours Company, organizes
bicycle tours ranging from half a day to a couple of weeks in length. The
company offers kid-friendly routes and activities for families with young children and can provide children’s bikes, child seats, tandems, and trailers. Prices vary according to location, duration of the trip, and number of people. Admission for children under 12 costs 50-90 percent of the adult price (depending on the equipment needed). Groups of ten or more are eligible for a discount of 20 percent per person.
(6432 2786, firstname.lastname@example.org) beijinghikers.com
(156 5220 0950, email@example.com) www.chinahiking.cn
Bike Beijing (Bicycle Kingdom Tours & Rentals)
34 Donghuangchenggen Nanlu, Beiheyan Dongdajie (6522 9478, 133 8140 0738, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.bikebeijing.com
Equuleus International Riding Club takes riders as young as 4 years old, who start their training with lead rein lessons. At around 6 years old, kids can ride on their own without a lead. Beginners at Equuleus start with flatwork (walk, trot, canter) and stable management lessons. Classes are held in groups of two to five riders. Private one-on-one lessons are available for beginners and children under 6 (lead lesson), but group lessons are encouraged as the rider progresses. As beginners advance, there is also basic dressage and jumping.
Pay as you go for non-members is RMB 570 per session, but with membership
packages (a one-time fee that starts at RMB 2,000 for an individual), members pay
an average of RMB 250-360 (includes training and insurance) per lesson.
Equuleus International Riding Club 天星调良国际马术俱乐部
Tue-Sun 7am-noon, 2-6pm. Tack Shop: Tue-Sun. 8am-noon, 2-6pm. 91 Shunbai Lu, Sunhe Town (north of and parallel to Xiang Jiang Beilu), Chaoyang District (8459 0236 Chinese, 6432 4947 English, email@example.com)
There is always the outdoor climbing wall at Ritan Park, but when it gets chilly in the capital, climbers can head to O’le Sports Center. Within the center is O’le Climbing’s 12.5m high route wall, as well as a 150sqm horizontal bouldering wall. It might seem dangerous, but rest assured that safety is a mantra for the center, from the custom-made safety mattress to staff training. Given their precautions, it is no surprise that there has never been a single accident at the facility. All ages and levels are welcome here. A one-time climb is RMB 60. Discount and membership cards available. Shoe rental RMB 15.
O’le Climbing 奥莱攀岩
Mon-Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 10am-8pm. 5 Dongshimencun Lu, Baiziwan Qiao, Dongsihuan Zhonglu, Chaoyang District (6776 4705, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.oleclimbing.com
Rain or shine, there’s nothing quite like this group fitness class to get you moving. Open to all ages, these Swedish aerobics are easy to follow, ranging from sit-ups and push ups to sprints, jogging, jumping and even some moves reminiscent of yoga and Pilates. These aerobics are also done to hip, catchy music that is sure to lift your spirits, even in the dead of winter. The free outdoor sessions at Chaoyang Park are popular among families, where kids as young as 4 years old are regular attendees. Indoor classes are offered throughout the week for RMB 20 (bringing the kids is free) per session at both the British School of Beijing (Sanlitun campus) and the Swedish School in Shunyi. For the most up-to-date schedule, check their website. (email@example.com) www.heyrobics.com
Bollywood dancing is not just popular in India; it’s becoming a world sensation. In Beijing, Aswathy Krishnan will provide Bollywood classes on weekends at your place, if you can gather a group of five or more. Ninety-minute sessions cost RMB 220. (150 0133 1074, firstname.lastname@example.org)]
Alona Pilates offers a large selection of classes, including private classes, women-only classes, and (soon) family classes for parents and children ages 5-13. The first class is free if you download an application from their website. Regular prices range from RMB 200 for one class, RMB 900 for five classes, and RMB 1,600 for 10 classes.
In Shunyi, Vared Manos offers Pilates classes at the River Garden Club House. She is a physical education teacher with 16 years of experience training kids and adults. For River Garden residents, prices are RMB 80 for one class or RMB 700 for 12 classes. Non-residents pay RMB 100 for one class and RMB 900 for 12 classes.
Fit Pilates is a fully-equipped private studio that the follows Stotts Pilates method. In addition to its regular mat work and equipment training classes, Fit Pilates offers private pre-natal, post-natal, and rehabilitation programs. Prices range from RMB 400-550 for a private 60-min session and RMB 3,600-4,400 for 10 private 60-min sessions. Group discounts are available.
Daily 7.30am-9.30pm. Heavenly Spa by Westin, 5/F, The Westin Beijing Chaoyang, 1 Xinyuan Nanlu, Chaoyang District (139 1029 0260, email@example.com)
Pilates with Vared Manos
Mon and Fri, 9am-10am. River Garden Club House, 7 Yuyang Road, Houshayu, Shunyi District (134 6664 2569)
Fit Pilates Studio
Mon, Tue, Thu 10am-4pm and 6pm-9pm, Fri 10am-4pm, Sat-Sun 10am-3.30pm. Call or email for address details in Chaoyang District (139 1103 2087 Trudy Wong, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.fitpilatesstudio.com.cn
Yoga Yard offers a range of classes for all levels. Their prenatal yoga classes for pregnant women are designed to increase flexibility, circulation and balance. Postnatal classes are offered for moms and their babies (four weeks to crawling age). Mothers and babies will learn to strengthen and relax their bodies through various poses and breathing techniques. A single class ranges from RMB 350-500. Multiple-class passes and unlimited passes available.
Another option for yoga is Incy Wincy Yoga, which was founded in 2006 by mom Angelina Liu. They offer prenatal yoga, baby yoga (from one-month-olds) and kids yoga (up to 12 years old) classes. The 45-minute classes are taught entirely in English. Exercises are child-safe and emphasize breathing, visualization, trust and co-operation games, modified and age-appropriate Hatha yoga poses and relaxation games. Fees start from RMB 75 per class. Free trial classes are available.
Incy Wincy Yoga
Rm 1909, Bldg A, U-Space Building, 8 Guangqumenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District (5861 3809, email@example.com) www.incywincyyoga.com
Mon-Thu 7.15am-9.30pm, Fri-Sun 7.15am-8pm. 6/F, Bldg 17, Gongti Beilu (across from the north gate of Workers’ Stadium), Chaoyang District (6413 0774, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.yogayard.com
Zumba has become all the rage. This Latin dance-inspired exercise feels more like going to a dance party than working your muscles and getting a heart-pumping cardio workout. The passionate rhythm of the Latin music keeps the feet moving and the hips swaying. It is for all ages and levels of fitness and perfect for those who get bored with the regular fitness routines.
At Family Fun with Yuliya, Zumba is one big party for (mostly) women. It’s a great way for moms to get out, shout out and have a blast. Prices range from RMB 100 for drop-ins, RMB 900 for ten classes, and RMB 1,600 for 20 classes. Customers must pre-register for Zumba sessions at Park Apartments, but Yuliya is happy to give classes at other locations for groups of five and more.
Family Fun with Yuliya
Mon 5pm, Thu 10am and 2pm. Park Apartments, 17 Chaoyang Gongyuan Xilu (near Chaoyang Park), Chaoyang District (136 2135 4114, email@example.com)