Members of the Niles-Buchanan YMCA work out during a step class Tuesday evening. The YMCA typically sees its largest enrollment growth during January and February. Daily Star photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

Archived Story

New year brings new Y members

Published 8:46pm Tuesday, January 3, 2012

If the Niles-Buchanan YMCA seems more crowded these days, you aren’t imagining things.

New members typically flock to the YMCA during January and February more than any other time of the year, thanks to New Year’s resolutions to lose weight or get healthy.

“It’s definitely a time when many people decide to make positive changes in their lives, and I think most of us would like to be at least a little healthier,” said Greg Schuman, YMCA membership and marketing director.

New members don’t always stick around though. After a busy January through March, Schuman said they see a decline in usage around April.

“There are folks who, for various reasons, decrease their usage of the facility,” Schuman said. “But there will be many that keep it going and we’ll see them several times a week.”

There are many things people can do to increase their chances of sticking to a new workout routine, said Amy McKean, YMCA senior program director. McKean said people should workout with a friend, set attainable goals or make a contract. People can also get a personal trainer or simply find an enjoyable way to workout.

“Make sure you are doing it because you want to make better changes for a lifetime, not just for a quick fix,” McKean said.

Unlike in years past, the YMCA saw its biggest membership growth of 2011 in December. Schuman said the increase could be attributed to a YMCA promotion that waived the joiner fee for new members.

“I’m guessing that the big December promotion will probably slow down our new member sales in January 2012 a bit,” Schuman said.

After the January rush, membership tends to slow down in the summer as warmer weather draws people outside, Schuman said. Membership tends to pick up again as the weather gets colder.

“It’s really kind of cyclical,” Schuman said. “I also teach spinning classes here a few times a week and the number of participants in my classes — and all our fitness classes really — have really gone up in the last couple of months.

“Our hope is that once they are here, we can help them get started, they find some success, and that motivates them to keep going,” she said. “We love success stories.”

By using this website’s user-contribution features, including comments, photo galleries, or any other feature, you agree to abide by the terms of use. Please read this agreement in its entirety because it contains useful information that will help you better understand the rules and general "good manners" that are expected when contributing content to this website.

Editor's Picks