Local gyms ready for post-New Year’s fitness push
There is never a bad time to decide to get healthy.
However, it seems for many, the start of a new year is always a good motivator.
In fact, January is the most active month for people to join a gym, local operators said, and several facilities in Vicksburg are preparing for an influx of new members.
Phillip Doiron, who is the executive director of the Junius Ward Johnson YMCA, said outside of the “100-year pandemic,” in the past, January is an active month for people to join the Y and take advantage of their fitness facility.
“Traditionally, January is a great time for people to have those goals and improve their health,” Doiron said.
The YMCA’s W.K. Purks Center just completed a 2,000 square foot addition which, in part, increased the size of the fitness center. Doiron said a new line of strength equipment including Selectorized machine weights and free weights were added, as well as additional space for “specialty style fitness classes.”
Brittany Adair, who is the Vicksburg Planet Fitness manager, concurred with Doiron when it came to experiencing increased membership at the start of a new year.
“Typically the week after New Year’s,” Adair said, is when new folks sign up for a membership.
But like Doiron, Adair said the COVID-19 pandemic has been a factor that has altered the usual pattern of new membership.
Planet Fitness, which is located at 3046 Indiana Ave., is a full-scale gym. Its facility houses a variety of equipment from free weights to user-friendly exercise machines with QR codes that can be used with smart phones to let members know how to use it and what muscles will be targeted.
Adair said there is also a circuit training area, and exercise classes.
Currently, exercise classes and personal fitness training have been suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Adair said she is hoping these offerings will resume soon.
Getting fit is a wise New Year’s resolution, but exercise can do more than just help with weight control. It can also improve memory and brain function, protect against many chronic diseases, improve sleep, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, improve joint pain and stiffness, and increase one’s life span.
Doiron encouraged people to get fit, but also to focus their goals.
“The new year is time for a new start and I would encourage people to set fitness goals, but make them realistic,” Doiron said, “Because if they do something unrealistic they are much more likely to not follow through with it. It is important to start with baby steps. You are not going to go from the couch to running a marathon.”
For more information on the Vicksburg YMCA, call 601-638-1071 or visit vicksburgymca.com.
For more information on Planet Fitness, call 601-501-4091 or visit www.planetfitness.com/gyms/vicksburg-ms.