Pumped up for the new year | TheUnion.com

Pumped up for the new year

Lose weight and get fit – it’s one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. Need proof? Google it.

The unconquerable temptations of holiday treats and mouth-watering goodies may be to blame for this common New Year’s goal – one that local gym owners welcome with open arms.

Gym owners of Fast and Fit Womens Gym and Training Studio, The Pilates Place, South Yuba Club, Real Life Fitness and Club Sierra Sports and Fitness Center recognize increasing trends in gym membership and class enrollment at the beginning of the new year.

Although the guilty pleasures associated with indulging in one-too-many frosted gingerbread cookies may help influence individuals to join a gym, club owners agree that the new year inspires individuals to start fresh and seek a healthier lifestyle.

“Approximately 85 percent of all people who decide to join a gym want to improve their health or lose weight,” said Mike Carville, owner of South Yuba Club. “It’s a shift away from vanity.”

Most owners also agree that the majority of new memberships represent baby boomers – between 45 and 60 years old. Although the desire to look good and lose those extra pounds may be a deciding factor to hit the gym, the importance of healthy living and well-being is the primary motivation for baby boomers.

“It’s more about feeling better about yourself,” said Judi Bannister, owner of Fast and Fit. “You must take care of the inside to benefit the outside reflection. (It’s about) attitude – how you feel about yourself and energy.”

Although gym owners see an influx in memberships at the beginning of the new year, motivation tends to fizzle in late February and early March. However, new trends are emerging.

“People now have a tendency to stay longer,” said Margie Blackston, owner of Club Sierra Fitness. “They’re healthier, more productive… They have more energy for everyday tasks.”

Blackston credits the increased motivation with health and fitness to the abundance of educational resources offered to the public. She believes that education, and an understanding of the benefits of exercising, encourages individuals to stay at the gym.

In order to gain momentum and sustain resolutions related to exercise and healthy living, gym owners encourage individuals to make achievable goals, take time to find a comfortable gym and create a weekly plan.

“The most important advice I can give for people is to find some kind of physical activity that they love to do so they will stick with it, no matter what it is,” said Roxanna Cohen, owner of The Pilates Place. “Consistency is the most important thing. Change happens more from consistency than anything else. Once you have that habit down, other changes are easier to make.”

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