January: Time to 'fit' in

SANDUSKY This month is the peak season for area gyms. "For us, January would be
Sandusky Register Staff
May 9, 2010

SANDUSKY

This month is the peak season for area gyms.

"For us, January would be the same as July is to Cedar Point," said Steve Snider, executive director of the Sandusky YMCA. "We get a large attraction of people with New Year's resolutions. By March, it starts to slow down and people start to do more outdoor activities."

People at the Sandusky YMCA can be seen running, stepping and lifting their way into shape throughout this month, however, many of them got started early.

"I've been coming since September," said Jan Norman, 55, of Bellevue. "My goal is to stay fit and try to keep weight off."

Norman said her newfound initiative did not come from making resolutions.

"If I don't make them, I don't have to worry about them," she said.

Others are trying to make good on a resolution they seem to make every year.

"It's an old resolution and I'm still working on it," said Glen Verhoff, 45, of Port Clinton. "I wanted to lose about 40 pounds for health reasons. I've lost between 15 and 20 pounds (since September). It could come off faster, but at least it's not going on."

Losing weight is a popular New Year's resolution year somewhat because of the images people see in the media, according to Snider.

"Probably the most is the constant bombardment from commercials on losing weight and feeling better," he said.

But experts say people's focus should not only be on losing weight -- it should be also be about getting healthy and changing their habits.

"People go in and think it's about losing a few pounds," said Stacie Strecker, recreation coordinator at the Ernsthausen Fitness and Recreation Center in Norwalk. "It's also about nutrition. You need to change what you eat as well."

Snider said people who truly want to adopt a healthy lifestyle should maintain a steady, manageable workout routine for at least four weeks. That's the amount of time it takes for the brain and body to pick up on the new habit.

Strecker said working out with friends or in groups can the provide motivation and peer pressure needed to stay on the right track.

"There are always different programs you can get involved in at the gym," she said. "Usually the instructors know who you are. Find a partner you can work out with. A lot of our land aerobics classes will do that and we have success with that."