Resolutions boost gym attendance

Friday, January 4, 2008

Thousands of good-intentioned people will flock to gyms this month, enthused by fresh New Year's resolutions to get fit or eat healthier. And Southeast Missouri health clubs are already seeing an increase in patrons.

"I've been busy all morning with people redeeming gift certificates. Members who have quit for a couple of months have come back today. There's been a real coming back, starting today especially," said Starrla Azinger, a fitness coach for Curves.

Emily Stapleton, owner of the gym Contours Express, has also seen not only an increase in new customers but in old members with a new resolve to come more frequently.

"After the holidays people are ready to get back in shape and are ready to get back into a regular routine," Stapleton said.

Some clubs, such as Southeast Missouri Hospital's HealthPoint Fitness Center, are offering discounts for the new year.

Meanwhile, Stapleton is raffling off a free yearlong membership at a health book discussion at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble.

At the discussion, Deborah Arneson will speak about her book "Fries, Thighs and Lies," a "reference guide" to being healthy.

"A lot of diet books are so deceptive. The dieting trend is a joke. Being healthy is a life change, it's a thoughtful process," said Jill LeGrand, community relations manager of Barnes & Noble.

"Fries, Thighs and Lies" is not a diet book, but is instead a "point primer with everything you need to know in order to eat healthfully," according to a news release about the book.

"What's great about the book is there is no sugarcoating. It's what people need to hear but don't always want to hear," LeGrand said.

Arneson is expected to discuss reasons why people overeat, how to increase the burning of fat while exercising and general tips on staying healthy.

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