Gyms see uptick following New Year’s

Experts said keeping realistic goals important in seeing results

With the New Year, many are once again making resolutions to lose weight or get in better shape.
But how successful are people at achieving those goals?

Recent numbers show staying fit and losing weight are the top two resolutions people made this coming year. It is estimated only 8 percent of those that make them actually achieve their goal.

Zac Mestelle has been a member at the La Crosse YMCA for few years, but says with 2016, he’s got a new fitness goal in mind.

“Starting off, I want to add some muscle,” said Mestelle. “I’m moving out to California in May, and then I’ll transition into getting the more ripped, buff look for the beach body.”

With more trying to lose weight, area gyms are seeing more newcomers.

“We see quite an influx of new members through the winter, and especially around the new year, with people setting goals and committing to a healthier lifestyle,” said Travis Pernsteiner of the La Crosse YMCA.

But as the winter turns to spring, keeping those fitness goals can be a challenge.

“It’s hard to pick out what will or won’t make someone stick,” said Mestelle. “It’s kind of fun to see who gets weeded out and who sticks.”

Experts say moderation is the key.

“With setting a New Year’s resolution, (try and) set something that’s realistic and achievable,” said Pernsteiner. “Probably not like an iron man, but maybe more like completing a 5K or 10K or working out once a week, taking smaller steps to get a goal they can achieve.”

Whether looking to lose weight or get that perfect body, experts say perseverance is important to start 2016 on the right path.

“(There’s) something we like to say at the Y, tell somebody about your goal, maybe right it down or share it with a friend so that person can hold you accountable to reaching your goal and making sure you do succeed and get it done,” said Pernsteiner.

Experts also said it is important for newcomers to set short-term as well as long-term goals, in order for those looking to lose weight help set achievable goals.

A recent survey said nearly 41 percent of Americans made a resolution to live a healthier lifestyle this year.