Health remains a primary focus for New Year's resolutions

A new year can be a chance to start over – a clean slate, a blank canvas.

People write down their list of resolutions in hopes that committing it to paper will make it official. Maybe they make a promise to give up a bad habit, such as smoking or eating junk food. Or, maybe they vow to save more money or to get in shape.

Data from IQuanti shows the most common New Year’s resolutions are focused on getting healthy or living life to its fullest.

“Living a healthier lifestyle to me is important because many people in my family are overweight and I’m trying to avoid getting that way,” freshman Taylor Wheeler said. “I’m also trying to help them overcome their weight and help them shine brighter than they have before.”

Wheeler said her goal mainly consists of getting her body toned.

“I’m not so much worried for weight loss right now, but I’m trying to focus on muscle mass,” Wheeler said. “Since I’ve started college, I have almost lost 20 pounds and I honestly don’t think I look the best, so again, I’m not really trying to lose any weight.”

Florence has several gyms and workout facilities, including Planet Fitness and Gator Fitness. The university also has the Student Recreation Center, where students, who have paid their SRC fee in full, can get daily access.

Gator Fitness and Planet Fitness recently opened in the fall.

Planet Fitness is on Florence Boulevard and is open 24 hours, seven days a week.

They strive to provide a welcoming environment and all the equipment, amenities and support for their members, according to planetfitness.com. While Gator Fitness, on Huntsville Road, is known for helping its members achieve their fitness goals and building a one-on-one personal touch with their members.

“Here at Gator Fitness, we are set apart from other gyms,” Gator Fitness General Manager Holly Hines said. “We offer a lot here. We really care about people's fitness. We don’t put a price tag on fitness. Generally, we do orientation where we show everyone how to use the equipment at the facility. We offer personal training, we do group classes or one-on-one with our instructors.”

Hines explained that membership is $30 a month, but with Mane Benefits students can become a member for $25.

“We’re not corporate,” Hines said. “We are locally owned. So, we’re not going to feed you pizza and doughnuts. We’ll feed you something healthy as far as protein shakes and bars. Food; we’re going to offer that. People can come here and get everything they want as far as their nutrition and exercise go.”

Hines said college students’ eating habits are influenced a lot.

“School is stressful as it is, but another thing that there’s to look at is stress eating,” Hines said. “Students should get on top of their health by getting in a gym and exercising. Starting at this age, this can help them live a longer, healthier life. It’s important, very important, to stay active as it can also help with your mental health. It’s a mental state for a lot of people. If you feel stressed, one day coming to the gym can kind of knock that stress off.”

According to U.S. News Health, 80 percent of resolutions are broken by the second week of February.

Student Recreation Center Associate Director Glenda Richey said that she has had some students succeed and some fail.

“My advice to them would be to set realistic goals; short-term specific goals that are measurable,” said Richey. “Have a game plan that supports the goals. Reach out to supportive people that will go on this journey with you and/or have already gone and accomplished similar goals and can guide and uplift you.”

Richey said she encourages students to write down their specific goals and track your progress.

“If you stumble, that’s normal and it doesn’t mean that the entire effort is ruined. Get right back on the plan,” said Richey. “Don’t try to make huge 100 percent changes. Try making a slight reduction in caloric intake a slight increase in activity for a couple of weeks and then step up the modifications from there.”

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