An actress performs Peking Opera during a preview for media at the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. Aug. 27, 2014. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)
BEIJING, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese operas are too difficult to learn? Try Chinese opera calisthenics! The rhythmic exercises have gone viral in the country after being released online by the China Central Television ahead of the lunar New Year.
Designed by four Chinese opera artists, the four-minute calisthenics feature signature movements of Chinese operas and a blend of folk opera rhythm with pop music.
The special exercises have attracted many young Chinese netizens, reminding them of their old campus life as the daily calisthenics are mandatory for all the students in China's primary and middle schools in the morning.
Radio calisthenics is a very popular way to keep fit among Chinese. Students across the country line up every morning on the playground stretching, kicking and jumping to the music on the radio. Senior citizens and work-unit employees are also encouraged to work out.
Students do morning exercises on the playground in east China's Anhui Province. (Xinhua/Du Yu)
Inspired by the morning calisthenics in Japan and the former Soviet Union, China's first edition of the morning exercises was broadcast on radio in 1951. Today, Chinese are doing the ninth edition.
Chinese actors perform Peking Opera in the Montecarmelo House of the Citizenship, in Santiago, capital of Chile, on Nov. 9, 2015. (Xinhua/Jorge Villegas)
Four Chinese artists spent three months designing the movements of the opera-style workout, hoping the innovative program can better promote the traditional Chinese arts among young people.
The country is working to build a "healthier China." According to the "Healthy China 2030" plan, China wants to increase its citizens' average life expectancy to 77.3 by 2020 and 79 by 2030.
Fitness has become the new fashion in China as millions of Chinese today have taken up the habit of working out through anaerobic or aerobic exercises. Square dancing has become the most popular exercises among "dama" (a Chinese term for middle-aged and elderly women) everywhere in the country.
Elders exercise the fan dancing on a square in Tengzhou City, east China's Shandong Province. (Xinhua/Zhang Zebiao)
But more efforts are needed. National surveys on the health of China's adolescents from 1985 to 2014 show a decline in fitness, despite better nutrition.