Granny, 70, lifts weights to online success

2021-02-26 12:05:38

Chen Jifang poses with a fitness coach at a Shanghai gym. After three months of training, Chen lost 28 kilograms and her body-mass index returned to normal. [Photo provided to China Daily] A 70-year-old woman wins hearts with her energetic workouts on Douyin, He Qi reports in Shanghai.  Videos on the social networking platform Douyin-also know globally as TikTok-that show men and women with impeccable physiques working out or dispensing fitness tips are commonplace. Trying to stand out from the crowd amid the deluge of such videos can often be difficult, but a relatively new account, which has only been active since last year, has managed to do so easily. The fitness instructor behind this account is not a young woman with a slim, toned figure that would leave viewers green with envy. The star here is 70-year-old Chen Jifang, a Shanghai resident with 3 million likes on her Douyin videos. She was once even featured on a reality show on China Central Television. According to her trainer, who helped to manage the Douyin account, Chen attracted more than 400,000 followers within just a few months. "The main group that I wanted to encourage was people ages 30 to 50," says Chen. "I think they will be motivated to work out in the gym after seeing that a granny like me can. The message I want to convey is that it is never too late to pursue good health." For Chen, her passion for exercising was born out of a need instead of desire to become famous. According to Chen, her health had been poor since she was a child. She even had to give up her job after giving birth to her daughter because her health was severely affected by the pregnancy. "In the past, whenever I felt uncomfortable, I would lie at home for an entire day," says Chen, who used to be a saleswoman in a local food company before retirement. Chen Jifang becomes a star on the social networking platform Douyin. Her account has garnered more than 400,000 followers within a few months for her fitness-training videos. [Photo provided to China Daily]