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New Years resolutions means busy times for Crossroads health centers

By ALLISON MILES
Dec. 30, 2011 at 6:30 a.m.

Pulsating club music blares as dancers use combinations of kicks and dance steps that burn about 800 calories in half an hour.

HOW TO STOCK TO YOUR FITNESS GOALS

Here are some tips from those in the know:

Set reasonable goals.

Begin exercising 30 minutes to an hour three times a week and increase that if you want to accelerate results. You don't want to set yourself up to do too much and then fail.

Find a workout you enjoy so much you don't want to avoid it.

Zumba, for instance, is a high-energy dance workout that burns about 1,000 calories. People not only have fun doing it, but they see results and stay motivated.

Chart your progress.

If you're working out and getting results, that's one way to keep yourself motivated to continue on.

Join a class.

Group classes offer up a bit of variety and keep the workouts fresh. You might also make friends with fellow classmates, giving you a new workout buddy or two.

Don't limit workouts to time at the gym.

Consider walking or biking to work and taking the stairs, instead of the elevator. You'll burn more calories throughout the day.

Consider getting a trainer or a workout buddy.

It helps to have someone there supporting you, offering up exercise tips and keeping you motivated. You're less likely to allow your workout habits to trail off if someone is there to hold you accountable.

Don't get frustrated.

It takes time for the pounds to drop. Pay attention to how you feel and how your clothes fit, rather than what the scale says.

Sources: Lynn Anderson, owner of Superbody Works, Tami Brzozowski, fitness manager for Citizens HealthPlex, Aaron Escalante, sales associate with Pure Fitness & Tanning, Topical Biomedics news release

As people worldwide usher in the new year, it's more than the roadways experiencing heavy traffic.

Health centers feel a similar crunch, too.

New Year's resolutions have many donning workout garb and hitting the gym but, as the year wears on, that enthusiasm can wane.

January is a busy month for Superbody Works, a women-only gym at 2505 Azalea St., said Lynn Anderson, the gym's owner.

She said things remain busy through May but begin dwindling during summer months. The end of the year marks the slowest period.

Anderson said about 80 people visited the health center Dec. 22, for instance, compared to 362 on Jan. 31.

"Unfortunately, we sit and twiddle our thumbs during December, but then it's like boom," she said. "Everybody's coming in."

The Citizens HealthPlex, 9406 NE Zac Lentz Parkway, also experiences seasonal business increases and decreases, said Tami Brzozowski, the gym's fitness manager.

Things typically pick up in mid-January, she explained, and remain steady through about March. She encouraged people looking to begin an exercise regime to set a schedule early on and stick to it.

"It takes about 21 days to create a habit," she explained. "If you can stick with it for those few weeks, you have a better chance at keeping up with it."

Traffic at Pure Fitness & Tanning, 311 E. Mockingbird Lane, picks up 10 to 15 percent in January, said Aaron Escalante, a sales associate with the company.

"Everybody wants to get in shape or wants to get some of their calories down from the holiday season," he said. "There's a big increase."

He said his best advice was that people choose an obtainable goal, something they can maintain, and keep at it throughout the year.

"Stick to your goals," Escalante said.

As for the staff at Superbody Works, the New Year might mean extra work, but the crew is up for the challenge. Anderson said the staff buckles down and braces for the busy times ahead.

"You just get ready," she said.

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