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Local fitness centers bulge after New Year's

Wadena residents are hopping on the New Year's fitness bandwagon at the beginning of 2007, according to local fitness establishments.

"It's our busiest time of the year," said Wadena Curves owner Patricia Willems. "[There are] not only new members but old members returning."

The Wadena Community Center has also experienced an increase in members using the gym, said Alexa Johnson, front desk clerk.

"Since the first of the year, it's been about two to three times as busy in here," Johnson said about her observations.

In addition to the increased volume of workout enthusiasts using the center, Johnson said she has noticed increased dedication from members. Some people used to leave after 10, 15 minutes, she said. Now they stay for the whole workout.

"[You] can see the dedication in their faces," Johnson said. "They want to be in shape. [To] run and not be exhausted."

Community Center member Jerry Garrison said he isn't one for resolutions, but he wants to focus more on cardiovascular exercise this year. He usually concentrates on his weight lifting regime, he said. But he also wants to take care of his most important muscle, his heart.

While Garrison has worked out regularly at the Community Center for two and a half years, Wadena resident Dan Hoffman is a brand-new member to the Wadena Community Center, he said. He joined Dec. 28 right before the new year.

Hoffman took about a 20-year break from working out, he said, but has begun working out with his son who is in basketball.

Willems has discovered that working out with a friend helps people stay motivated, she said. Curves also offers a lot of motivational information at the beginning of the year with dietary information and games.

Kris Anderson has been a Curves member for just about three years, she said. She works out at least three times a week.

"You just feel better," Anderson said. "Hopefully your clothes fit better."

Curves member Doris Winter said she is working on becoming more disciplined in her workouts.

"It's easier to go home," she said. "But once you get here and finish it, you're glad because you feel better."

Winter is an instructor at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Wadena. She said she got off track from working out during the semester break.

"Now it's time to hit it again," Winter said.

All you see on television is people working out, she said.

"The whole world is exercising now," she said. "Everybody else is doing it. I can do it too."