It’s the beginning of a new year, which means one thing is certain in the fitness industry: more new members sign up in January than in any other month of the year.
“It’s so very, very true,” says Tammi Jacobs, the owner of Get Fit in Morgan Hill, a fitness center that offers a variety of programs to get people in their best shape ever. “Yes, they come out of the woodwork.”
Running events also benefit from having their races in January, as evidenced by the popular Mission 10 Race in San Juan Bautista on Jan. 28.
“In the last couple of years we’ve increased our numbers (race participants) by quite a bit,” says Bill Tiffany, the longtime race director of the Mission 10 Race. “I think part of that has to do with New Year’s resolutions people make, and running a race is a great motivator to help them keep their goals going.”
The Mission 10 Race remains hugely popular in the South Valley area in part because it offers a distance that has pretty much gone the way of the Dodo bird: 10 miles. Most running events include a Kids Fun Run, a 5K (3.1 miles), 10K (6.2 miles), half-marathon (13.1 miles) and marathon (26.2 miles).
However, the 10-mile race for the Mission 10 is the only one that is a USA Track and Field certified course (courses must be certified for any road running performance to be accepted as a record or to earn a national ranking). The 2016 Mission 10 Race had 642 registrations, with 578 people that actually started and finished the race.
It also marked the first year when the event included a half-marathon, making it a nice training run for runners who are looking to run a full marathon in the spring. The Hollister Rotary Club sponsors and runs the Mission 10 Race, and all of the proceeds benefit local charities and scholarships, Tiffany says.
Speaking of benefits, prospective enrollees at Get Fit should expect no less than a comprehensive evaluation of their goals and how to reach them. Jacobs, 51, is back home in Morgan Hill after spending the last 20 years in Arizona. She opened the original Get Fit in 1992 before selling her building to 24 Hour Fitness three years later.
When Jacobs returned to the area several months ago, she decided to open up Get Fit once again. Amazingly enough, Jacobs has brought back her original instructors, Debbie Pardue Stocksick, the Santa Clara County staff battalion chief, Patty Smith Koch and Jonna Dunne.
“It’s nice to be home and to be around people I grew up with,” says Jacobs, who is also a biochemist and did stem cell research while in Arizona while also owning a construction business. “I just love the support I’ve received from the people of Morgan Hill.”
Jacobs is in the business to help people stick to their health goals. Whether it’s losing weight, getting fit or running a personal-best race, Americans consistently put health-related matters at the top of their New Year’s resolutions list. The only problem is most New Year’s resolutions don’t make it past February. Here’s how to make some of those resolutions stick.
1. Have fun. It’s often said that variety is the spice of life, and it especially rings true for exercise-goers.
“We all know the body is designed to move,” Jacobs says. “However, if you’re doing the same thing every time your brain will give out. So you have to do something to make you happy. There has to be music around you or people around you to make you feel alive and push yourself when things get hard.”
2. Have a plan—preferably, something simple.
“There has to be a plan at work and something measurable,” Jacobs says. “Whether it’s losing body fat, completing an entire Zumba class or running a marathon, you need specific things in place to accomplish your goals.”
Attaining a healthy lifestyle and achieving certain fitness goals takes consistency and time. So don’t expect results right away; after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And just like your body, it takes time for it to make measurable changes.
3. It’s all about H20. If you’re serious about weight loss/health and want to save yourself some serious calories everyday, drink water. Lots of it.
“I see people play with 300 extra calories a day, which in the long term adds up,” Jacobs says. “The trick is to hydrate first before your cravings set in, because the brain doesn’t often know if it’s hungry or thirsty.”
Jacobs advises for people to sip on water or infused flavored water because it makes a substantial difference in a person’s ability to make the right decision when it comes to caloric intake.
“You could simply be thirsty and mistake it for hunger,” she says. “People might come home after a long day at work and their natural tendency is to grab a bag of potato chips. So we’re trying to exchange bad habits for good habits. In my 35 years of doing this, I’ve never run into people who are hydrated enough.”
The only drawback to flavored water is most of them have artificial preservatives or sweeteners that is often linked to increased weight gain. So go with Arrowhead or Crystal Geyser, as their carbonated water contain only natural ingredients. Better yet, they contain no calories or extra carbs.
Make this change, and you’ve taken a great first step to weight loss. That’s because that
Frappuccino, latte, lemonade tea, Iced Caramel Macchiato, soda or smoothie will set you back several hundred calories. Need your coffee/caffeine fix? Go with straight black instead.
Jacobs says Get Fit stands out from a lot of other fitness places because of its intentionality in building relationships.
“We have contact with our members on a daily basis,” she says. “Whether it’s sending motivational quotes to them, different nutritional tips or sending videos or letters of our classes, we try to keep people excited.”
If all that fails and members have been away from the gym for a while, Jacobs says, they should expect a knock on their door.
“I have a tendency to chase them down,” Jacobs says laughing. “I’ll go to their house. I’ve been known to do that a time or 20.”
For Jacobs, health isn’t a passing fancy—it’s a lifestyle.
“There’s something exciting and new of getting healthy everyday,” she says.
There has to be music around you or people around you to make you feel alive and push yourself when things get hard.