Resolutions are ripe at the Rec

By Austin Miller, @AMiller_DE

The calendar changing leads many people to want to change their lives.

Forty-five percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions each year, according to a poll by the University of Scranton.

A separate poll conducted by Marist College found health-related goals make up 38 percent of resolutions.


Troy Vaughn, director of the Recreation Center, said the first few months are the busiest of the year.

Whether it is because of resolutions, intramural sports or the desire to get a beach body for Spring Break, the Recreation Center is full of students and members.

Three-thousand people visit the Recreation Center every day, and staff is stationed accordingly to those numbers.

More than 200,000 people came through the doors of the Recreation Center during January, February and March in 2014, including 718 new members.

With all of the new bodies in the facility, Vaughn said he hopes the staff can keep those people coming back.

The more than 60 group fitness sessions, including yoga, Zumba and cycling classes, are free for all visitors from Tuesday to Jan. 30.

Jason Davis, assistant director of fitness and wellness, said there are normally 10 to 50 people in the classes, but those numbers double during the preview weeks.


“Try it before you buy it,” Vaughn said. “Whether you’re advanced, a novice or intermediate, there is something for everyone and everyone’s fitness level.”

Zach Serrette, sales manager for Gold’s Gym in Carbondale, said his gym has had 100 new members sign up this month. Gold’s Gym is also giving a free month to people who sign up for a membership.

The national fitness chain also offers the Gold’s Gym Challenge, a 12-week weight loss program that awards $100,000 to top losers around the country. Participants have access to one-on-one training programs, diet plans and seminars to help complete their transformation.

The average participant lost 12 pounds last year.

Serrette, who lost 90 pounds in 2011 while attending Middle Tennessee State University, said 80 percent of participants finish the challenge, and half of the people see dramatic results.

With these new people coming into gyms, Davis said some of the regular Recreation Center visitors can get irritated, but many of them know the population will wither after a few months.

“They know every January you’re going to get this influx on new people clogging up the weight room and taking their spots in class, but most of them are pretty familiar with how it works,” he said.

Even though the opening months are the busiest, Vaughn said there is a drop-off in visits near March.

Gold’s Gym experiences a similar drop in activity.

“There’s a big stir for fitness in January,” he said. “It’s much more important to create a sustainable routine than burn out in three months.”

People who leave after a few months are not alone because it appears humans are not good at keeping resolutions. The University of Scranton poll found 71 percent of resolutions are continued after the first two weeks, and 64 percent after one month.

“It saddens me that so many people say ‘I’m going work out every day,’ then we only see them for two weeks once school gets busy and classes kick in,” Vaughn said. “We hope that students will be cognitive of their own health and wellness, and they can come over and take part.”

Just 8 percent of people complete their resolution, according to the Scranton poll.

Kim Graham, a 30-year-old from Indianapolis, has set the goal of improving her sleeping pattern, so she can feel better and be more motivated to work out.

Graham, who comes to the Recreation Center four to five days a week, is trying to lose a few pounds before her wedding in October.

Davis said most resolutions fail because people set unrealistic and unattainable goals. People turn away because they get too sore or do not see immediate results. It is harder to go from A to Z, than A to B to C and so on, he said.

“Anytime you achieve something, it makes you feel good about yourself,” he said. “You need some little landmarks along the way where you can see results.”

Austin Miller can be reached at [email protected]