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Sunday, September 24, 2023

New Year's ‘resolutioners' still flocking to campus gyms

Katy Doran got to the Student Recreation and Fitness Center a few minutes before her 5 p.m. Hatha yoga class last Wednesday.

She was surprised to find the class was full and the spot she reserved online had been given to a standby student.

"Every year around this time, I go to the gym and it's way too busy," said Doran, a 21-year-old journalism junior. "Usually it takes two weeks and the New Year's resolutioners stop coming."

As Doran suggested, gyms may not be busy for much longer.

About 50 percent of people who make New Year's resolutions keep their commitments for a month, said John C. Norcross, a psychology professor at the University of Scranton.

The first few weeks of spring semester are always the busiest time of the year for UF's gyms, said Erica George, a fitness associate for UF RecSports.

"In the entire fall semester, I had never seen the gym reach capacity, but this week alone it has reached capacity on more than one occasion," George said.

In the event that the gym reaches capacity, a "one-in, one-out" policy is implemented, George said.

During the first week of January, Southwest Recreation Center and Student Recreation and Fitness Center had a combined daily average of 6,774 students, said Pamela Hightower, a coordinator for administrative services for UF RecSports.

About 1,000 more people per day were using campus gyms than during the first week of fall semester, she said.

Gainesville Health & Fitness Center experiences similar trends, said Debbie Lee, the center's director of marketing.

In addition to an increase in existing members, Gainesville Health & Fitness Center also sees a spike in enrollment.

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To motivate new members to continue working toward their fitness goals, the gym has developed a free six-week program designed to help create and execute a fitness plan.

Whether you resolve to quit smoking, eat healthier or work out more doesn't matter, Lee said.  

"Just pick something and actually do it."

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