Eric Trueblood of Soldotna pumps iron at Peninsula Athletic Club on Saturday morning. Many people vow to go to the gym more as a New Year's resolution.
The new year offers a promise of change and self-improvement, and offers businesses a promise of higher sales. People want to lose holiday weight now that the new year has started and are turning to the health professionals for assistance.
The Sears store in Kenai already has felt the effect of the new year on sales of treadmills, bikes and elliptical machines. Store employees estimate a 20-percent increase in workout equipment sales since the holiday season started.
“We’re selling ellipticals left and right,” said James Glaves, a sales associate. “We’ve had people almost fighting each other over certain kinds of ellipticals we had for a while.”
Fred Meyer store managers expect to see sales on fitness equipment climb in the coming month.
“Every January the number of workout equipment sales go up,” said Ronald Delaney, Soldotna store director for Fred Meyer. “People are making vows to quit smoking and to diet and to do all the right things in life.”
Delaney said diet aid sales also increase with the end of the holiday season. The store sells a greater quantity of Slim Fast products now than during the rest of the year.
Health clubs are also looking to increase memberships over the next few weeks. The Peninsula Athletic Club is preparing itself for an influx of customers looking to lose weight after the holidays.
“It’ll be pretty chaotic here with so many people coming in,” said Nikki Cobb, a receptionist.
Cobb attributes the increase in customers to resolutions made for the new year, but said the resolutions don’t last long.
“Usually it’s pretty full for a couple of months and then gradually people just stop coming.”
The North Peninsula Recreation Area also expects a jump in sales.
“Everybody puts in their New Year’s resolutions and the big one is to become more fit and lose some weight,” said Rachel Parra, recreation director.
Parra said the gym usage will be at a steady high for the month of January, after which the numbers will start to dwindle back down to normal.
Smaller goals might lead to more success in the resolution-making process, said Soldotna psychologist Kathleen Dinius.
“Make them simple and make them small,” she said. “People get real gung-ho and think they’re going to do so much and that’s when they fail.”
Remember that the beginning of the new year isn’t the only time for resolution-making, said Dinius.
“When you get one of your resolutions under your belt, you can always add another one,” she said. “You can make resolutions all year long.”
One of the best ways to reach your goals is to keep a positive attitude, Dinius said.
“If you accomplish anything, you need to pat yourself on the back, because it’s more than you were doing before,” she said. “You need to take credit for your accomplishments.”
Be kind to yourself, Dinius recommends. Getting upset with yourself for not accomplishing what you set out to will only hold you back from reaching your goals.
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