Holidays are over; Time to get in shape |

Holidays are over; Time to get in shape

December is the time for pigging out; January is the time for working out.

While the end of the year is traditionally a slow time for fitness centers and health clubs nationwide, the beginning is a very busy time.

Lake Tahoe – even with winter recreation opportunities such as snowboarding, snowshoeing and downhill and cross country skiing – is no exception.

“In December, you have holiday shopping, family gatherings, business gatherings, personal gatherings. Fitness just seems to be last on the list. So much goes on from Thanksgiving to Christmas,” said John Spinola, manager of Body Sculpt Fitness Center in South Lake Tahoe. “We get hit pretty hard in January. Then, you could probably say it slowly starts to diminish a little.”

Other fitness centers see similar activity.

“January and February are our peak months of the year,” said Jim Wire, owner of Time Out Health Spa and Fitness on Lake Tahoe Boulevard.

While people hit the gyms hard at the beginning of each year – whether it is because of a New Year’s resolution or to lose weight after the holidays – they often stop going by spring. However, health officials agree this is avoidable.

“So many people come in and work out five days a week, three hours a pop. They think the more they work out, the quicker they will get results, but they burn out after a month or two of doing that,” said Mike Carlucci, fitness director at Time Out.

The most important way to stick with it, Carlucci said, is to stay consistent. People need to come up with realistic plans that work for them and that they will be able to stick with.

“People don’t need to work out five days a week, two hours a day. You can see results coming in two times a week for 30 minutes,” Carlucci said. “Consistency is the key. Consistency will give them results.”

While many people probably think working out is a purely physical activity, Carlucci said it pays for people to use their heads.

“Knowledge is very important,” he said. “So many folks will come in here, think they know what they’re doing. Then, they don’t see results and get frustrated and leave.”

Carlucci said getting advice about a workout plan from a professional or obtaining a personal trainer are helpful ways of getting results.

Another tip is to “buddy up” with a friend, Carlucci said. Many people are intimidated by the gym, and having a partner helps.

“It usually helps for people to come in when they know there is someone waiting there for them,” he said.

Another key to staying fit is enjoying the workout, whatever it is.

“Try to make it fun. Find an activity you enjoy. People don’t have to come in and sweat on a treadmill if they hate it,” he said. “Play racquetball or basketball or go for a walk with friends. Everyone needs to have some sort of fitness in their lives, whether it’s outside walking or inside bench pressing.”

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