Winter fitness

It takes more than a long stretch of sub-zero temperatures to keep North Dakotans and other hardy souls new to the area from keeping up with their physical fitness.

Three area fitness centers, ASK Fitness, Snap Fitness and the Minot Family YMCA can attest to that. Take a look at the steady stream of people walking through their doors and keeping the exercise machines in near constant use.

According to Samantha Bryans, director at ASK Fitness, winter attendance has definitely increased. “It’s insane,” she added. “But I think New Year’s resolutions are overpowering the weather.” Normally, there are plenty of machines available, but if people don’t get to ASK Fitness by 6 p.m. then they are out of luck, Bryans said.

Attendance at ASK Fitness has also seen an

increase in adults in the 20s range, Bryans said, as well as a huge increase in women members. The busiest time for ASK Fitness is at 6 p.m., but the lunch hour tends to be pretty busy as well, she continued. Currently, the most popular class at ASK Fitness is Zumba, specifically Zumba Toning, which incorporates strength training with the dancing, Bryans added. ASK Fitness is located at 3516 North Broadway in Minot.

SNAP Fitness, located in the Joshua Plaza next to Walmart has also seen an increase in membership. Barb Clemetson, manager, said attendance so far for this year has been good and steady with numbers of attendees. “January is pretty good with New Year’s resolutions,” she added.

“We have quite a mix of people,” Clemetson said, about the latest demographic of membership. “We have a good variety of ages.” She added that several senior citizens joined SNAP Fitness in 2013. Busiest times for the fitness center range between 5 and 8 p.m., according to Clemetson.

SNAP Fitness is just a basic gym, Clemetson said, but tanning and hydromassage services are also available. They also have three personal trainers, she continued, and five new treadmills that recently arrived. “People have been signing up for tanning,” Clemetson said, noting one of the more popular areas of the center.

Cindy Mueller, director of program services at the Minot Family YMCA, said they are always busy and have been busy all the way through the cold weather. She and the other staff used to think that things would slow down in the summer months, but the YMCA is always busy now.

There have been more families joining the YMCA, Mueller said, more families than they have ever had. There has also been a huge increase in memberships of senior citizens, she continued, due to reimbursement from insurance companies that are now offered. “It’s a great incentive for them,” Mueller added.

Busy times at the YMCA typically are from 4 to 7 p.m., but there is also usually a line at the door at 5 a.m. when the facility opens, Mueller said. “So far we haven’t heard people say they haven’t gotten to use a machine they want, though,” she added. The training center is the biggest area at the YMCA, which sees near-constant use, but Mueller said a lot of people will join the center for one fitness or aquacise class they love. “But the training center is the most widely used area,” she added.

Mueller said they are all looking forward to the spring and summer when the outdoor fitness course and basketball court can be used. “We’re excited to see how many people use it and what they think of it.”