CHICAGO—At the beginning of each year, 50.5 percent of resolution-makers pledge to get in shape in the new year. By Valentine’s Day, 49 percent of those people have given up on their fitness resolution, according to a nationwide survey by Bally Total Fitness, Chicago. Perhaps more disconcerting for the fitness industry is that one-third of all respondents would rather stay at work an extra hour than go to the gym.


"Fitness should be fun and one of the best parts of your day, a time when you can focus on yourself, your body and ultimately feel good at the end of your work-out. People make New Year's Resolutions with the best intentions, but can become discouraged when they realize that fitness can be hard work," says Nikki Kimbrough, national spokesperson for Bally Total Fitness. All 380 Bally clubs were open to the general public for free on February 15th. The daylong event included total access to all Bally locations, including popular classes, free 30-minute healthy eating seminars, and discounts on memberships and nutritional products.


The Bally survey also found that losing weight remains the most popular New Year's resolution, with 50.5 percent of respondents hoping to trim their waistlines in 2007. Thirty percent of respondents eat three to five chocolates on Valentine's Day, which can be as many as 55 grams of fat - the equivalent of eating two fast food hamburgers. More than 37 percent of resolution makers make the same resolution every year.


The national survey of 1,100 people was conducted online in February 2007 among a sample of Americans that closely represents U.S. population demographics, according to Bally Total Fitness .