Fitness habits in the new year
By Julia Siedlanowska, Staff Writer
The new year is always said to bring an influx of gym and fitness centre attendees, and New Year’s resolutions are held responsible; but not everyone agrees that the trend is as big as it once was.
Jessica Lyn, owner of the pole dance, aerial, and fitness studio AVA Fitness in New Westminster, witnesses a consistent increase in new customers after the holidays. “We have a huge influx in January and February of people just wanting to try new things,” says Lyn. “We have our regulars throughout the year but it’s generally January, February, and even March that is high for new clients.”
Although AVA Fitness offers a specific kind of health activity, the rise is not only seen in a daring new endeavour like pole dancing. Tracy Chase at the Port Moody Recreation Complex also notices a definite rise in the number of patrons. “It’s a New Year’s resolution, absolutely,” says Chase. “Our programs stay the same, but we definitely have more people coming in.”
Danielle Eades, of Fitwells for Women in Coquitlam, agrees. “Definitely right after Christmas is our huge, huge busy time with everyone coming in for the new year.”
Although prices stay the same at most recreation centres, different promotional tactics are highly advertised during the post-holiday season within privately owned businesses.
“Normally prices go up. So January and February will always be the more expensive months, where the month leading up to January will always be a lot slower,” says Jason Alden of the Steve Nash Fitness World and Sports Club.
The reverse is visible at AVA Fitness: “All of our punch cards are $40-off until January 6,” says Lyn, a tactic that fits the bill for a club offering a risqué way of working out.
“With the new year people are more willing to try new things and challenge themselves. It’s a time when you dare yourself to do the things you’ve always wanted to,” says Coquitlam resident Rachel Harrison.
But not all agree that the post-holiday fitness trend is as big as it once was. Alden speculates that the habits of gym patrons are going full circle.
“I think it’s more of a myth nowadays. A lot of people think that new year’s resolution [time] is when a lot of people are going to start going to the gym. I think it was like that about five years ago. In my experience working in the gym industry I found that people are almost scared to start going to the gym. So it’s almost like reverse psychology. Some people don’t want to go to the gym in January because it’s going to be so packed; it’s going to be so busy.”
Although the rising focus on health and fitness within the media may be influencing a year-round healthy lifestyle trend—replacing the sporadic influx of people attending gyms and fitness centres in the new year—there currently remains a general rise in attendance in January and February.