The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

January 2, 2013

Get lean in 2013

Tips for creating a healthier, skinnier, richer, better-looking you

— By the time you are reading this it will be several hours into Jan. 2, 2013. Have you kept your New Years resolutions?

So, okay, it usually takes about three months for most of us to totally blow those resolutions, especially when it comes to losing weight, getting fit or stopping smoking. But experts we consulted say give it time; slow and steady wins the race.

According to the Website, WebMD, about a third of New Year’s resolvers make weight loss their primary goal, and about 15 percent aim to begin an exercise program. But many of these resolutions fail because those making them expect instant results and give up when they don’t get them.

Cedric Bryant PhD, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise, says people make the mistake of being too “gung-ho” and wind up injuring themselves and derailing their fitness plans.

“Start slow and then gradually progress,” says Bryant. “The thing most people forget is that they didn’t become de-conditioned and out of shape overnight. You shouldn’t expect to become well conditioned overnight.”

Local wellness options

Whitney Mooney, a manager at the Athens-Limestone Hospital Wellness Center, said there is a typical hike in membership at this time of the year.

“January, February and March are our busiest times,” said Mooney. She suggests that the public consult the hospital Website and link to the Wellness Center for an overview of services.

“We typically run a holiday special and a summer special,” said Mooney.

She said the terms of those specials can vary and advises those interested to stop by the facility off West Washington Street to speak with a staff member and get a tour of the center and a printout of specials and schedules.

“A lot of people do the specials and then do a cancelation, but others continue,” she said. “But I would say [new membership] begins to dwindle by the end of March.”

Caleb Pope, director of Sportsfit, said the company does not do holiday specials, but have a “member referral” special in which new members and those who refer them get a free month.

“We see a lot more people coming in January and February than usual,” said Pope. “Last year at this time I was at our Decatur facility; this is my first year at Athens. But, last year I would say (in Decatur) we had about a 20-percent spike in membership, and that’s a ballpark figure.”

Pope encourages people who are interested to come in an pick up a price sheet, get a one-time free “set up.”

“You can tell us what your target area is and we can suggest machines or if you want to go a step further, we can set you up with a personal trainer,” said Pope.

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