Illustrative image (Source: sieuthitaigia.vn)
Hanoi (VNA) - Many Hanoians are enjoying the “luxury” of exercising on gym equipment for free after the city installed these in several public places including and gardens. 

The municipal administration said the decision to install sports equipment in public spaces was taken to meet demand and encourage more people to exercise.

Le Bao Tram, 60, a resident of Tang Bat Ho Street, said that she used to exercise for about 20 minutes every day at home.

“Now, because this flower garden near my house has some gym equipment, I spend more time here. And I really enjoy it,” she said.

Early in the morning and in the afternoon at around 4pm, people of all ages gather at the Yersin flower garden to enjoy the exercising facilities there.

About 20 sports equipment have been installed in convenient and secure places at the garden. These are simple and easy to use for everyone.

Usually, people visited parks and gardens to walk and do a few stretching exercises, but now they can work out for their backs, chests, shoulders, hips and waists.

Working out at fitness centres and using their equipment is a luxury for many city dwellers, costing several hundreds of thousands of dong a month at least.

Nguyen Le Ha, a resident of Cau Giay district, said she spends more time on working out after some equipment was installed at the Nghia Do Park.

“I come here every morning except when it rains. I feel very relaxed after using the gym equipment and my family members enjoy them too,” she said.

Sometimes, people have to wait to use their favourite equipment because of the crowd, she added.

“I think working out with machine is better (for our health),” said Nguyen Khanh, a young man who also frequents the park.

The installation of gym equipment in public places is happening under a long-term (until 2020) sports development plan.

The city’s Department of Culture and Sports has been installing gym equipment outdoors on a pilot basis since 2014.

To date, the plan has been implemented in seven districts: Long Bien, Ba Dinh, Ha Dong, Tay Ho, Thanh Xuan, Cau Giay and Hai Ba Trung.

Residents of other districts in the central part of the capital city and in suburban areas are yet to enjoy the benefits of outdoor gym equipment, so more of them will be installed next year, officials said.

Nguyen Song Hao, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Dong Da district, said high-rise buildings and trade centres were increasingly taking up public spaces like gardens, playgrounds and sport areas in the capital city.

Renovating gardens and parks and installing outdoor sports equipment was an important response to the current situation.

Authorities will assess the actual needs of residents to develop this model in other areas, Hao said.-VNA