One of the most popular New Year's resolutions is to get into shape and lose weight. This very important resolution seems to have local gyms busy with health-minded individuals who swear this year will be the year they do it.
But will the energy of renewal continue throughout the year, or will life's day-to-day demands over take our good intentions?
"Many people are working hard but not smart," Jill Brook, owner of Diet for Health in La Cañada Flintridge, said.
Brook finds her clients tend to sign up more in February than in January when they realize that they can't do it alone.
"They waste energy going down the wrong path," Brook said. She emphasizes that combining good nutrition with exercise is the most successful way to lose weight permanently.
Ashley Loveless, an employee of Taix Workout Studio in La Cañada, agrees.
"You can't have one without the other," Loveless said. People can go out and diet but they can't build muscle mass without exercise, she added.
Linda Taix, owner of the workout studio as well as Extreme Boot Camp, said she has noticed more teens signing up for her boot camp workout. Taix feels it is important to teach the teens about physical fitness and eating properly.
"Many girls go to extremes," Taix said. She said many girls eat either too much or too little. She tries teaching the teens nutrition, such as how to stay away from fast food and how to eat smaller meals.
Taix teaches good health for the entire body through exercise, nutrition and believes in adding classes, such as etiquette and martial arts for self defense and self discipline.
Robin McCarthy said the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA sees a slight decrease after the first few months. She said there's usually a spike in workouts in September when children go back to school.
"Everyone begins the year on the right foot," McCarthy said.
McCarthy said the YMCA understands that people have very busy schedules and finding time to exercise is difficult. The facility opens at 5:30 a.m. to accommodate those early risers who squeeze exercise into their schedules.
"It is a very popular hour," McCarthy said.
Adrian Pietrariu of West Coast Boot Camp also sees people with busy schedules trying to fit exercise into their lives.
"We have seen an increase in sign up in the first of the year of about 20 percent," Pietrariu said. He estimates that about 70 percent of those signed up will see the program through.
"About 10 percent leave after the first day, " he said.
All interviewed have seen an increase in children of both sexes signing up for their programs.
"I am seeing more and more children," Brook said. She added that in addition to obesity issues she has noticed more cases of children with cholesterol problems and Type II diabetes. It is important that parents work with their children regarding nutrition and exercise, Brook said.
All the experts interviewed stressed how important it is to have the family work together on a exercise and nutrition program. Making a resolution for a life style instead of a general statement " I will get into shape" is also advised.
Geovanny Paz , director of food and nutrition at Verdugo Hills Hospital, suggests making resolutions inclusive instead of exclusive.
"[It] should be not so much about excluding bad food but including good food," Paz said.
He adds that if a person begins to add healthy foods to their diet, slowly the bad foods will be pushed aside. "People will then begin to realize they don't need that order of extra-large fries or Coke," Paz said.
"Make children part of the food choice," Paz adds. Giving a child the choice between an apple or strawberries makes them feel they are part of the process and will help them become more involved, he said.
All advise that the best resolution is one that is specific. For example, "I will walk three days a week" is better than "I will walk more," and it's a realistic goal.