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Sticking with it: Make your exercise resolutions stick this year

Bob Smith lifts weights at Natchez Total Fitness Tuesday. Gym owner Daphne Turner expects the usual increase in business at the beginning of the year with people making New Year’s resolutions. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Bob Smith lifts weights at Natchez Total Fitness Tuesday. Gym owner Daphne Turner expects the usual increase in business at the beginning of the year with people making New Year’s resolutions. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

By Olivia McClure

NATCHEZ — Many people make New Year’s resolutions to hit the gym and get fit, but they often end up returning to old, unhealthy habits.

Thomas Hughes works out at Natchez Total Fitness Tuesday. Gym owner Daphne Turner expects the usual increase in business at the beginning of the year with people making New Year’s resolutions. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Thomas Hughes works out at Natchez Total Fitness Tuesday. Gym owner Daphne Turner expects the usual increase in business at the beginning of the year with people making New Year’s resolutions. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Local gym owners say they expect increased business this time of year.

Daphne Turner, owner of Natchez Total Fitness, said her gym usually gets a little busier after New Year’s, then slows down until summertime.

Some people are coming to the gym now because of their resolutions, but others are there simply because they are off from work and have time, Turner said.

It is important that people who start working out continue exercising throughout the year, Turner said.

First, however, they must come to the gym and get a good start.

Turner is offering a first month free deal to encourage people to join. Her gym also employs a trainer who comes every afternoon to help people learn how to use equipment properly.

“Realize that the gym is for everybody,” Turner said. “Nobody’s perfect, and don’t feel like you’ve got to be perfect to come in here. We come to the gym to get better.”

Turner’s gym recently doubled in size, so even with increased business, it shouldn’t get crowded, Turner said. She has also hired additional staff since the expansion, so “we are prepared for the January rush,” she said.

Kayla and Matthew Henderson ride stationary bicycles together at Natchez Total Fitness Tuesday. Gym owner Daphne Turner expects the usual increase in business at the beginning of the year with people making New Year’s resolutions. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Kayla and Matthew Henderson ride stationary bicycles together at Natchez Total Fitness Tuesday. Gym owner Daphne Turner expects the usual increase in business at the beginning of the year with people making New Year’s resolutions. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Turner said people should be encouraged by the fact that exercising and getting in shape is “better than taking medicine.”

Chris Kimball, who owns several Miss-Lou locations of Pinnacle Training Center, teaches a CrossFit program, which is an intense form of exercise designed for elite athletes. He, too, predicts more people will join his gyms after New Year’s, and CrossFit shouldn’t intimidate them.

“We scale it down to you,” he said. “We start at your level, then build up to that level of an elite athlete.”

Kimball said he managed a franchise fitness center for several years, where he noticed that people would show up for a “resolution sale” and buy a year-long membership, but only use it for 30 to 60 days.

More people stick with CrossFit, he said, because they train with a coach and a team. Kimball’s program also includes nutrition lessons, so people can see results faster.

Some people don’t stick with the program, Kimball said, but many get started, see improvement in the mobility level and continue their training religiously.