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Gyms See Spike in New Memberships in January

With the start of the New Year, and with resolutions becoming realities, local gyms say they see more new memberships in January than any other time of the year. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner reports.

The treadmill at this local YMCA appears to be the most popular way for exercisers to run off the unwanted weight they gained over the past year.

Staff members at the Downtown YMCA even have a nickname for those who join a gym in January.

They call them “The Resolutioners.”

Mary Kromrey, the associate executive director for the Downtown YMCA, says “The Resolutioners” come back every January but don’t stay too long.

“We do see a great influx of new members and then returning members that come back and spend a lot time here in January, February and March. And then it starts to trickle back down to our regulars that stay with us year-round,” Kromrey said.

The weight room is another popular place for the so-called “Resolutioners” to start their new exercise programs.

Kromrey says the YMCA is starting a new program this year to make sure new members stick with their exercise programs and try to reach their goals.

“We attempt to have 100 percent of our new members set up a one on one appointment with an individual that we call a ‘healthy lifestyles coach.’ That person is not a personal trainer. The visit can be about any type of wellness issue and it’s to really focus on helping that new member make a connection with a staff member here,” Kromrey said.

Kromrey says if people make friends at the gym they are more likely to continue to exercise.

Kromrey offers a tip to those who are starting a new work out program for the New Year.

“We are really encouraging people to exercise some and to not beat themselves if they can’t dedicate 20, 30, 45 minutes to exercising. Five minutes is better that zero minutes,” Kromrey said.She says she’s trying to help people rethink how they view exercise, so they understand that any movement is better than none.

For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.