New Year’s leads to increase in Fitness Center membership


Joseph Vincenzi Reporter

After the new year, some plan to lose weight at the gym. Some start a new, healthy diet. Some vow to get more sleep at night or to finish their work earlier in the day.

Whatever the case may be, students at Southern are planning to achieve their own New Year’s resolutions in a variety of different ways.

A very popular choice among many students was to join the campus gym to gain muscle, burn calories or maintain good metabolism. The gym staff has noticed a difference in the number of gym memberships since the beginning of the semester.

Receptionist Lorenzo Burgos said there are more members “in the first month of this semester” than there were in the first month of the last semester, counting about 400 current members as opposed to about 300 members in September.

Another receptionist, Gabriel Walker, said “everyone wants to join in the spring,” and that the gym typically experiences a rise in membership during the spring semester.

Some students focus on changing their diet to improve physical health and attitude. In the case of Ronnie Pinkard, a freshman, he is focusing on transferring to a plant-based diet. “It’s going great,” said Pinkard. “I’ve been doing it for 5 weeks.”

Pinkard said he wants to eat less meat and get the full nutritional benefit from a plant based diet. He said it is “not hard to get into [the diet]” once a student makes the choice.

Other students like Nick Wheeler just want to eat healthier and to go to the gym on a regular basis. He said it was difficult at first to fit a workout into his schedule, but “once it became a habit” it was easy for him to go every day and eat better in the cafeteria.

“So far, so good,” said Wheeler.

There are many students who share the same goals as Pinkard and Wheeler. However, New Year’s resolutions can also mean improving on bad habits, and some students are keen on tackling those habits.

For a student like senior Gabriel Tenkorang, it is as simple as drinking more water during the day.

Tenkorang said he wants to drink more water instead of juice or other sugary beverages. He said since he goes to the gym often, he needs to keep himself hydrated.

“It’s not really hard to get into,” said Tenkorang. “It’s just a concentrated effort.”

Some students set monthly or annual goals for themselves to help towards a career or personal interest. One such student is music major Michael Natalino, who has a strong passion for songwriting.

“By the end of the semester, I want to have finished my own studio with professional equipment and have about 5,000 to 10,000 followers on Instagram,” said Natalino. He said he believes these two things are essential for his growth as a musician and a potential career for the future.

Natalino said there will be a struggle with anything one wants to improve in his or her life. But he firmly said believes that once a habit is established, “nobody can stop you.”

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