Local gyms ready for post-New Year’s fitness push

Published 11:56 am Saturday, January 2, 2021

There is never a bad time to decide to get healthy.

However, it seems for many, the start of a new year is always a good motivator.

In fact, January is the most active month for people to join a gym, local operators said, and several facilities in Vicksburg are preparing for an influx of new members.

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Phillip Doiron, who is the executive director of the Junius Ward Johnson YMCA, said outside of the “100-year pandemic,” in the past, January is an active month for people to join the Y and take advantage of their fitness facility.

“Traditionally, January is a great time for people to have those goals and improve their health,” Doiron said.

The YMCA’s W.K. Purks Center just completed a 2,000 square foot addition which, in part, increased the size of the fitness center. Doiron said a new line of strength equipment including Selectorized machine weights and free weights were added, as well as additional space for “specialty style fitness classes.”

Brittany Adair, who is the Vicksburg Planet Fitness manager, concurred with Doiron when it came to experiencing increased membership at the start of a new year.

“Typically the week after New Year’s,” Adair said, is when new folks sign up for a membership.

But like Doiron, Adair said the COVID-19 pandemic has been a factor that has altered the usual pattern of new membership.

Planet Fitness, which is located at 3046 Indiana Ave., is a full-scale gym. Its facility houses a variety of equipment from free weights to user-friendly exercise machines with QR codes that can be used with smart phones to let members know how to use it and what muscles will be targeted.

Adair said there is also a circuit training area, and exercise classes.

Currently, exercise classes and personal fitness training have been suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Adair said she is hoping these offerings will resume soon.

Getting fit is a wise New Year’s resolution, but exercise can do more than just help with weight control. It can also improve memory and brain function, protect against many chronic diseases, improve sleep, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, improve joint pain and stiffness, and increase one’s life span.

Doiron encouraged people to get fit, but also to focus their goals.

“The new year is time for a new start and I would encourage people to set fitness goals, but make them realistic,” Doiron said, “Because if they do something unrealistic they are much more likely to not follow through with it. It is important to start with baby steps. You are not going to go from the couch to running a marathon.”

For more information on the Vicksburg YMCA, call 601-638-1071 or visit vicksburgymca.com.

For more information on Planet Fitness, call 601-501-4091 or visit www.planetfitness.com/gyms/vicksburg-ms.















About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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