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Foolproof Fitness

THE MONTH OF January is somewhat bittersweet for me. By the time the first week rolls around, my stocking has been reduced to nothing more than a sad sock of empty wrappers. Like every other student, I am scratching my head in wonder at the fact that, yes, midterms are coming up in a matter of weeks.

The optimists around me rebut my complaints with gleeful shouts of “The new year is all about a new YOU!” and “Set some resolutions for the year ahead!” It is as if there is a January bandwagon full of “resolutionists,” many of whom have pledged to lose weight and get ripped. This bandwagon tears through the city when many are still nursing their New Year’s Day hangovers and head directly for the gym.

If you’re a regular at the gym, you’ll notice some new faces in January. Many of them, in fact. There is an influx of people of all ages and sizes, some decked out in brand new Lululemon and Under Armour gear. The gym is packed from morning till night with new gym-goers eager to try every group fitness class they can and test out all the cardio machines.

After a few frustrating trips to the gym in January, I generally end up working out on my own, either by following workout videos in my apartment or skating on the canal. This lasts until mid-February, when a good number of the resolutionists hang up their running shoes until bikini season rolls around. At this point, the crowds in the gym have usually calmed down considerably and I’m able to resume my normal workout.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m a huge proponent of exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle, and I love to see people around me introduce exercise into their lives. However, it pains me to see the resolutionists slowly disappear from the gym and give up so early in the year.

If you’ve set a resolution to get fit, make it a lifestyle change, not a new trend for a new year. Do whatever it takes to get to the gym as often as you can, whether that means lugging gym clothes around with you to your lectures so you can fit in a workout after class or waking up at the crack of dawn for Zumba class. If I still see you come October, you deserve a major pat on the back.

—Sarah Horlick