Recreation aims to boost resolutions

HRCA, specialty gyms help shed pounds, keep them off


Making resolutions is easy. Keeping them — well, that’s a whole other thing.

According to, 45 percent of Americans usually make a New Year’s resolution on an annual basis, while only 8 percent of those are actually successful in their stick-to-itiveness.  

Getting fit and losing weight are popular picks annually, and in 2012, according to the statisticbrain site, losing weight topped the charts, while “staying fit and healthy” was the fifth most popular goal.

Those numbers are no doubt a big reason why gyms, large and small, are packed to the gills each January. And while most gyms are collectively cashing in on people’s annual ambitions while the confetti still litters the streets, many are busy coming up with creative approaches to keep clientele and help them achieve their goals.

Orangetheory Fitness, which opened at 9559 S. University Blvd. in Highlands Ranch last January, is one of many that is taking part in some sort of New Year’s challenge and is offering $10,ooo in cash and prizes to male and female winners of a six-week national weight loss challenge that kicks off Jan. 17.  

Participants, who will also be awarded prizes locally at franchised gyms, must attend a minimum of three 60-minute Orangetheory Fitness sessions per week to help get them in the habit of routinely working out.

“Our goal of Orangetheory as a whole is not only to provide the best workout that provides results and a (positive) energy, but to have people make a healthy lifestyle change,” said Highlands Ranch franchise co-owner Wendy Skaalerud.

The goal of the Highlands Ranch Community Association is a similar one, which is why homeowners in Highlands Ranch have the luxury of choosing from four state-of-the-art recreational facilities that are paid for by residential assessment dollars.

“We are crazy busy the first four weeks of January,” said Mark Gunther, assistant operations manager for the HRCA rec centers. “It’s a real interesting dynamic with our regulars and the ‘resolutioners’ who are here typically until Valentine’s Day.”

Yet just because things slow back down in mid-February doesn’t mean that the HRCA isn’t pulling for people to achieve their fitness goals.

“We do everything we can,” Gunther said, adding that the organization offers special packages that include eight sessions with a personal trainer, kicking off with an individual fitness assessment.

To help motivate newcomers, the HRCA is also putting on a weight-loss competition from Jan. 14 to March 10 similar to Orangetheory’s, where people can sign up either individually or as part of a team.

Working out in a group setting can be extremely beneficial, Gunther added.

“I see it a lot with regulars who show up at 6 a.m.,” he said. “Whether it is part of a program or just having a buddy system, it helps keep you motivated. It’s most important to establish a routine and stay consistent. Don’t start by coming out seven days a week. Give yourself a break so you can last longer.”

For more information on Highlands Ranch recreational programs, which also include group activities such as yoga, Zumba and water aerobics, go to and click on recreation. For more information about the weight-loss challenge at Orangetheory Fitness, visit

There are numerous other specialty gyms that have sprouted up in Highlands Ranch in recent months as well, including BackCountry CrossFit,, and IM=X Pilates Studio,


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