By: Samantha Hunter and Amber Rademacher
More people tend to workout and eat healthier in the spring than the winter, but why is this?
Mesa Messenger started interviewing employees and visitors at the Colorado Mesa University gym and Gold’s gym to see why numbers increase in the springtime and decrease in the wintertime. What we found is that New Year’s resolutions has a lot to do with the increasing numbers of gym memberships.
Both gyms have been packed with people since the middle of January, and people are continuing to shuffle in due to the nice weather outside. Gym employees don’t ever remember seeing the gym not packed around this time of year.
Emily Guiliano, a former student at Colorado Mesa has been going to the gym on campus for the past four years and says this time of year is the busiest she ever sees the gym.
“The gym always gets busy in the middle of January and stays pretty steady throughout the warm weather. Everybody is trying to get their bodies ready for spring breaks,” Guiliano said.
The gym employees and visitors might not see the numbers of people go decrease until after spring break.
Michael Hughes, Assistant Director of the gym on campus, says he loves when students and other members of the community take advantage of everything the gym has to offer.
“When we’re busy and every machine is taken, it’s great! I love to see all these people who don’t workout on a regular come in and change their habits,” Hughes said.
While the gym staff is very excited to see so many newcomers, the numbers of gym-goers decreases when the weather gets colder and spring break is over. The problem is that so many people go to the gym and eat healthy once the holidays are over, but stop these good habits once the hype of New Year’s resolutions is over.
“It’s exciting to see so many people fill up the gym, but there aren’t as many students in the gym after spring break. It’s a little disappointing,” Hughes said.
One thing that’s clear, people like to workout and eat healthy during a certain time, and then they stop once they feel like they don’t need to be healthy anymore. There is no answer as to why people don’t keep up with their workouts or their healthy diets, but there are hopes that people will begin to keep up with their healthy lifestyles.
The employees at the Colorado Mesa University gym hope that students will begin to come regularly throughout the year with all of the classes they are offering.
“I love utilizing the classes Mesa offers anytime of the day, everyday. It really helps me to get to the gym when I feel like I don’t want to go that day,” Guiliano said.
Mesa has hopes that it’s community will keep with the healthy lifestyle and they will see a constant rush throughout the year instead of throughout one month. They are doing all that they can in order to get their community to stay healthy.
In fact, even other gyms around Mesa County are seeing the same tendencies. With mornings, classes and evenings busier than ever, it is evident there is consistency in the popularity of health after the New Year, but still no certainty it will continue.
Whitney Robison, a 5-year long employee of Gold’s Gym in Clifton, talks about the current health trends she sees, particularly revolving around the New Years resolutions, and springtime.
“Well it’s always pretty busy from about January to March because of New Year’s resolutions, so it’s slowing down now,” states Robison. However, there are other inclinations coming to surface as well. “But long term, I would say that memberships across the gym community have been slowly increasing due to the current fitness trend phenomena,” she claims.
This is good news, as the Mesa County Health Department (MCHD) has made obesity their number two of three winnable battles, the first of which being suicide and the third, unintended pregnancy. They define a winnable battle as “key public health and environmental issues where progress can be made in the next three years.”
The goal is to keep community members motivated and wanting to come back to the gyms and fitness centers, long after the New Year craze is over. Motivation seems to be the key factor to focus on in order to generate these long-term relationships.
“The most common thing we see is that people give up- lose motivation. They don’t see results right away and so they quit,” says Robison. “I think people would continue going if they had amore help- more guidance- maybe by a peer, or more importantly, a trainer. Newbies gives up the fastest because they don’t now what they are doing, and if they don’t have help it will take the a lot longer to see results.”
According to the Health Department, “Colorado continues to have the lowest adult (18+ years) obesity rate (21.3%) in the country; however, there has been a consistent upward trend since 2000 when Colorado was at 14.5%. In
Mesa County, over half of adults (57.9%) are considered either overweight or obese.”
Hopefully now this trend is reversing, and people are once again keeping health top of mind all year long. Factors such as a healthy diet, and amount of daily activity have been specific issues in American society, and in Mesa County.
“Only 9% of children (1-14 years old) eat the recommended number of fruits and vegetables per day. Over 40% of children (5-14 years old) were not physically active at least 60 minutes per day for the past 7 days. Almost 20% of adults (18+ years) report being physically inactive,” according to the MCHD.
If gyms and fitness centers can continue to keep people interested year round, then our county is on the right path; however, motivation is key, and must be a priority in order to keep moving forward.
“What I have to think about is my health,” says Robison. “Growing older is scary and I want to be healthy to live life the best that I can.
From CMU campus gyms to across the Valley, the health phenomenon is growing, and the MCHD is helping to keep the spur alive throughout the seasons.
If you are interested in joining the movement, click the link below to view gyms best suited for you!