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The road to fitness

Updated: 2024-06-22 11:22 ( China Daily )
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Amid blossoming flowers, students enjoy their morning jog with their parents in Beijing's Olympic Forest Park. [Photo by ZHOU MIN/FOR CHINA DAILY]

While parents and educators worry that children have been doing too little exercise, a sixth grade class from the Chaoyang School of the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China in Beijing finished their 100th 5-kilometer morning jogging program on Saturday to celebrate their upcoming graduation.

Starting in September 2021, under the organization of the class' parents association, the students embarked on their initial run in the Olympic Forest Park in northern Beijing.

To enhance their physical fitness, perseverance and endurance, the program is organized every Saturday morning with the guidance of a parent who is selected to be the coach.

Their first run proved that the beginning is always the hardest. After running for hundreds of meters, some students felt shortness of breath or nausea, while some couldn't continue at the midway stage and had to lean on each other for support to reach the finish line. Despite the challenges, their efforts have never ceased over the past three years.

National surveys have shown a rapid increase in the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents across the country.

According to data released at the 10th China Obesity Science Conference held in the capital last month, one in five people aged 6 to 17 is overweight or obese, up from one in 20 in 1995.

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