The gyms are full again. And the produce aisles at the grocery stores are full of people looking for healthy foods. It’s the same every year.
I saw the term “January People” used to describe those who start their new Health and Fitness Resolutions with their own “quick start” effort, usually on January 2nd, and who continue with the enthusiasm of a hungry tiger until their new found ardor and enthusiasm diminish after just a few weeks of fervent effort.
Actually, gyms have reported over the years that new memberships start increasing in late December with the new members exercising diligently at the beginning of the year. Peak attendance starts to drop off in mid-February, falling back to normal about the middle of March.
What happens? Typically, people’s expectations are too high, and they don’t see those incredible results they expected right away. So they lose motivation and stop. But if you exercise dutifully and with some sort of plan for intermittent successes, you should see some positive results after the first week and continuing at a slow pace until the first plateau in about a month and a half after starting.
It’s that plateau that is devastating to most new exercisers. They expect the improvement and good feeling they experienced at the start, to continue forever without any sort of leveling off. When the real world plateau comes along, they lose the M&M factor — Momentum and Motivation — and simply give up. That ends it. No more gym. Oh, they keep their new gym membership, but they stop using the facilities. Of course the gyms love it, even count on it. More memberships but no more people cluttering up the place after the mid-March drop off. That keeps the old members happy too.
A desire for Instant gratification is the norm today. But that’s not the reality of the gym. You will see plateaus and will experience them the rest of your time of movement and exercise. You will experience plateaus in muscular development and in weight loss. Expect it. Knowing that plateaus are a reality of the fitness experience will allow you to mentally expect that pause in the M&M Factor, and to understand that as you continue with your Health and Fitness program, you will build and develop your body, and lose the weight you want if that is your goal.
Start. And whether you join a gym or exercise at home, just keep doing it. Expect the plateaus and work through them. You’ll look better, feel better and experience a feeling of personal energy and enthusiasm for life that you may have never experienced before. You might just live a little longer, too.
Thank you for reading.