With the new year comes the chance to start anew and reflect on ways to improve one’s self. While the focuses people wish to improve can be broad, for many getting more physically fit, active and losing weight is a common goal.
Despite the cold start to the new year, with temperatures dipping into the teens, residents across Texoma decided to start the new year on the right foot with exercise and activities aimed at getting out of the house and moving.
Among the activities held Monday in honor of the new year was a mile-long hike through Eisenhower State Park. Meanwhile, others opted for a trip to the gym and a workout to start their year.
“The reason we do this is to renew people’s interest in our green spaces,” Eisenhower State Park Ranger Kate Saling said Monday, before a small crowd of eight people who came for the hike. “As people do their new year’s resolutions, I hope they will keep our park in their mind.”
This is the third year for the state park to host the annual “First Day Hike at Ike’s” event. However, parks across the country have been doing the event for several years. Last year, about 50 people showed up for the hike, but Saling said she thinks the cold weather kept most people at home.
Along the hike, Saling took the opportunity to point out features across the park, and related them back to the new year. These stops included chances to spot animal tracks and some of the fossils that can be found across the lake.
“We can all grow in spirit throughout the year,” Saling said as she ran her finger along the circular shell of a nautilus fossil. “By the start of the year, maybe we’ve come back to the center, but we are just a little bit bigger.”
Natalie Kirby, who drove from Richardson for the hike, said she was sweating by the end of the mile-long walk despite the cold wind and freezing temperatures.
“I thought this would be a great start to the new year,” she said, adding that she was attracted by the fact that the cold would likely keep most people away.
Kirby said she has been visiting and hiking in parks for about the last three months, and found some beauty in being able to see nature while in hibernation. The day off from work also helped entice her to start off the new year on the right foot, she said.
According to Statistic Brain, about 41 percent of Americans regularly make New Year’s resolutions with weight loss, better financial decisions and self improvement being top goals for the year. Weight-related issues or improvements make up about 32.4 percent of all resolutions.
However, despite good intentions, the website found that only about 9.2 percent of those who make resolutions end up succeeding in these goals.
Shawn Teamann, owner of Nautilus Family Fitness, said from his perspective it isn’t that more people fail their attempt at getting fit in the new year. Instead, the percentage of people who fail an exercise regimen remains the same. However, the increased number of people who start in the new year makes it appear as if more fail at this time of year, he said.
Teamann said it is important to set achievable goals and ones that can show progressive improvement as a way to keep motivated. As a part of this, Teamann said having a personal trainer can help someone set goals that are achievable.
“If you set your goal to lose weight and you are seeing results weekly, it can be addicting,” he said. “It is easy to get that affirmation that way.”
Megan McLain was one of about a dozen people exercising in the noon hour at the Nautilus West gym in Sherman Monday. While she has exercised in the past, McLain said she hasn’t been consistent in the last two months.
“Today we are working on arms,” she said. “I think we’ve lost a lot of upper body strength recently.”
With her exercises, McLain said it can be difficult to keep at it, but once you start and stay with it, the routine becomes easier.
“When I first started, I really didn’t have a lot of motivation, but once you get in here and get moving, that’s when I found that motivation,” she said.