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Firms: Fitness is lifestyle, not seasonal chore
Personal Trainer Denyse Vincent teaches a toning aerobics class at Bounce Athletic Club. - photo by Autumn McBride

It’s the same routine every year.

Cash registers at area gyms get a workout in winter before the surge of new members dwindles in the spring.

But local fitness centers and instructors are working to make the healthy lifestyles stick year round.

The seemingly annual New Year’s weight loss resolution gives as much as a 20 percent boost to Anytime Fitness in Forsyth County, said manager Benjamin Bradley.

“I think they like to leave their possible failed attempts at fitness in the previous year and like to think of the new year as a brand new start,” he said.

Bradley encourages new members to not “look at it as a means to an end.”

“It’s very much a lifestyle,” he said. “It’s regarded as a chore and that’s exactly what you don’t want it to be.”

Lifestyle is the key to success, said fitness experts Tiffani Hartley and Denyse Vincent.

“Everyone always wants to lose the weight that they’ve put on from the holidays, but they still keep forgetting that they have to make lifestyle changes,” said Hartley, personal training director at Gold’s Gym in Cumming’s Tri-County Plaza.

“It’s not about being on a diet or only exercising four or six months a year. Working out has to be part of your everyday life.”

Hartley said it’s important to make it part of the daily routine, even if it’s just going on a half-hour walk with a dog. That’s why so many people fail.

Vincent, group fitness instructor at the Forsyth County Central Park Recreation Center and Bounce Athletic Club in north Forsyth, said participants tend to stick with exercise if they can establish a routine.

“If not, usually after six to eight weeks, we see them start to fall off,” she said.

Finding the time to schedule a workout between work and family time is one of the greatest challenges for clients, Vincent said.

She likes working with groups to keep participants close and create a support system for one another.

“A lot of them tend to need that extra support,” she said.

For those who would rather work out without the help of a trainer, Vincent said it’s important to constantly change movements.

She said they should use all the weight machines and switch between a treadmill, bicycle and elliptical machine.

“Always make sure you train all your muscles and use a lot of variety,” she said. “Your muscles get tired of doing the same thing. Make sure you have a variety.”

Hartley also stressed the importance of eating right.

“People come in here and exercise, but unless they change their nutrition, they’re not going to see a big difference,” she said.

“You’re going to see some changes in your body. But as far as going above and beyond and really reaching the goals they want, you really have to make lifestyle changes.”