Full of resolve

Each January, millions across the nation make an impermanent oath of some kind — a New Year’s resolution.

For many, that resolution means a trip back to the gym — to run, walk, box, Zumba or Jazzercise.

Regardless of whether those commitments last one year or one week, one fact remains — the new year gives a big boost to local gyms.

Gyms throughout Catawba County say the new year brings a steady stream of new customers looking to get into shape.

“It’s our busiest time of the year,” said Michael Query, a staff member at Planet Fitness in Hickory. “We double the amount of people who work out every day. It’s just night and day difference.”

Planet Fitness, located off N.C. 127, prides itself on providing a “Judgment Free Zone.”

It caters to first-time users, providing trainers and instructors who work to make sure new users are operating equipment safely and properly, Query said.

Memberships are cheap, too, starting with a $10 start-up fee and $10 monthly payment after that.

“It’s great for people wanting to come in and try things for their New Year’s resolution,” Query said, adding that there is no cancellation fee.

In Newton, The Perfect Workout also sees an increase in new members around the beginning of the new year. Owner and fitness director Sharon Rashidi said business usually picks up around mid-January.

She said residents with New Year’s resolutions need to start slow, at first.

“They need to start slowly and not go gung-ho, because it can lead to injury and them getting burned out,” she said. “Ease into it slowly and build yourself back up.”

She added that it’s always smart to start with cardio and add light weights after a while.

Area YMCA officials say their facilities in Conover and Hickory also see growth around the beginning of the new year.

The YMCAs, located off U.S. 70 in Conover and off 1st Street NW in Hickory, are currently participating in a New Year’s campaign to attract new members, said Angela Chapman, executive director of the Hickory Foundation YMCA.

“We try to do everything we can to help people stay with those New Year’s resolutions,” Chapman said. “They get three free appointments when they join to work with a trainer.”

Chapman added that the YMCA does see an “influx” of members this time of year. She said the personalized training helps with new members.

“They can get in here and feel comfortable,” she said. “They can work with a trainer and find a routine that works for them.”

Places to work out

The Perfect Workout, Newton

Planet Fitness, Hickory

Hickory Foundation YMCA
1st Street NW, Hickory

Adrian L. Shuford Jr. YMCA
U.S. 70, Conover