The guilt of overindulging this Christmas season is driving Barbadians to an early workout, as gyms are reporting increased bookings for the month of January.
For most businesses, the first month of the year represents a lull after the financial windfall of the Christmas season; however for gyms and fitness centres the reverse seems to be true.
Owner of the Fitness Zone Gym at Hastings Plaza, Christ Church Andre Cordice said enrolment at his gym has increased by 50 per cent and calls were continuing virtually non-stop from people interested in starting their weight-loss programmes next month.
He argued that the rise in numbers was largely due to a combination of New Year’s resolutions to live healthier in 2017 and guilt over heavy indulgence in the rich cuisine of the festive Christmas season.
“Most people in December eat a lot and then basically their New Year’s resolution would be just to lose some weight and be a little bit healthier. We have been getting a lot of phone calls already and numbers have jumped up by about 50 per cent,” Cordice said.
Owner of Unique Fitness Gym at Black Rock, St Michael Rumell Hoyte told Barbados TODAY his gym membership often doubled during the months of January and February.
However, Hoyte explained that he would only be able to assess the rate of increase for 2017 after Tuesday’s reopening of his fitness facility, which was closed earlier this month for renovations.
“At Unique Fitness or at any gym in the island, you will always get an influx of customers at the beginning of each year. January and February are the months for the New Year’s resolutions, along with the diehards that can’t wait to get back in the gym. The other time you would see increases is in June and July for those that think or believe that they would make this big transformation in time for [Grand] Kadooment.”
However, while gyms across the island welcomed the increase, most agreed that once the novelty of the New Year’s resolution wears off, membership numbers would fall.
It is for this reason that owners and instructors are encouraging prospective members to dig deeper for more substantive motivation.
“I don’t think it is a lack of attention from instructors or anything like that. As I said you would get the diehards and the ones with the New Year’s resolution. It is not that they are not sure what they want, and from what I have seen they definitely do try but sometimes that alone is not enough. Some will start the programme and continue throughout the year, while some start and just fall off; but it is like that every year.
“If you really want to see the programme through to the end you really must commit to a lifestyle change. You really must develop a desire for healthy living, otherwise it is going to be difficult to stay motivated,” Hoyte advised.