South Korea banned fast music in gyms and restricted treadmills to four miles per hour Monday, according to Reuters.
During group exercise classes such as aerobics and spinning, gyms cannot play music that has higher than 120 beats per minute (bpm), Reuters reported Monday. (RELATED: ‘A Death Blow To An Already Decimated Industry’: 30 Gyms Petition Philadelphia To Reverse COVID Closures)
Health officials said the rules were implemented to limit gym-goers from breathing too fast or splashing sweat onto each other. Health officials also said they did not want to close businesses entirely, according to Reuters. Among other items, the new restrictions also ban the use of showers at gyms and limit table tennis matches to two people per table.
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Kang Hyun-ku, the owner of a gym in Seoul, told Reuters that playing K-pop songs on his playlist is part of his morning routine.
“Playing bright tracks is to cheer up our members and the overall mood, but my biggest question is whether playing classical music or BTS songs has proven to have any impact on spreading the virus,” Kang told Reuters. “Many people use their own earphones and wearable devices these days, and how do you control their playlists?”
“The regulations are just bureaucratic, as if those who devised them had never worked out at a gym,” Whang Myung-sug, a 62-year-old patron of Kang’s gym, told Reuters.
The 120-bpm rule means gym-goers can listen to Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” or Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl,” but not Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” according to Reuters.