By Jeff Long
Fox Valley Park District
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Those New Year's resolutions are now four 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 on the path to a healthier lifestyle while making the transformation from flabby to fit.
So … let the migration continue! Through the end of February (it's a leap year, too), the Fox Valley Park District has waived enrollment fees at all three of its fitness centers -- Eola, Vaughan and Prisco.
That means you're free to choose a membership tailored to your needs and goals, then start working out right then and there.
If your conscience talks to you like mine talks to me, here's what it's saying: I now have until Feb. 29 -- or else -- to get the resolution rolling and start writing my feel-good story for 2012.
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 actually enjoyable!
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, to use gym lingo, "whatever percolates your blood."
Hopefully, by the end of February, there will be a lot of empty couches and lonely televisions among local households.
Need a little help getting started on a fitness regimen? Consider using a personal trainer; they 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 2013 New Year's resolution will be one of maintaining the fitness level you attained in 2012!
• Jeff Long is the public relations manager for the Fox Valley Park District. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org