Tracey Tong/metro Ottawa


Glebe Fitness owner Blake Dewan spots Nathan Bowers, front, at the gym yesterday. The city's gyms are seeing an influx of new members with fitness resolutions this week.


With Ottawans getting back into the swing of their daily routines and starting new ones, the city’s gyms are seeing an influx of new members with good intentions and new year’s resolutions.

“January is one of our busiest months,” said Pat Moore of GoodLife Fitness on Queensview Drive. “We see a huge increase of people in the gym.”

“There’s a lineup for the machines,” adds GoodLife Fitness master trainer Josh Cullen. “Between 5 and 7 every night, every machine is being used.”

Everyone has great intentions this time of year, said Moore. But how long does it last?

Although gyms keep many of the new members that flood in every January, enthusiasm for keeping resolutions inevitably wanes as time wears on.

“It’s packed the first two weeks of January and gets back to normal by February,” said Moore. “It’s harder than they thought. People aren’t as gung ho about it after two weeks.”

Although fitness goals depend on the individual, Cullen sees trends in different age groups. The most common goal is weight loss and, perhaps surprisingly, those most concerned seem to be getting younger.

“More people are getting aware of their health,” said Cullen, who said he’s had clients as young as 13.

The new year is a natural time for people to make forays into fitness, said New Body Dimensions Fitness Club owner Kelly Alce.

“People feel they did too much eating and drinking,” said Alce. “But you shouldn’t make it a new year’s resolution. You should do it because you want to, not because someone said, ‘come with me to the gym.’ It’s a change of lifestyle.”

Even with odds working against most resolutions, it is possible to succeed with fitness goals.

Ottawa resident Dave Whitmore has been working out for the past four months, but joined Glebe Fitness yesterday as part of his new year’s goal to lower his blood pressure, lose weight and feel better.

“Going to a gym provides structure,” he said.

Sticking to it

  • Most resolutions concern short-term goals that produce fad results, like six-packs and biceps, said Florida Fitness program director Derek Crowell. And because people need to see results for resolutions to stick, the gym gets clients to set initial goals that can be accomplished in a month or two.