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January a hard time to ‘reboot’

Langley Fitness Town manager Arlen Quashie says the best way to get in shape at any time of the year is to make a plan and stick to it.  - Alyssa O
Langley Fitness Town manager Arlen Quashie says the best way to get in shape at any time of the year is to make a plan and stick to it.
— image credit: Alyssa O'Dell/Langley Times

Despite belts loosened from holiday indulgences like Christmas turkey, tins of sugar cookies and bottles of bubbly for New Years, a recent poll suggests that Langley residents were more likely than their neighbours to give up on their fitness goals during the season. And according to the poll, the majority of Metro Vancouverites won’t be relying on traditional New Year’s resolutions to get into shape in 2014.

“The holiday season is always a challenging time for people to stay on track with their fitness,” said Dai Manuel, chief operating officer of Fitness Town. “After all the fun and indulgences, people are often left feeling lethargic, demotivated and defeated. It’s then hard to reboot in January.”

Forty-two per cent of residents from the Metro Vancouver area said they have no plans to set fitness-related resolutions, while 15 per cent admit to making fitness goals they know they will break, according to an Ipsos Reid poll commissioned by Fitness Town, a Western Canadian fitness equipment supplier.

“We’ve always strongly believed that staying active should be a natural part of your lifestyle year-round and not just a quick fix in the New Year,” Manuel explained.

“When we’re talking to our customers about their fitness training, we encourage them to set up systems where they are accountable in the long-term … people are saying that they’re making resolutions knowing that they’ll likely break them which is ultimately going to demotivate them and hinder their fitness progress.”

However, local trends suggest that Langley residents still view the new year as a time for setting fitness goals.

“We definitely have more business come through the store in the first week of January,” said Langley Fitness Town manager Arlen Quashie.

The online poll of 987 Lower Mainland adults also found that Langley residents were most likely to stray from their fitness routines during the holiday season.

A “significant” 42 per cent of Langley residents admit to prioritizing holiday festivities over fitness regimens, compared to 34 per cent of respondents in Metro Vancouver and only 24 per cent in Vancouver.

The study found that social distractions and bad weather were the leading reasons for leaving running shoes in the closet, followed by general feelings of laziness and the prioritizing of eating and drinking over the holidays.

Langley residents were also less likely to brave the cold and rain than the rest of their Metro Vancouver counterparts, with 63 per cent of residents — versus 52 per cent overall in Metro Vancouver — claiming to work out at home during the winter months mainly because of bad weather.

However, Quashie says these numbers may be more of a reflection of Vancouver’s limited access to indoor space than local resolve to get fit.

“That is an issue in Vancouver that we don’t have in Langley.”

In lieu of New Year’s resolutions that may not be kept, Manuel suggests that starting with enjoyable activities, setting realistic and gradual goals and holding yourself accountable with a fitness app or device, blog or personal trainer can help kick-start personal fitness year-round.

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