5 Affordable Shanghai Fitness Centres to Help Keep that New Year’s Resolution

December 25th, 2012  |  by  |  Published in Features


There are plenty of gyms in Shanghai ready and waiting to get you fit this New Year. Make this year’s resolution to get rid of those extra pounds you built up over the holidays and get started with some workout programs. To do that, take advantage of the great gyms and trainers that Shanghai can boast. Instead of the mega-gyms in the city, try out some local authority sports centers that are still located close to different Shanghai accommodations – some of which will even let you use their facilities for free. Here are five of the best, chosen by Celine Wu and Anna Leach.

First is the Luwan Stadium Sports Center. This is based around a central running track – which is free to use until 8pm. You can hire tennis or badminton courts for between 50 and 80 RMB per hour or sign up for three months of karate for 750 RMB. There’s a bright 25-meter pool, with impressive full-length windows making it feel airy – but unless you’re paying 4,500 RMB per year for membership of Star Gym, it’s only available between 7am and 9am each day. Registration is 20 RMB, then it costs 15 RMB per hour. Two astroturfed football pitches can be hired from 500 RMB per hour, rising to 1,400 RMB per hour depending on hire time and team size.

The Yuanshen Sports Center Stadium complex is huge, with the range of facilities available including basketball, football, and tennis. There’s an airy, indoor swimming pool which was used as a training facility for the recent FINA World Championships, and it costs between 20 and 35 RMB. There’s no gym, so your effective workout programs will have to be done elsewhere, but there’s a lot else. Basketball is just 10 RMB/day for men and free for women. As well as the sports mentioned above, there’s also table tennis for 30 RMB per hour, tennis from 110 RMB per hour, a bowling alley starting at 10 RMB per hour, and a skate park – which is free until 5pm.

Although the Jingan Community Center‘s building in Xinzha Lu seems small and unremarkable, this center is often empty and has great equipment at very low rates. There’s no swimming pool, but there is a gym. Here, just 10 RMB per hour gets you access to the good Technogym facilities, including cross trainer, treadmill, six weights machines, free weights, and exercise bike. Table tennis is free, midweek yoga classes (taught in Chinese) costs 100 RMB for a course of ten lessons, and you can even hire pool tables, from 10 RMB.

The Shanghai International Gymnastics Center is quite a small complex, featuring little more than its two badminton courts: badminton starts at 30 RMB per hour, rising to 50 RMB. However, there is a very clean 50-meter pool, and the staff take care of their guests’ safety: the lobby contains a check-up station and diabetic drinks for emergencies are stored close by. Swimming is priced between 25 and 40 RMB for a 90-minute session. There’s also a gym, operated by Star Gym, and table tennis which costs 20 RMB per hour.

Based around Shanghai Stadium itself – which has a capacity of 80,000 – the Shanghai Stadium Sports Center offers football pitches for around 500 RMB an hour, a little less for five-a-side, and tennis courts for between 30 and 100 RMB per hour. The swimming pool, which charges 30 RMB per hour, is excellent, and was used as a training base in the 2011 FINA Championships. The pool building also plays host to a fitness center. Other activities available include table tennis for 25 RMB per hour, outdoor badminton for 30 RMB per hour, and squash for between 40 and 50 RMB per hour.

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