It's an early January tradition-vowing to work off those extra holiday pounds and stay in shape during the new year, bringing an upsurge in business for area fitness facilities.
"Our 'biggest loser' weight loss program began Thursday, and that class is already filled," said Jennifer Deem, owner of the Marietta Boot Camp at 1100 Pike St.
But she noted the Marietta Boot Camp is about more than losing a few pounds.
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Amanda Mercer, left, and Kerry Jean Waddle, fitness trainers at the Marietta Family YMCA, work out on the Y’s new TRX Suspension Trainer Sunday afternoon.
"For us it isn't just weight loss. We want people to focus on other goals like feeling better, eating better, being able to participate in sports, or just wellness in general," Deem said. "We're really excited about this year."
She said every month of the year will have a different color theme at the boot camp.
"January is 'think pink' month, for example. We're concentrating on motivation and goal-setting," Deem explained. "There's a method to our approach that encourages people to not just lose a few pounds and quit, but to make fitness and wellness a change in their lifestyle by offering a wide variety of programs. And we make changes to our programs monthly."
Some tips for New Year's fitness
Focus on just one goal. Don't tackle all of your goals at once. Choose just one area to address. Research shows that willpower functions like a muscle: it's a limited resource, it must be strengthened, and if overused, it fatigues.
Set a measurable goal. Be specific. Don't commit to "lose weight." Define what success will look like. Will you exercise a certain number of days each week? Clear, defined goals are easier to pursue.
Put it in writing. You're almost 10-times more likely to follow a plan of action if you wrote it down.
Consult an expert or hire a personal trainer who can help you craft a personalized plan and ensure that you stay on track.
Find a buddy. Creating an accountability system can be a powerful tool. Find a buddy to join your work out or a friend who will expect regular updates on your progress.
Remove temptation. Change your environment to make it easier to uphold your resolution. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier, stock your pantry with only healthy snacks.
Reward yourself. Pencil in your workouts on a calendar. Reward yourself for keeping your appointments. For example, reward yourself with a manicure if you make it to the gym five times in a week, or enjoy a movie if you take two inches off your waist.
Across town Ash Bloomingdale, fitness trainer for ZK Fitness at 1402 Colegate Drive, said that facility always sees a surge in business during the first couple of weeks in January.
"But then it starts to taper off, and only those people who commit to making a difference in their physical fitness will stay on," he said. "Those people may start coming because they're concerned about their weight or the way they look, but then they catch on that it's all about making a real lifestyle change and exercising actually gives you more energy."
Bloomingdale said he and ZK Fitness owner Brian Anderson encourage new clients to start slow and gradually build into a regular fitness program.
"I'm currently working on a boot camp-type program where people can start out small and build a foundation to maintain their fitness and a good wellness lifestyle," he said.
The Marietta Family YMCA on Seventh Street held its annual open house event Sunday, offering prospective clients the opportunity to join the Y without paying the traditional joiner fee. Those who did join were also given three free hour-long sessions with one of the facility's personal trainers.
"We've probably signed up a total of 75 people so far," said Suzi Zumwalde, executive director of the Marietta Family YMCA.
She said the Y has an influx of new members at the beginning of the year.
"I think it's a lot about the traditional New Years resolution to lose weight, but people are also looking to make a change to a healthier lifestyle," Zumwalde said. "And we're trying to help them maintain that lifestyle instead of seeing it as just a one-time experience."
Kerry Jean Waddle, one of the Y's personal trainers, agreed, and noted it takes some motivation for new members to stay the course.
"We try to keep them motivated by showing the results of their efforts," she said. "When they see they're getting results they want to keep working."
Trainer Amanda Mercer added that another motivator is for members to do exercises they enjoy.
"If they're doing something they like to do, they'll stick with it," she said.
Todd and Wendy Myers of Marietta have been members of the local Y for several years now.
"We signed up right after the holidays about five years ago," Wendy said.
"It basically started as a New Year's resolution," Todd added. "We were just planning to lose some weight, but then we decided it would become part of our lifestyle, not a one-time thing. We also wanted to set a good example for our three daughters who also come to the Y."