CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The new year is a time for resolutions.

One of the more popular resolutions is to have a healthier year with more exercise and eating better.

Gyms will be crowded across West Virginia and the United States as Monty Warner, YMCA of Kanawha Valley CEO, is welcoming the crowd in hopes of a healthier year.

“New Year’s is a good time to get started on the right foot,” he said. “The Charleston area, there is a lot of things we lead the country in that we don’t want to lead the country in. Drug abuses, drug overdoses, obesity, type two diabetes and all kinds of things. We can do a lot better than that.”

In a 2017 survey by Cision, losing weight and getting into shape was the number two near year’s resolution in 2018 behind saving money.

Warner noted the spike in memberships during this time of year is due to that resolution combined with one more factor.

“You certainly have a spike in membership this time of year, everybody does,” he said. “Two reasons, one is the new year’s resolution but the other thing is January, February, and March in West Virginia is not a kind environment. Even if you are an outdoor person, you like to bike or stuff outdoors, you go into a doldrum in those months when the weather doesn’t accommodate you very well.”

Not only is there a climb in membership numbers during this specific time period for the YMCA and other gyms, but Warner said numbers have risen at the YMCA of Kanawha Valley in the past three years.

The center’s total membership has nearly doubled in size since the start of 2016 from 6,200 members to over 10,000 today.

“Health and wellness go together and we need to do better to keep ourselves healthy,” Warner said.

“We think if you get busy, you get active, stay active you’re going to stay healthier. When you get healthy, you are going to have a longer lifespan. The greatest gift you can give yourself is your own health and we think the YMCA plays an important part in that.”

Warner noted that the YMCA of Kanawha Valley will continue to attempt everything in their power to get people through the door who are dealing with financial hardship.

“All we want you to do is get in here so you can get healthy,” he said.

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