A Marist Poll survey shows that less than half of us even make a New Year’s Resolution. But on the list of the top five: you’re likely to find ‘exercise’, ‘losing weight’ and ‘going to the gym’ pop up year after year.
Making resolutions “kind of opens your eyes a little bit more. You know, time waits for nobody,” says Maria Vasquez from Traverse City. “The New Year, you kind of just set new goals for yourself.”
It didn’t exactly come ‘without warning’, The New Year is finally here. At many gyms that means you’ll still see some familiar faces.
“It’s honestly not as busy as I was expecting today,” Vasquez says. “It feels good to know that a lot of people who were here last year killing the gains are back here getting some more. And you know, ready for a new year.”
But January, February, and March are the busiest months of the year for new gym memberships. And that means new faces as well, with many people jumping on those New Year’s resolutions.
Kailyn Cubbedge also works out in Traverse City. “The 31st and the day of the 1st I feel like, is a big time for reflection you know? I feel like we’re all kind of thinking about the year before and how it went and how we feel about it. And how we want to move forward.”
Local gyms say they’re expecting lots of new clients to start off the year. At Elite Fitness North, Evan McCombs says, “a lot of people are signing up, trying it out. Getting a day pass or a week pass. And then you’ve got people visiting family too. Coming in, getting all that. So a lot of new people coming in and out.”
A study conducted by the journal Obesity shows that 27.5% of people gained weight during the pandemic, with already-overweight people showing further manifestations of weight gain. For people who work out regularly, they say it’s as much mental as it is physical.
“The new year, you kind of just set new goals for yourself. For me I just do a lot of strength training. So I’m doing a lot of, ‘all right, by this time now that it’s the New Year, I’ve got to do this weight or this amount.’ It’s like a good push. It’s like your own discipline kind of,” Vasquez says.
“Honestly without the gym I feel like my day is not complete, it’s definitely part of my routine and my habit,” Cubbedge adds.
What does it take to keep that momentum going, after the resolution motivation fades?
“Just discipline in general, like making yourself do things you don’t really want to do, but you know it’s good for you right? Staying consistent. Takes time to build a habit,” Cubbedge says. “Getting to the gym, feeling good, knocking that off your list for the day definitely like keeps me focused. So moving into the New Year and facing other goals and other challenges. Like staying disciplined with coming to the gym helps propel those other things to move forward as well.”
“You just gotta be active. It doesn’t have to be at a gym. You can be at your own home gym or even just anywhere. You’ve just got to be healthy.” Josh Klug is a high school senior, hitting the gym hard to get ready for baseball season. He’s already signed on for college ball and is working to keep in top shape. “I have a schedule of back/chest/legs and I just cycle through that schedule. Right now I’m just trying to pound my legs and work on baseball. Like mobility.”
If you’re not feeling quite that advanced, it’s okay to take it slow.
“They may not know the equipment or they just don’t feel confident, or there’s a lot of new faces. It can be intimidating. I think just coming in for a little bit, starting with a small portion of time and doing what’s best for you that day. And keep trying to build from there,” Cubbedge says.
“Consistency. The one thing you can do is just put yourself in a spot where you’re going to be at the gym at the same time every day,” McCombs says. “Then you’re already there. You’ve got nothing to stop you, you know? No excuses at that point.”
And remember why you wanted to do it in the first place. Vasquez says, “I think a big thing to keep back in your head is just your own goals. Remind yourself of what you want to be or what you’re striving to be… Reminding you, all right summer is here is in five months!”
The point is, you’ve got to start somewhere.
Cubbedge says, “You have to start one day. Even if it’s just a little bit.”
Check out a gym near you and find a good fit.
McCombs says, “Go into your local gym and stop by for a day pass and get in there and just move around a little bit. After you get around and start moving, your body feels better. Your mind feels better. It’s just something everyone should do for their own health.”
Gym visits tend to peak the first weekend of January, then drop off dramatically by the end of the month. And many gym memberships are cancelled by the end of the month. Vasquez says, “How bad do you want this? You want a cupcake just as bad as you want that workout? Well go have that workout, then eat that cupcake anyway because you deserve it. It’s all about balance.”
Balance is different for everyone, keep trying until something helps get you going.
McCombs says, “A good way to start is either getting a personal trainer. Or you can get multiple videos online about workouts. Make sure that you find reliable sources though. A lot of online world of that fitness industry can be a little wild.”
In the New Year, Elite Fitness North is expanding hours, adding macro-friendly meals and supplements, and cross-fit classes with TC Crossfit.
The Gym Traverse City is also offering holiday specials and a 12 week Fit Camp Fit Challenge.
Experts say it takes 90 days to form a new habit, so commit yourself to making a change for three months and then see how you feel.
Don’t “weight” around: take steps now for a healthier 2023.