Ty Hardnett works out at Anytime Fitness. Many will be hitting the gym as the new year begins.

With the new year starting, gyms may see an influx of people working out to lose weight or get in better shape. Local physical trainers advise those going back to the gym to be consistent and start small.

Anytime Fitness owner and physical trainer Jose Garcia said the gym influx starts around Dec. 18 and goes through the last week of January. 

“The New Year’s resolution is a very real thing,” Garcia said.

Elite Fitness personal trainer Daniel Gaddis said those starting at the gym still need instructions on how to work out and the basics of exercise to reach their goals. People need to know where they are physically to know how to reach their goals.

“I think specific training, athletes, people who want to (have better) general health — there still are fundamentals and basic things that need to be addressed as you pursue your health and fitness goals,” Gaddis said.

A lot of people train too quickly when starting out instead of going at a safer pace, Gaddis said.

Garcia said those trying to lose weight need to set smaller goals for a shorter timeframes, such as losing 5 pounds in two weeks. Reaching those smaller goals gives those working out small victories throughout the year.

“Setting reasonable, obtainable goals in short time frames is more motivating than trying to lose 100 pounds in the year because if you don’t see your progression throughout that year, you’ll give up in those 30 days,” Garcia said.

Doing cardio workouts and hitting a target heart rate leads to reaching a fat rate loss. 

It’s important to do age-appropriate workouts so people don’t hurt themselves, according to Garcia.

“A teenager should not be doing one-rep maxes because their growth plates are still not developed,” Garcia said. “They still haven’t hardened. And a 60-year-old shouldn’t be trying to do heavy squats because they’re a little frailer and a little older.”

Developing good eating habits is essential to losing weight in addition to exercise. About 80% of losing weight is based on what a person eats, according to Garcia.  

“As you consume you need to take your liquid in consideration,” Garcia said. “Here in the South we’re plagued with sweet tea and that’s almost 80% sugar.”

Those trying to lose weight should not try fad diets such as the Ketogenic diet and instead do simple dieting.

“I think in general a lot of people just eat to be eating,” Gaddis said. “I believe you have to eat with a purpose and evaluate yourself with as how far food makes you look and how it makes you feel.”

Push-ups and sit-ups are exercises everyone can do because there are many ways to do push-ups, including from the knees or using a bench to elevate the user’s feet.

“It doesn’t require a lot of weight and you can do it from just about anywhere,” Gaddis said. “We always want to do things that will be challenging for us or anyone who works out. Challenge yourself, push yourself and hopefully you’ll get the most out of your workout.”

Gaddis recommends walking, running or jogging local trails for those who do not use a gym.

Gaddis encouraged going to the park and taking dumbbells or small exercise equipment. Power walking, body weight squats and anything people can do during commercial breaks, such as push-ups, mountain climbers and squats, are also beneficial.

“Anything in motion is better than no motion at all,” Garcia said.

For those joining a gym, Gaddis advises consulting a professional trainer about what to do when starting out. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of staff members.

“Find a membership that provides necessary equipment, price and an overall atmosphere to have fun and be safe,” Gaddis said. “Feel free to ask the staff questions.”