As the new year begins, many decide to use the fresh start as a time to make resolutions about their health, like starting to work out more and eat better, but it can be hard to follow through.
At Capital Region Medical Center's Sam B. Cook Healthplex, staff encourage people looking to get healthy to find what works for them. Sarah Harbour, group fitness supervisor, said the new year can present the first motivation to get people into the gym, but they need more to keep going as the year goes on.
"They need a program designed for them, number one," Harbour said. "If they're coming into the fitness center to work out, maybe the accountability of a personal trainer or coming to a group fitness class. They're going to be more engaged, and an engaged member stays."
The Healthplex offers a variety of group classes through a fitness program called Les Mills along with others focusing on core workouts, aerobics, Barre and Pilates. Every quarter, they start new classes with updated music and workouts, inviting members and non-members to try classes for free.
The week of Jan. 13, the Healthplex will offer its updated classes under the theme "Making You Better in 2020." From Monday-Friday, a variety of group classes will be held featuring the new music and updated choreography.
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"(The new classes) hopefully get our current members engaged with something new because it's easy to get in a rut when you're working out on your own," Harbour said. "Also, it's an opportunity for non-members who would like to come in and check out this facility and our classes."
Harbour said while the new classes offer an incentive to come, finding a way to stay motivated is key to keeping healthy after the new year motivation wears off.
Carole Tyus, a member at the Healthplex, said they always see new faces at the start of the new year.
"A new year is kind of a like a Monday morning — a new start," Tyus said.
Tyus said it can be hard for some people to start developing good health habits.
"I think mentally, most people know what they're doing that's not working, and they perhaps have an idea of what they need to do to get it right, but it's a matter of making their mind up," she said.
Once they get there, it's about continuing motivation.
"New year resolutions, people come in with good intentions," Tyus said. "But then you wonder, why is it not sustained?"
A registered nurse, Tyus understands the importance of getting and staying healthy. The almost-60-year-old attends regular workouts at the Healthplex and encourages others to do the same.
There's more to getting and being healthy than working out or even looking fit, she said.
"It's a whole mind, body and soul. It's a holistic approach," Tyus said. "Someone can look physically fit, but they're not healthy. And vice-versa. You may have a heavier person, physically they look heavier, but on the inside, they're healthy."
However, Tyus believes feeling better physically can help improve mental well-being and motivation.
"I think it all comes full circle. If physically you feel good, you've got the endorphins going, then you've got a good attitude and you see the positive side of things more than the negative," Tyus said.
Harbour said attending group fitness classes or having a personal trainer can give some people that drive they need to keep going. Attending the same classes regularly builds a relationship with trainers or other participants, which creates a sense of accountability not found in regular workouts.
"Even though no one is holding you accountable, there is a sense of accountability," Harbour said. "You miss someone when they're not there. That treadmill doesn't miss you."
Also starting in January, the Healthplex will offer a weight-loss program called "Commit To Be Fit" for members. Regular memberships to the Healthplex can range from $28-$37 a month, depending on age and other factors. For the month of January, new members can join for just $10. Group classes are included with memberships.
Across town, The Linc also offers Jefferson City residents a space to work out with a fitness center and exercise classes Monday through Friday during the day, including low-intensity classes like yoga and Pilates, or higher-intensity like full-body cardio workouts.
Membership at The Linc varies based on age and type of membership, ranging from $20-$29 per month or $240-$348 per year for individuals, or $3-$5 for a daily drop-in rate. They also offer family rates.
The Jefferson City Area YMCA, with three locations across town, is another option offering fitness classes, personal training and other workout spaces for members.
Starting this past Friday and running through March 27, the YMCA is holding a "Start Strong Fitness Challenge," which includes personal training sessions and other benefits. Following that, in the summer, they will have the "Stay Strong Fitness Challenge," to encourage people to maintain health and fitness. Registration for the "Stay Strong Fitness Challenge" opens May 1.
Regardless of how or when people exercise, Harbour said the only thing that matters is you do it.
"We're all here for the same purpose — different goals, but same purpose — to be the best version of us," Harbour said.