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North Hills

Tools to help achieve fitness goals for 2018

| Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Fitness Coordinator Alicia Bercury leads a Zumba class at Pine Community Center. To learn more about some of the new programs and fitness classes available, call 724-625-1636.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Fitness Coordinator Alicia Bercury leads a Zumba class at Pine Community Center. To learn more about some of the new programs and fitness classes available, call 724-625-1636.

Every New Year's Day, people all over the country vow to eat better, exercise more and lose weight.

Often times those great intentions don't last and by February the gyms are a little less crowded and fitness classes have a few more available spaces compared to a month earlier.

“We certainly do (get an influx of clients) this time of year,” said Alicia Bercury, the fitness program coordinator at Pine Community Center. “The trick is keeping people, which is not always easy.”

If fitness is a goal for 2018, the good news is that there are plenty of options around the area, from standard gyms to CrossFit to yoga and pilates, and there are often great promotions and deals to accompany all those New Year's resolutions. To maximize one's chances of turning those plans for better health into habits that stick, said trainer Tyler Notarianni of Journeyman Fitness in Wexford, it's important to be realistic.

“The biggest reason I see that people don't stick with it is they're looking for a quick fix answer to all their problems right away,” he said. “Anyone looking to lose 20 pounds who thinks it's going to happen in the first couple of weeks is going to get discouraged, and some people give up fairly quickly because they don't get the immediate satisfaction they're looking for.”

Notarianni said that as trainers at Journeyman Fitness, where they teach CrossFit, they try to instill in new clients the understanding that fitness is a process that takes time. It also involves not just working out, but also eating right, sleeping right and managing stress.

Accountability and working out with others also breeds success, Notarianni said.

“When you sign up for a gym membership at a big box gym, you pay your money, show up then work out by yourself, it's all on you,” he said. “You have to decide what time you're going and what you're going to do. It helps when you have a gym buddy or a family member or a loved one, someone to hold you accountable for going when you don't feel like it. Or, a better option is to go to a place where there is coaching..”

Bercury also recommends working with a trainer or coach, especially for someone new to exercise or for whom exercise in the past hasn't brought about the desired results.

“Unfortunately there are so many programs and diets out there that are kind of silly, promising quick weight loss, and I think that peoples' mindsets in terms of what they think it's going to take to be healthy and lose weight are that it shouldn't take more than a month,” she said. “Unfortunately, it does. Often times we see new members come in and do their own thing, or do something they maybe heard about or saw on Pinterest and they flounder a little, not sure what they're doing or skipping over pieces of equipment.”

One way that Pine Community Center members and non-members alike can improve their fitness, be accountable to others, enjoy the social aspect of working out and engage the competitive juices as well is by joining the Fit City Challenge. Participants will compete against those from other local community centers for the highest combined weight loss and fitness challenge scores, and the program includes fitness assessments, weekly weigh-ins, access to classes, group workouts and training and nutrition seminars. “It's not a weight loss challenge because it encompasses everything,” Bercury said. “It's a get fit challenge. Whether your goal is to lose weight, improve strength, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness or body composition, anyone regardless of what their goal is can come into the program and see results.”

This is the second year the Pine Community Center has participated in the program, and last year they won. The cost for VIP members is $55, $75 for members and $125 for non-members for the six-week program beginning Jan. 20. Register by Jan. 13 by calling or emailing Bercury at 724-625-1636, ext. 160, or

For more information on Journeyman Fitness or current specials call 724-719-2644.

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