By Akers Editorial
Do you have a New Year’s resolution in mind?
If so, you are probably not alone, but did you know that the tradition is thousands of years old and started as promises to the Gods at the start of each year to do things like lose weight, spend more time with family, spend less money, stop smoking, and more?
According to history.com, the ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, some 4,000 years ago.
They were also the first to hold recorded celebrations in honor of the new year—though for them the year began not in January but in mid-March, when crops were planted. The website adds that during a massive 12-day religious festival known as Akitu, the Babylonians crowned a new king or reaffirmed their loyalty to the reigning king.
At that time, the Babylonians “also made promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed with an understanding that if they kept their word, their (pagan) gods would bestow favor on them for the coming year. If not, they would fall out of the gods’ favor.”
A similar practice has early Christian roots, but overall, the website cites research revealing that although as many as 45 percent of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions, only eight percent are successful in achieving their goals.
At Planet Fitness in Eustis, a manager named Lee says that the start of the year for most gyms is a historically popular time for new membership start-ups because of ever-popular health related resolutions.
Lee says most gyms, including theirs, offer discounted pricing in anticipation of the usual surge of new enrollments, only to see about 50-75 percent of new members drop off after a couple of months.
He also says that although some patrons become gym regulars, some continue paying for memberships, yet rarely step through the doors for a workout.
In 2021 however, who knows what the trend will be due to ongoing COVID-19 related concerns, but if your New Year’s resolution is to exercise more or to lose weight, don’t let anything stop you.
Joining a gym is one option, but if still leery, you may also consider at-home alternatives, including online-based classes and training, or simply getting out and exploring the many beautiful walking trails throughout Lake County and beyond.
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