Would You Exercise for a Free Train Ride?

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Written By Mohsen Salami

Would You Exercise for a Free Train Ride?Moscow train stations have been taken over with a machine that hands out single trip tickets for a mere 30 squats. If you have trouble understanding, don’t worry, commuters didn’t either at first.

In honour of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, a campaign has begun encouraging Muscovites to exercise a little more in return for a free train pass which costs 30 roubles or $0.93.

In all subway stations in the Russian capital city, machines have been installed that allow users to collect a train pass in return for 30 squats.

Some have tried to trick the machine, but according to website forums, the machine will detect if a user is attempting to cheat.

The President of the Russian Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov, explained that this is an attempt to get people active and energized in contrast to the inactivity that many people experience during their working day.

He  explained, “We wanted to show that the Olympic Games is not just an international competition that people watch on TV, but that it is also about getting everyone involved in a sporting lifestyle.”

The machine does have a two minute time limit to complete this exercise, which may be a cause for embarrassment for some, however, officials explain that this machine is designed to create “Olympic Values” for the Moscow community.

Yelena Zamolodchikova, a Russian gymnast and Olympic champion, put on an impressive performance at the station on the grand reveal of the machine. Naturally, others struggled.

Lyudmila, a young woman who was one of the first to try these machines said, “It was hard at first but I managed it, two minutes is enough time.”

The Olympic Committee has other projects similar to these to be revealed in the following months. Hanging handles on public buses will be changed into exercise bands for a quick workout while commuting from point A to point B.

Also, exercise bicycles will be installed that produce enough electricity to charge a mobile phone in case you are running low on battery. The goal of this campaign is to incorporate physical activity, and in turn physical fitness, into aspects of everyday life.

The squat machine at the subway stations will be available for public use for the duration of the month.