Suffolk residents set fitness goals

Published 3:03 pm Friday, December 31, 2010

Working out: Antonio Hamlin, on left, and Christopher Oleszkowicz lift weights at Anytime Fitness. The two are regular patrons of the gym.

It’s time once again to set your New Year’s resolution.

Some folks will choose goals of academic, financial, mental or spiritual importance. Others, however, will go for the time-honored resolution tradition: Lose weight.

Patrons at two local gyms already have begun working on that goal.

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Anytime Fitness patron C.A. Dankmyer, who already works out four to five times a week, plans to get in shape for a tropical summer vacation with his wife, while Harry Werner, a YMCA member, plans to continue his daily routine to lose 20-30 additional pounds.

“I need to lose weight for my health,” said Calvin Holly, another YMCA patron. “I am too heavy.”

Holly plans to lose 156 pounds by dieting, exercising and drinking more water. He suggested a “Biggest Loser Suffolk” contest might generate a lot of interest in better health.

“I’m not going to weigh 200 pounds again,” Yvonne Lovingood, patron of the YMCA, told herself when she stepped on the doctor’s scales last September and weighed 198 pounds.

At that point, Lovingood began her intense journey toward better health. She intends to lose 15 more pounds and to maintain good health.

Lovingood currently follows a routine that includes the recumbent bike, the treadmill and 10 weight machines, where she lifts a total of 2,800-3,000 pounds in one round of using the machines.

Her training has been very successful. Lovingood says she no longer has to use the diabetic medicines she used before and she no longer has to use oxygen at night.

“I feel better, have more energy and can do things I haven’t been able to do in a while,” she said.

While many patrons want to lose weight, others have goals of gaining muscle mass, becoming personal trainers, and becoming Miss Virginia United States.

“I want to get my eight-pack back,” said Antonio Hamlin, patron of Anytime Fitness and student at Tidewater Community College. Hamlin, who visits Anytime Fitness five days a week with a friend, also resolves to make the Dean’s List.

Christopher Oleszkowicz wants to increase his weight to 190 pounds and become a personal trainer.

“I like helping people,” he said. “Fitness has always been a big part of my life. It would be cool to help other people reach their goals.”

“Working out makes me feel good and keeps me energized,” said Sherri Edwards, who teaches kickboxing at Anytime Fitness on the weekends. Edwards plans to compete for a top slot in Miss Virginia United States in 2011. Edwards said she has been a runner-up for the last two years.

“I will gear up and get ready for that,” Edwards said.

In January, many people join gyms only to lose their motivation within the first few months, according to fitness experts at Anytime Fitness and Suffolk Family YMCA.

Many people see the coming of a new year as an opportunity to begin again.

“It’s like a fresh start, a clean slate,” said Amelia Chung, health and wellness director at the Suffolk Family YMCA.

“Next week, people will come in to get back on track,” said Amy Mitchell, personal trainer and group exercise instructor at Anytime Fitness.

“People use [the holidays] as an excuse.”

“Every year we have all of the New Year’s resolutioners come in,” Chung added. “By the end of March membership drops off.”

Chung offered a few tips to help people keep their 2011 resolutions.

“Making yourself a happier and healthier person is the best resolution you can have going into a gym,” she said. “The most important thing is how you feel inside. If you feel good inside, it will radiate to the outside.”

Chung added that setting a series of small goals will lead to greater success than one larger goal.

“Create goals for yourself that are attainable,” she said. “Success drives you to be more successful.”