ROCKINGHAM — People around Richmond County will soon be hitting the gym as they look to either get in shape or get back in shape for the New Year.
Resolutions centered around losing weight, toning up and building strength are a trend that’s been around for quite some time and 2016 will be no different for two Rockingham fitness centers.
Rockingham Fitness, located on East Washington Street in downtown Rockingham, was giving away free apples, oranges and bananas on Thursday and will continue today as a way to get people to eat healthier in the new year, said owner Judy Cagle. As far as the number of people coming to work out, Cagle said that will increase over the next few months.
“We see more people in January, but February is when we pick up,” she said. “It’s rather odd.”
The reason she said it’s odd is because a large majority of residents tend to work out regularly during two times a year — the beginning of the year and the beginning of summer. Newcomers at the first of the year do so with the intention of getting into better shape as a New Year’s resolution.
The same can be said for the FirstHealth Fitness Center, located beside Richmond Memorial Hospital, according to facility manager Jonathan Pope.
“We usually see an additional member increase of about 200 members in January, February and March,” said Pope. “We usually see a check-in increase of about 1,000-1,500 members. Some may be members year-round, but they’re more dedicated.”
Pope said the normal number of check-ins — or visits — for a month hovers around 7,000, but in the early months of the year, that number will increase to close to 10,000.
“Our class members increase, and we try to offer more programs,” he said. “A lot of the training we’re doing in the off-season comes into play such as group fitness, personal training and small group training.”
The number of check-ins in December 2014 sat at 6,000, but then jumped to 9,000 in January 2015, he explained. Much like Rockingham Fitness, however, Pope said FirstHealth Fitness sees its biggest increases closer to March.
Said Pope, “We have to adapt our class schedules and make sure our availability of personal trainers are more fluid to take care of the influx of more people.”
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.