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posted: 2/5/2010 12:01 AM

New Year's fitness resolutions in February?

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Those New Year's resolutions are now five weeks old. Made any progress? If yours was a commitment to start a fitness program and get in better shape, this first month is barely a blip on the radar in terms of the big picture.

Physical fitness and weight control are lifelong pursuits. There are no pills or magic formulas or crazy shake concoctions that snap you into shape as easy as 1-2-3. This month is only the beginning of the journey.

Those who were part of the "January Stampede" to local gyms and fitness centers have already started down the path to a healthier lifestyle. It's truly uplifting to see the newcomers and hear their success stories as they transition from flabby to fit.

So ... let the migration continue! Encouraged by the enthusiasm and good intentions of those who've already enrolled for fitness memberships in 2010, the Fox Valley Park District is extending the new year (times two) at the Vaughan Fitness Center and Eola Fitness Center.

If your conscience talks to you like mine talks to me, here's what it's saying: I now have until Feb. 28 - or else - to get the resolution rolling and start on my feel-good story for 2010.

Let's see ... you'll keep a whole lot of money in your wallet or purse; you'll be healthier, happier and more energetic; and you'll find that staying fit isn't sweaty drudgery - it's fun!

Those who stay in shape on a regular basis - and soon that will be you - can vouch that exercise is uplifting. Even on those tired days when the fatigue factor is high and you drag yourself into the gym, you inevitably leave with a hop in your step.

The activity doesn't much matter - weights, cardio, aerobics, running. Choose what you enjoy. Or, as we say in the gym, "whatever percolates your blood."

It's as easy as that at the Vaughan Center. Walk through the front doors and you'll instantly feel in better shape just by the healthy ambience. Through Feb. 28, all enrollment fees are waived. That means you're free to choose a membership tailored to your needs and goals, then start working out right then and there.

At Eola, the "Buy 12, Get 6 Free" promotion is creating a lot of lonely couches; its popularity has been evident as good-intentioned residents roll in to ramp up their fitness levels. Buy a 12-month membership, and Eola will tack on six additional months at no charge. So you're good for 18 months.

Need a little help getting started on a fitness regimen? Both facilities feature personal trainers who are nationally certified experts in fitness training and instruction. They'll provide analysis and work with you on an individual basis to create a training program tailored specifically for you.

Get started now, and your 2011 New Year's resolution will be one of maintaining the fitness level you attained in 2010.

Jeff Long is the public relations manager for the Fox Valley Park District.