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How not to fail the No. 1 New Year’s resolution
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Kathy Davidson and husband Shannon work out Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, at the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center gym in Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers

In the upcoming weeks, people will flee the comfort of their couches and filter into local gyms to fulfill one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions — personal health.

Once the the spring creeps in, Jeremy Warner, owner of Max Kane Health & Fitness in Flowery Branch and Gainesville, said new members start to abandon their goals.

“People fall into the routine of getting on the treadmill, then go to a machine that they don’t know well,” Warner said. “After about two weeks of doing that people are like, ‘This is boring, I’m not really seeing any progress.’”

For those who are unfamiliar with proper fitness techniques and using gym equipment, he said they can easily become overwhelmed.

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It's no secret the most popular New Year's resolution involves following a healthy lifestyle. - photo by Scott Rogers

Warner encourages people to take the extra step of signing up for a class or having one-on-one sessions with a fitness trainer, to make sure they’re pointed in the right direction.

Brandon Uankum, head trainer at Planet Fitness in Gainesville, said beginners shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions.

“Don’t worry about what people think or how people may judge,” he said. “It’s about getting your goal and finding the best way to get there.”

By asking for help, he finds people are less likely to burn out.

Uankum said Planet Fitness in Gainesville has a group of trainers who are willing to help members.

Emily Young, wellness director of J.A. Walters Family YMCA in Gainesville, said one of the greatest mistakes people make when they start going to the gym involves doing too much.

Like Uankum, she has witnessed people push themselves into working out 90 minutes at a time for around five to seven days a week. She said the people who overexert themselves tend to give up faster.

She recommends creating a couple of small goals, like exercising two to three days a week, and sticking with them until they become a habit.

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Sonia Yoshida, top, swims in the pool Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, with Taiyi Marrison at the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center in Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers

In order to see physical results from working out, Warner said diet plays a critical role.

“If you put low-grade fuel into your body, it’s not going to do what you want it to do,” he said.

Max Kane Health & Fitness, J.A. Walters Family YMCA,  Planet Fitness, Frances Meadows Aquatic Center and other gyms in Gainesville provide options for a range of ages.

Warner said his youngest member is an 8-year-old kid and the oldest is a 78-year-old Navy veteran.

The Frances Meadows Aquatic Center in Gainesville supports the SilverSneakers program, which provides free gym access to senior citizens who fall under a certain Medicare plan. 

Zandrea Stephens, division manager of Frances Meadows Aquatic Center, said the No.1 issue she sees with beginners who start working out at the facility includes not prioritizing their fitness.

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Judi Britt takes part in a yoga class Monday. Dec. 31, 2018, at the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center in Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers

She said people allow their daily schedules to consume the time set aside for exercising.

“As a single mom and a business person, I totally understand it’s difficult to overcome that schedule,” Stephens said. “Thirty minutes of exercise doesn’t even need to be at the gym.”

Stephens, who struggles with diabetes and high blood pressure, is living her own success story.

When she can’t find time to visit the gym, she gets creative. Stephens said she will lift small weights while watching her favorite show, and even perform leg raises while working at her desk.

She also switched out carbonated beverages for water and traded fast-food for healthier options.

Overtime she has gained more energy, lost weight and decreased her blood glucose levels.

If she could give one piece of advice to those pursuing a healthy lifestyle as a New Year’s resolution, Stephens said she would tell them to focus on the little accomplishments.

“Just because you don’t see results physically, you don’t see the weight loss or you don’t see the blood pressure drop, that doesn’t mean at that time there’s not a benefit from it,” Stephens said. “If you’re looking for immediate results, it doesn’t happen like that. That’s the beginning.”

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Participants in a yoga class work out Monday, Dec. 31, 2018 at the France Meadows Aquatic Center in Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers
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