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June 23, 2017

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President Ma aims to push up popularity of exercise

President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday said he aims to boost the percentage of "regular exercisers" to 30 percent of the Taiwan population.

Ma made the remarks when attending the noncompetitive 2012 Wang Yung-ching Run organized by the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, which was set up by the late industrialist Wang Yung-ching who founded Formosa Plastics Group (FPG). The hospital was established in memory of his father Wang Chang-gung.

The president, government officials, FPG executives and employees as well as more than 20,000 runners attended this year's event.

Ma said he has personally joined more than a dozen athletic events sponsored by FPG over the years, and this was his third time participating in the Wang Yung-ching Run.

As an avid athletic exerciser and runner himself, Ma finished the 5-km run in 20 minutes.

Ma said that he has helped raise the proportion of Taiwanese people who exercise regularly from 24 to 27 percent of the total population in the past four years after assuming office.

He urged more government agencies and organizations in the nation to encourage people to more actively engage in regular athletic activities and to boost the proportion to at least 30 percent.

Ma suggested at least 30 minutes of exercise for three days per week or 15 minutes every day.

'Laziness'

He said those who do not exercise regularly should kick their "laziness," which he described as one of the main reasons that people stay away from physical exercise.

Fitness experts yesterday supported the president's call and his advice for public participation in physical exercises.

However, some people who are unable to build the habit of exercising regularly said the "laziness" comment was too harsh. They said that they are not lazy but are tied up with long work hours all week in order to earn a decent living.

FPG executives thanked those who attended the event for their participation in the run.

They said Wang, who had maintained a regular exercising regimen for decades, believed that it is crucial for people to better manage their own health so that they can make greater contributions to the society.

In addition to the event in Taipei, the Chiayi branch of the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital also cooperated with the Chiayi City Government to hold a similar running event in Chiayi in southwestern Taiwan yesterday.

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