planet fitness

Michael Stickle lifts weights at Planet Fitness on Wednesday afternoon in Logan.

Even with a fresh layer of snow covering the roads, hundreds of people made their way to local fitness clubs and gyms with a new, resolute determination on Wednesday morning. Local trainers and gym owners prepared for the influx of patrons at the beginning of the new year by gathering some tips for fitness first-timers and weightlifting novices.

“People should start small,” said Mary Disotell, a trainer at Planet Fitness in Logan. “Don’t go in there and try to compare yourself with other people. Even if using the equipment is too intimidating at first, just go and put yourself in that environment.”

Disotell said there is so much value in that first step out of the door. Many people buy memberships to the local coliseums of health to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions, but due to a vast number of reasons, the good intentions remain simply that.

“Let it be something that you can incorporate into your life without drastic change,” said Chantel Gerfen, the owner of Transcend Yoga in Logan. “Big workouts need some warmup and buildup time. Make goals that will help you get there little by little.”

Emphasizing the importance of a reward system, Gerfen also said having friends or a community of people to build accountability can determine whether New Year’s resolutions are met when Christmas rolls around next year.

Rob Hunt said at the gym he owns, Top Defense and Fitness in Logan, patrons become one another’s trainers and cheerleaders alongside the professionals.

“We become a family,” Hunt said. “It is all about having fun and making it a good experience that will last.”

To ensure that the exercise remains fun throughout the year, Hunt said proper technique is key.

“If you rush a workout or do it wrong, you can injure yourself,” Hunt said. “This leads to bad experiences and an overall bad perception of what it takes to stay fit.”

Hunt started boxing in 1977. Because he didn’t fine-tune his technique, his wrists are fused and it is harder to complete a workout.

When boxing, doing yoga or even working out at a free-weight gym, the trainers or instructors are there to answer technical questions. Disotell said the No. 1 thing she tells her clients is that it is OK to ask questions.

Gerfen remembers the nerves that came when she first started yoga after her son was born.

“I really wasn’t into working out or any physical activity,” Gerfen said. “But I realized that it helped my mental health more than anything. I kept going because I knew that if I went to a class, I would always feel better and have a clearer head.”

Although Disotell has stayed pretty active her whole life, she still encounters days when it is hard to get outside or go to the gym.

“Maybe it is because the snow is too cold or you’re just not feeling well,” Disotell said. “It is OK to miss a day. You just can’t let that discourage you from going again the day after.”

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