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COVID-19 made the most common New Year's resolution even more important

A local gym gives advice on how to stick with your New Year's resolution.

SYLVANIA, Ohio — Exercising more is one of the most common New Year resolutions. But like many resolutions, most people fail to follow through after a short time.

Marcus Zapata has owned Definition Fitness in Sylvania for 10 years. He says he's never lost and gained so many customers like he did in 2020. And 2021 was a solid year of growth.

But going into 2022, he believes people are more aware of the importance of health. Kyle McKray has been going to the gym since high school and say's the new year is always a reset point for people, adding there's even a psychological term for it.

"The fresh start effect, it's a real thing," he said, "and people have this idea of a fresh start. And it can anytime, but the new year is a big mark for a lot of people. People just feel like they change their life at the start of a new year."

Zapata says most people with resolutions at the gym don't last past the first month, with only around a quarter sticking with it longer. So he encourages people to set realistic goals and be patient.

"We always recommend people try to get in when they first start off two to three days a week," he said. "Don't set four or five days as a goal because the odds are you're going to fail and then you're going to stop."

McKray also believes people need to take things slow and celebrate small wins every day.

"Don't be too hard on yourself," he said. "This takes time. It's an investment. View it as a consistency thing, so don't expect a change in three or even six months but the end of the year."

Both men say the pandemic definitely put a spotlight on the health of the nation and the need for a more healthy lifestyle for Americans.

"The data proves it you know the healthier you are, the more likely you are to survive the illness," Zapata said, "and that doesn't just belong with COVID, that belongs with pretty much anything."

Zapata believes the government and companies really missed out on the opportunity to promote better health during the pandemic and when incentivizing vaccines. But he says people can and should make that choice themselves and start now.

"Small goals over time are far better than large goals in a short period," he added.

He added that many people start the year at chain gyms like Crunch and Planet Fitness because of low cost and convenient locations. But the ones that stick with their resolutions often move to local gyms like his for more equipment, classes and a quieter atmosphere. He expects business to pick up more in February and March.