Insights: How to stay fit while studying at Peking University

An integral part of maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle, exercise is also a fun way to boost energy, promote better sleep and improve mood and memory. Whether you’re striving to reach your physical best or simply looking for an excuse to justify overeating at the canteens, there are numerous opportunities to stay fit at Peking University.

1) MAY 4th SPORTS CENTRE | 北京大学五四体育中心运动场


Conveniently located near the Southeast Gate and Zhongguanxinyuan Global Village, this recently renovated exercise area is extensive enough to fulfill virtually all your outdoor sporting needs. In addition to track and field, there are areas for football, basketball, volleyball, and tennis to name a few. Of note is the frequently praised elasticity of the running track.

Having provided service and support during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, it is no surprise this world-class venue is also a favourite for many students here.

Lockers are available northwest of the track and field area.

Opening Hours: 9:00 – 22:00

The Table Tennis Stadium
Khoo Teck Puat Gymnasium during the 2008 Olympic Games

Demonstrating that Peking University not only facilitates world-class academics but also world-class athletes is the Khoo Teck Puat Gymnasium. This gymnasium was constructed for the table tennis events of the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. Post-Olympics renovations were held in 2011 and the gymnasium is now a popular sport complex with a fitness centre, swimming pool, and facilities and courts for badminton, table tennis, fencing, rock climbing, and squash, amongst others.

Student comments (edited for clarity):

Would you recommend this facility to future students? Why?

Yes. It’s close to Zhongguanxinyuan Global Village so it’s easy to get to. Kang Mei Le Recreation Centre (B1 Computer Service Centre,康美乐健身中心:计算中心B1) is another popular gym but it’s underground. While Kang Mei Le is bigger, the gym equipment is a bit older and the walls are dark in colour, which gives off a different vibe. However, it’s generally less crowded. Although Khoo Teck Puat 邱德拔 is smaller and more crowded, the equipment is better. It’s up to preference.

Have you taken any fitness classes? If so, which ones?

I took one yoga class and one body combat class. The body combat class seemed a lot more popular than the yoga class. During the yoga class, some girls stopped to take photos, which was quite strange.

 Comments and/or tips

Gyms here are good and cheap, I’m paying about 500RMB for half a year. There is a swimming pool available and facilities for badminton amongst others but might require additional payment. Peking University also sometimes offers their students free fitness classes to stay fit, so the gyms here are definitely a good way to stay fit.



Kang Mei Lang and Khoo Teck Puat are amongst the most popular destinations for Peking University’s gym-goers. Like Khoo Teck Puat, Kang Mei Lang also boasts comprehensive exercise facilities including an array of fitness classes, a fitness centre, and sporting facilities.

Student comments (edited for clarity):

Would you recommend this to future students? Why?

Yes, the facilities were pretty good.

Do you take any fitness classes? If so, which ones?

Yes, spinning classes. The classes were really motivational especially if you’re with friends.

Comment and/or tips

I think it’s best to find someone to go with to drag you around. The best time to go is like lunch or 3pm, when no one’s really around

Other student observations of Kang Mei Lang:

– “Like most gyms, peak hours are in the evenings.”

– “Keep an eye on your possessions as there are often many people waiting around for showers.”

– “The reception signal isn’t as strong as it is underground.”

4) KANG LE RECREATION CENTRE (B1, Building 4, Zhongguanxinyuan Global Village)  中关新园康健身中心(中关新园4号楼B1


Conveniently located at Zhongguanxinyuan Global Village, the Kang Le Recreation Centre features dance studios, an indoor swimming pool, squash court, badminton court, and fitness centre. Other recreational activities available include bowling, KTV, chess and pool table. Opening hours for fitness facilities are from 15:00-23:00.

5)GYMNASIUM NO. 1 (East of Wei Ming Lake) | 第一体育馆 (未名湖东侧)


In line with the traditional architecture surrounding Weiming Lake, this gymnasium impressively features facilities for outdoor rock-climbing, track and field event areas, and fields for softball, baseball and football. Indoor ball courts and recreational spaces are also available.

6) GYMNASIUM NO. 2 |第二体育馆(静园南侧)


Situated between multiple basketball and tennis courts, this gymnasium also features a fitness centre and outdoor exercise equipment. It is conveniently located next to the library in the middle of campus for any post-study workouts.


Photo: Peking University

Recently ranked 1st in the Times Higher Education 10 most beautiful universities in East Asia, Peking University’s impressive 274 hectares of “picture-perfect tranquillity and natural beauty” is perfect for students to simply stroll, jog, or cycle around. Open spaces are aplenty.

Author: Janet S. (UNSW Australia)



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