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Local businesses feel weight of New Year’s health goals

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MASSENA - Some local businesses are feeling the impact of many residents’ New Year’s resolutions to improve their health and well-being.

Heart to Heart Fitness in Akwesasne experienced a surge in memberships in mid-December from residents preparing for their resolutions to trim down, according to manager Roger W. Allen. Attendance spiked once the new year rolled in, and despite popular belief that resolutions are quickly abandoned, Mr. Allen said membership doesn’t drop until late spring, when members opt to get their exercise outside instead.

“People stick with it here. We offer a lot of programs and training to help them stick with it,” Mr. Allen said.

Some businesses are gearing their sales to fit consumers renewed health conscious, even if it might only be temporary. On New Year’s Day, the Walmart in Potsdam was advertising discounts on Clif energy bars and whey protein.

Potsdam Food Co-op Manager Eric D. Jesner said they’re trying to expand their line of prepared foods to make dieting more convenient.

“We’re trying to offer more soups and salads for when people are out of work and they don’t have much time to eat. So that way they aren’t going to have to eat processed fast foods, Mr. Jesner said.

Mr. Jesner believes cutting down on heavily processed foods and eating more organic foods can reduce the amount of fat, sugar, salt and hydrogenated oils in one’s diet. It can also help improve digestion and energy, he said.

“Eating food that’s closer to its natural state is easier for your body to digest,” Mr. Jesner said.

Bing W. Thomas, manager of Healthy Way in Massena, recommends using liver cleansers to improve digestion and metabolism. “It’s about what’s out of balance (in one’s body) and bringing it back into balance,” he said.

Mr. Thomas denied any link between stronger sales and the start of a new year; though he said he’d sold a natural, nicotine-free tobacco product to one woman Monday who said quitting cigarettes was her New Year’s resolution.

However, as many cynics are quick to point out, people often have trouble sticking with their New Year’s goals.

The World Class Gym & Fitness Center in Massena saw an increase of almost a dozen new members over the last few weeks, which employee Holly E. Bari said is typical of early January. “They don’t last. They stay for a month and then they’re done,” she said.

World Class Gym & Fitness Center members Chris A. Barcomb and Josh Trembley urge new gym members to be persistent with their exercise regimens.

“Stick with it; don’t give up after the first couple weeks. You don’t see any progress,” Mr. Barcomb said.

“It’s fun to do once you stick with it,” Mr. Trembley added.

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