Fitness instructors encourage gym newbies to shoot for 45 minutes of daily exercise

Sporting a shirt with the declaration “Earn It,” Becca Moir was front and center making gains during a Muscle Pump Group Strength class one day after the New Year began. Moir was one of 30 women resolving to get fit at Freedom Fitness in Eldersburg on Tuesday.

“My goal is to be more flexible,” said Moir, of Randallstown. “When you set a goal, you’ve got to commit to it.


“I like it here because there’s more stretching. You’re not pushed to do anything. You go at your own pace.”

According to Freedom Fitness owner Tracy Cox, the studio always sees an influx of newcomers in the New Year.

“That’s when I started, New Year’s 1996,” Cox said. “My kids were little and I couldn’t keep the weight off with diet alone. I started with step and then I started taking strength training classes. Eventually, I started teaching fitness classes and became a certified YogaFit instructor.”

Cox said January is a good time to set a goal.

“As long as you try something, you’ve learned — even if you fail at it. Most of the time, it’s not as big a fail as we think it is. The problem is not what we can or can’t do, the problem is between our ears,” Cox said. “You just have push through the muscle aches and realize it’s part of the process. You’re going to make it through. Drink a bunch water, take a Tylenol, and come to class.”

Freedom Fitness is currently offering an online special. New participants can sign up for two weeks of unlimited classes $9.99.

Instructor coordinator and trainer Breanna Shumpert said she just “encourages people to move more.”

“Shoot for every day and if you end up coming three to four times a week, that’s a good beginning,” Shumpert said. “Find something fun that will keep you coming back. Try different classes with different instructors and find what fits you.”

Shumpert said newcomers should keep in mind that “it takes time to see the results of the classes.”

“It can be hard to take the first step and walk into a new place, but we are very welcoming,” Shumpert said. “We have a community atmosphere here and we all encourage one another.”

Membership has increased at several gyms around the county. At The Hill Y in Westminster, membership director Karen Farley said some families had already come in before the New Year.

“I think the cold weather has helped boost membership interest because it’s a good place to work out and swim inside. We are a place for the whole family to get healthy, stay healthy and have fun,” Farley said.

Carrie's Kitchen: A trio of 'better for you' recipes

Rather than making drastic resolutions about how I’m going to “eat healthier and lose weight,” I’m going to start walking backwards, very slowly, eating the same types of foods I want to eat but just healthier versions of them.

Farley said Hill Y newcomers can join online and the fee will automatically be waived for the first part of January. Fitness classes, orientation and a workout plan designed with a wellness coach are included in the membership.

Chris Thomas, manager of Downtown Fitness in Taneytown, said he saw a boost in membership when the weather got colder and for the New Year. The gym offers monthly memberships.


“We encourage people to make fitness a part of their daily routine,” Thomas said. “A lot of people say they don’t have time but you only need 45 minutes. We want people to make it a habit and they’re more likely to keep it up the whole year.”