Gyms around the Tri-Cities are seeing a significant increase in membership as people make New Years resolutions to get fit.
In the industry, we typically call people like this resolutionists, said Stephen Wallenfels of the Tri-City Court Club in Kennewick.
They want to change now. But we want to help them find something that sticks, Wallenfels said.
Some of the people who join at this time have a sprint-to-the-finish mentality, said Al Moreno of Golds Gym.
But these resolutionists bring a sense of inspiration and excitement to the gym, said Cheryl Schwarzwalter, owner of Curves in Pasco.
We have new members and people who havent been in for a while are coming back, she said. People are ready to work off their Christmas candy.
Columbia Basin Racquet Club in Richland normally sees a 30 percent increase in January and February, said Melissa Stommel, membership services director.
The increase in membership continues through mid- to late spring, said Sonnia King of LifeQuest in Pasco.
Everyone from college students to seniors signs up, she said. In addition to New Years resolutions, people are thinking about spring break, and then all of sudden its time for warmer weather, she said.
If youre a regular gym-goer, everybody dreads January, said Kathy Pedalino, 57, of Prosser, a Columbia Basin Racquet Club member for three years.
For the first few months of the new year, Pedalino said she shows up to her group fitness classes early so she doesnt have to fight for a spot.
While full-time members are here for the long run, other members change momentum as the year goes on, King said.
Most gyms in the region report a decrease in attendance during the summer. Some gyms attribute the decline to people working out outside. Other gyms believe the dip is related to summer travels and parents having to care for kids who are no longer in school.
This change in participation also is likely because of burnout, said King.
I hope its going to work out for them, said Bill Stade, 71, of West Richland, of resolutionists. Hes been a member of Columbia Basin Racquet Club for decades. Its sad to see them come here and then drop out.
King advises people to start slow and accelerate consistently.
You cant think that in six weeks youre going to be a size 2, she said.
Instead, it is important to view exercise not as a once-a-year-thing, but as a lifestyle, Stommel said.
Joey Sanchez of RSA Crossfit in Kennewick says 22 people have joined his gym since the new year. He said 97 percent of his members complete their six-month contract and many renew. He believes the high retention rate is tied to the programs emphasis on community.
Having friends at the gym does make it easier to show up. Many look for any reason to stop working out, Wallenfels said.
Once you associate with people who are into fitness, it becomes easier and easier, Stade said.
Pedalino, who took a brief vacation from exercise when her kids were young, has worked out four or five times a week for several decades.
The key is to make accommodations. If you have kids, take a walk with them. Not everyone has to be doing the same thing, Pedalino said.
You dont have to go to extremes for exercise to work, King said.