EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
John England, city of Peshtigo, works out at Anytime Fitness Monday in Marinette. England has kept-up a long-standing workout routine.
EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard

John England, city of Peshtigo, works out at Anytime Fitness Monday in Marinette. England has kept-up a long-standing workout routine.

January is a time for resolutions and self-improvement. Whether a person wishes to quit smoking or eat healthier, the new year often is seen as an opportunity to work toward these goals. However, according to the American Heart Association, more than 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by mid-February.

This statistic is reflected in gym and community center memberships, which tend to increase in January, only to drop back down by March.

“January is the busiest time for us,” said Leshea Webber, manager at Planet Fitness. “A lot of people sign up for memberships in January, but they will cancel them in February or March.”

“There certainly is an increase in membership in January,” YMCA Executive Director Terri Falkenberg said. “However, 50 percent of people who sign up at the beginning of the year don’t stick with it.”

Falkenberg said the YMCA has the highest membership during January through March, when community members are still trying to achieve their New Year’s resolutions. “After March, our numbers start settling back down and we will only see our regulars.”

Allyson Bickel, community engagement director at the YMCA, said although membership does increase during the month of January, she feels people tend to start exercising when they feel it is time for them to do so.

Hannah Rominski, Marinette, a member at Anytime Fitness, said she attends the gym about three times a week. “I made a New Year’s resolution last January to start attending the gym more often and to gain weight, especially muscle. I had kept up with it until July, but life got in the way and I fell out of the routine during the second half of the year.”

Rominski said she picked up the resolution again in January and hopes to continue working at her fitness goals throughout the year.

“I exercise at a more casual level than a lot of people,” she said. “But I try, and I have a group of friends who will go the gym with me.”

Another member at Anytime Fitness, Holly Deloria, Marinette, said she started attending the gym regularly recently. “It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution per se, but I did start at that time.” She has been working out at Planet Fitness since mid-January.

Bickel said she personally has struggled with maintaining her health goals in the past, but persistence is important when trying to reach health goals and to remember that results won’t happen right away.

“You won’t lose 10 pounds in one week and keep it off. You aren’t going to see results in the gym in one month. But you will see those results after four to six months, and other things happen during that time that make the waiting and persistence all worthwhile,” she said.

Bickel said everybody who makes a resolution to live a healthier lifestyle will have days where they fall short of the goal. “Me personally, I cannot make a killer workout routine and a killer eating routine and stick with it for more than one or two weeks without being so frustrated with being neat and on point, that I get to a breaking point, or have one bad moment or day and it stops.

“We all have bad days, weeks and even months where we just seem to not get it together,” Bickel said. “But what always brings us back is our passion and dedication and need and want to see what our bodies are able to do, what our minds are capable of doing. We have injuries, and set-backs, but ultimately we have heart.”