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Gyms get a boost with the new year
Those who resolved to get in shape filling fitness centers
Sally Pavao works out on an elliptical machine at the J.A. Walters Family Branch of the Georgia Mountains YMCA Sunday afternoon.

Saturday brought a new year and for gym owners, lots of new members.

Teryl Worster, owner of The Body Sanctuary at 635 Green St., calls them her “resolutioners.”

“A resolutioner is someone who can look in the mirror and honestly say every year that their No. 1 and No. 2 resolutions are the same (as last year). Eat better and lose weight,” she said. “If it’s the same every year, you’re a resolutioner.”

Many owners of local gyms and wellness centers say they’re prepared for a lot of  resolutioners, or “Ground-Hog-dayers” as Worster also calls them, to sign up for memberships this month.

By the end of January, the Georgia Mountains JA Walters Family YMCA at 2455 Howard Road expects to see between 500 and 800 new families sign up, a sizeable number considering they currently have about 2,500 families enrolled, said president and CEO Mike Brown.

Brown said a lot of those new members will be drawn in by new year’s guilt. But he said many are also looking to take advantage of special promotions offered by gyms as a way to draw people in despite the difficult economy.

The YMCA offers no signing fees this time of year. And the Gainesville-operated Frances Meadows Aquatic Center at 430 Prior St. is giving 20 percent off to anyone who signs up and brings a friend.

People seem to be starting their weight -loss routines earlier this year, said Colleen Manji, owner of the Gainesville Jazzercise, 199 Dawsonville Highway.

“Right after Christmas people come in who have been so busy and they just want to look better and feel better and have more energy and sleep better and fit into all of those new clothes they got for Christmas,” she said.

Gym owners agree that the easy part is getting people to sign up.

“People will come for four or five weeks,” Brown said. “Our job is to keep them there long term. We’ve got to make sure that we have enough programs in place that help people reach their goals long term, not short term.”

Worster said she recommends people surround themselves with like-minded people and approach health as an issue of character building, not weight loss.

“They need to take it on as a much more serious project rather than just losing weight,” she said.

 “Am I going to keep my word to myself? Am I going to keep my commitment? Am I going to be courageous when it starts getting really hard? Because after a while it starts getting really difficult.”