It's the start of the new year, and local gyms are reporting brisk business.
Continuing that new year's resolution for more than a few weeks or months, however, can be the tricky part.
Trainers at two local fitness centers, SunUte Community Center in Ignacio and Momentum 24/7 Fitness in Bayfield, offer some suggestions for getting in better shape, and staying that way, in 2015.
Get moving, but don't overdo it
Even that walk around the block, or around your house, is a good start. And while pledging to exercise an hour a day six days a week can sound like a good idea, it can lead to burnout pretty quickly, said Sage Frane, the group exercise coordinator who has worked at SunUte since it opened in 2001.
Frane and Robin Duffy-Wirth, the fitness manager at the center, recommend listening to your body, looking at your schedule, and find an activity that works for you. Getting a family member or friend to join you is a great start.
"There's a sense of community and motivation," in working out with a friend or group, she said. Joining an exercise class is a good way for a procrastinator to keep on track.
On Saturday, Jan. 24, SunUte will offer a launch of its 2015 classes, with 30-minute sample classes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. They include Zumba dance; Bodypump, a class combining cardiovascular exercise and weight training; Bodystep, an aerobics class; Bodycombat, which combines cardio and martial arts; Bodyflow, incorporating yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates; and Step'n'Tone, using exercise equipment.
Refreshments will be served.
Get rid of the excuses
Duffy-Wirth said she's heard them all, and they don't do anyone any good. She's used them herself, she added with a laugh.
The most common she hears: "I'm too heavy," and "Everyone's watching me."
So what? Try it anyway, she advised.
Instead of looking at exercise as a chore, try to think about the positive effects it will have on your life: better sleep, time with your family, feeling better at work.
"It's not just how you look, it's how you feel," Frane added. "It translates into your whole life."
SunUte offers Active Kid Care so kids can get healthy, too, and the pool is a great place for the kids to play while mom and dad swim laps or take water aerobics.
SunUte also teaches 1,000 local kids swimming every year, including students from the Bayfield and Ignacio school districts. More than 180 kids are signed up for the league's youth basketball program, which starts soon.
SunUte is a bargain, as well. A daily visit is $5. Adult memberships are $114 for three months, and $36 per month for an additional adult. Kids' memberships are $18 monthly with an adult.
The gym can be reached at 563-0214. Class schedules, events and other information are at www.sunute.com.
Set a goal
Ashleigh Tarkington, a trainer at Momentum 24/7 Fitness in Bayfield, has the following suggestions to avoid being a "Januarian."
Committing to a goal, signing up for a 5K race this spring, or getting 10 sessions with a trainer, are among the ways to keep your body active.
The fourth annual "Mo" Fitness Challenge, starting this month, "is a great community effort," Tarkington said. "It's awesome to see Bayfield get on board."
Teams of three people sign up for the challenge, which runs for 12 weeks. The team that loses the highest percentage of weight, as a group, wins prizes, and there are individual prizes.
There are other smaller challenges through the year, as well, that help keep members motivated.
Tarkington works with several senior citizen clients.
"I look at the activities of daily living, and make sure they can do those things," she said. Balance exercises, core training and strength training can help all of us.
"We lose bone density and elasticity as we age," she said. "Putting good stress on those bones makes everything stronger."
Momentum is open 24 hours a day and also has a location in downtown Pagosa Springs. Last year, it expanded to include CrossFit training, which is now called Functional Training. The cost is covered in the membership, but participants need to sign up before starting the program.
Just do it
Like her counterparts at SunUte, Tarkington said she hears lots of excuses for people not to start. They'll do it after they quit smoking, or when they lose 10 pounds.
"Just make that first step," she said. "Walk in and check it out. It's a no-judgement zone."
Momentum has affordable rates, as well, starting at $34 a month, and daily visits are $6. Classes include butts and guts, sexy ladies, and yoga.
Class information is at www.momentum24-7.com, or by calling 884-6077.
Up next: local nutrition coaches help their clients lose weight.