Gym memberships spike, then sharply decline after New Year

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the ball drops in Time Square summoning a new year, people will begin to plan their resolutions for change.

According to Gold’s Gym, their traffic jumps 40 percent between December and January. Then the number of memberships dips back down significantly in February.

With the unseasonable warm weather in Austin, the Barton Creek Greenbelt has been packed with people getting out for a nice jog. Once the new year hits you can expect the trails to get even busier as people get ready to work on their new years resolution: getting in shape.

Most people want to shed the extra pounds they put on over the holidays as quickly as possible. A lot of them sign up for gym memberships in the new year.

However, studies show most people ditch the fitness resolutions after just 14 days. That is why doctors say, be patient. It takes a while for exercise to become a habit. If exercise isn’t a part of your normal routine already, doctors advise that you don’t overdue it.

“You have people that are overweight and have been very sedentary for a long time. They don’t have much cardiac ability, and what they do, what their brain is telling them is I am still 21, I can get on the treadmill and run for days,” said Dr. Jeffery Jarvis. “The problem is their body is saying I am not 21 anymore. So you can have people that get on a treadmill or go out and run and over exert themselves.”

Dr. Jarvis says over exerting yourself can lead to chest pain, heart problems, and injuries like sprained ankles. You can even fall and break your wrists.

A psychologist at Ohio State says you should look to the past to succeed by using the acronym – P.A.S.T.

  • “P” stands for plan
  • “A” for arrange your environment
  • “S” stick to one thing
  • “T” don’t make it too easy to fail