“People tend to put off things over the holidays and allow themselves to eat, drink and be merry. And then they’re like, OK, we’re going to get on board the first of the year,” said fitness manager Kirsten Campbell of Atchafalaya 24-hour Fitness.
Accountability is one key to making sure people stick with their fitness resolutions, whether they are accountable to a friend, personal trainer or others they meet in a fitness class, Campbell said.
“Another thing, it takes at least 30 days to even make a change,” she said. “I’d say you need to shoot for at least three to six months to see realistic changes.”
Atchafalaya 24-hour Fitness offers classes, which are included in the price of membership, including Body Pump, Body Combat, Zumba, Cardio Interval and yoga classes and will start offering a cycling class in February, she said. “We’ll also be offering a boot camp starting next Monday,” Campbell said. “It’s (boot camp) a cross between cardio and weight-based circuit training.”
Classes are typically about an hour long with the exception of the upcoming cycling classes, which will be 45 minutes or 30 minutes for the express class, she said. For those people just getting into working out, attending the first 10 or 20 minutes of a class and then getting on the treadmill or stationary bike after the class may be better for them, Campbell said.
People get burned out on the same old, same old so we’re trying to keep it interesting and find new ways to introduce other styles of fitness to them,” Campbell said.
“I think our cardio interval and the yoga class, right now, have been a much better fit for people (just starting out), but the cycling class is going to be great for that too,” she said.
Gym members shared their fitness resolutions for the New Year.
“I’d like to get my six-pack back,” said Duane Jessup, 37, of Morgan City. Jessup has been coming to the fitness center since 2005 and would like to drop his weight to 205 pounds by the time he turns 38 in July, he said. He spent about four years in the merchant marines and when he got out at age 22, he weighed 175 pounds.
Jessup said he eats a mostly healthy diet but still allows himself one day to splurge. “Saturday night is my cheat day,” he said, adding that he’ll choose one food to splurge on. He will get two large pizzas, or half a gallon of ice cream or a dozen donuts, he said.
Jessup recommends, for the average person, to try to get in an exercise routine of 30 minutes three days a week every other day.
Other gym-goers have emotional reasons for wanting to stay physically active in addition to the physical reasons.
“I want to be more disciplined in my exercising,” said Karen Rodgers, 48, of Patterson.
Rodgers has been working with a personal trainer for 19 years, but when her husband passed away in July, she made a promise to him that she wouldn’t let herself go. Her fitness resolutions are more mental than physical, she said.
Working out has also helped her during the mourning process, she said.
Rodgers’ personal trainer, Kim Gil, said the best thing about being physically active is getting better mentally because physical wellness follows mental wellness.
Campbell warns people to not try to change everything all at once when it comes to their exercise habits. “Find one or two things to focus on changing and then once you change those and made a new habit or develop a new routine, then add something else and then something else,” she said.
Sticking with the same exercise regimen they have been following is the main resolution for some.
Mike Beadle, 42, of Bayou Vista, has been routinely exercising for 20 years and his resolutions involve continuing to go to the gym. His advice to others just beginning an exercise routine is to start slow. “Don’t go in the gym the first time thinking you’re going to walk out looking like Sylvester Stalone or somebody like that,” Beadle said.
Nikki Howard, 38, of Morgan City, who started going to the gym for fitness classes a year and a half ago and has kept going, did not have any fitness-related resolutions other than keeping it up and not quitting, she said. “It makes a difference if you don’t quit,” Howard said.