Fitness remains a popular New Year's resolution

Noel Lyn Smith

FARMINGTON — Getting into shape and developing regular fitness routines are perennial New Year's Day resolutions but sustaining the goal can be challenging.

Nielsen surveyed 580 people online about New Year's Day resolutions last year and topping the list at 37 percent was "staying fit and healthy," followed by 32 percent selecting the goal of losing weight.

Sustaining the fitness goal can be challenging as the year proceeds but seasoned Defined Fitness members shared some advice for starting a new program and continuing it.

Farmington resident Gilbert Garcia was among the dozens of people at the health club on Friday, the first day of 2016.

A healthy crowd came to work out on the New Year's Day morning at Defined Fitness on 20th Street in Farmington.

"I think it brings self-worth, it keeps you strong. …It created an element that is important to me, to be able to keep myself in shape – mentally and physically," Garcia said after completing a routine that included working his shoulders and running for 50 minutes.

His path to fitness started more than a year ago and after several back surgeries. He now works out for two hours a day five days a week.

Those who are starting their path to fitness this year, Garcia said, will learn more about themselves as they continue.

“Take it one minute and one moment at a time,” he said, adding there will be challenges ahead “but consistency makes everything happen.”

Kelley Dame finished her Friday visit with a series of pull-ups.

Dame, of Farmington, said her advice to those starting to exercise is to begin with what they know and do not be afraid to ask for help.

"The people here are nice and willing to help you," she said.

Farmington resident Robert Chavez started visiting the health club more than a year ago because of health reasons.

"I went and ate dinner, went to the movies, went home and went to sleep," said Robert Chavez of his New Year's Eve celebration. But Chavez and dozens of others showed up to work out at Defined Fitness in Farmington on New Year's Day.

“If you got a goal you need to stick to it. Try to put in the effort, you’ll get the results like you want. It don’t come overnight,” Chavez said.

Natalie Stark, group fitness instructor, said Defined Fitness sees a lot of new people at the beginning of the year.

“We’re really excited to see new faces and encourage familiar faces to get in shape and meet their fitness goals for 2016,” Stark said after teaching BodyPump and CXORX classes.

The facility offers a number of group classes, like Zumba, yoga and Pilates, and participants are excited to welcome new members.

“Everybody who’s come to a class, had to walk into that door for the very first time,” she said.

"This is our every day," said Michael Caillier, right, who came to work out on the morning of New Year's Day with his friend, Elmo Seabolt, on Friday at Defined Fitness on 20th Street in Farmington.

As for sustaining the momentum to continue working out, she said it helps to figure out a time for fitness so you can consistently attend.

“I feel fitness is the one gift that people give themselves, that will last their entire life,” Stark said.

Steve Lien, regional director of franchise development, said the facility generally experiences an increase in memberships during January and February.

A majority of new memberships are individuals who select fitness as a new year resolution, he said.

Another reason is some health insurance providers pay for memberships as part of preventive services, he added.

"My main advice is not to try to change everything at once. Change one thing, two things a month as far as if its diet or how many times you come to the gym. I would not recommend completely changing your lifestyle, completely changing your diet. It’s too hard to do, it’s a process," Lien said.

"I come every day. Change doesn't start at the beginning of the year," said Kelley Dame, who showed up at Defined Fitness in Farmington on New Year's Day with her husband, Daniel Dame, to work out.

One way Defined Fitness is helping new members and continuing members is by offering a 12-week fitness program called “Fitness Revolution," which has teams to help support and motivate people so they can reach their fitness goals.

“The accountability and the comfort level is probably the most important side of new members coming in,” Lien said.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-546-4636.