By Lindsay Starr Platt, The Belton Journal
With every new year comes the “New Year’s Resolutions” and whether you partake or not, it is the hot topic for the first weeks of the year. Many people make resolutions to better themselves, and fitness and exercise are one of the top contenders.
“Every January we see an influx on business and new faces coming into the gym,” said Alex Burke, Just Fitness employee. “Hopefully they continue to stay with it, through this year and into the next. We want people to make fitness a lifestyle, not just a one-year resolution to attempt. We want them to stick it out; we care about our members and want to see them be healthy.”
In Belton and the surrounding area, there are many instructors and businesses to help residents on the path of fitness. Whether it be using your own body to move through the outdoors or working on balance and flexibility in a yoga studio, there is an activity for most people and all fitness levels.
“We have seen many ‘Brand New-Again’ runners coming in, ready to try it again,” said Jeff VanCuran, Endurance Outfitters employee. “There has been an increase in sales on shoes, clothing and gear, as people are excited to try a new year. In the store you can come in for a ‘Gait Test’ and have your gait checked out and evaluated to find out what shoes are best for you and your needs.”
In the Mood Ballroom in Temple offers dance lessons in more than 20 dances and three different styles. Dancing is a great way to work on stamina, balance and cardio, all while meeting new friends.
“A bunch of new people came to our New Year’s Eve event and now want to come in for lessons,” Karen Gonzales, In the Mood Ballroom co-owner, said. “We always have people come in and find a way to have fun and get fit, maybe not the fastest way, but you are moving, and that is a benefit and will help. Dancing is good for your heart, body and soul. Even if you are fit, dancing will make you use muscles you don’t normally use; we have had men in here who can hike with a rucksack 40 miles, and they are sore after an hour of dancing. In addition to classes and lessons, we have an open dance night event for the public to come in and dance and socialize.”
For the yogis, yoga classes can be found at Harris Community Center and Soulful J. Yoga, in addition to private classes in your home. Yoga is low-impact and is a great way to start exercising or to add to a current routine.
“It is a lifestyle change,” Teresa Bechtel, Soulful J. Yoga student, said. “I have been doing it and I just feel better.”
Soulful J. Yoga is hosting a “27 Day Challenge” where yoga students can participate and have a chance to win “Commitment Prizes” as they complete the challenge.
“I really want people to be encouraged, I want them to try it and to stay with it,” Suzanne Jaroch, Soulful J. Yoga owner/instructor, said. Yoga also helps with more than simply toning muscle.
“We met Suzanne, the owner and decided we wanted to try the 27 Day Challenge,” said Sydney Ranney, Soulful J. Yoga student. “Myra, my friend, came with me to embrace it together and be part of a Buddy System. I have been doing it for three days since New Year’s Day, and it has already helped with my fibromyalgia and I am feeling better.”
Sarah Harris teaches yoga at Harris Community Center.
“Traditionally every year, I see 10 new people I have never seen before showing up for class,” Harris said. “The good thing is, some people stay with it. My ‘new’ student last year stayed with it and has lost about 35 pounds.”
Another fitness class offered at Harris Community Center is Zumba®, which is aerobic style fitness class fused with Latin and international-style dancing and music.
“Just keep moving, no matter how fast or how slow, just keep at it,” Zumba® instructor Ivy Foster said. From hiking trails to dance to yoga, there’s something for everyone who wants to get fit in Bell County.