Honestly. We are without excuse. We’re fresh into the New Year and the launchpad of New Resolutions. February is Heart Month, sponsored by the American Heart Association to build awareness that heart disease is the #1 killer among American men and women — and it’s largely preventable with a lifestyle marked by regular exercise and a healthy diet. And it’s Winter Olympics season. Even if you’re not an athlete, just watching a half hour of the world’s most fit competitors is inspirational and motivational. 

snap-fitness-garrettsville-mccoySo put down those munchies and get moving. SNAP Fitness and Total Lifetime Care in Garrettsville; and Advanced Rehabilitation Specialists in Mantua are all rolling out the red carpet for new members to make good on their personal fitness goals.

The newest option on the block is SNAP Fitness in Garrettsville, which opened at 8289 Windham Street in the Sky Plaza in mid-December.

Owner Pat McCoy (pictured)  of Hudson is a SNAP Fitness veteran, with additional franchises in Aurora and Streetsboro. Response to the new gym has been “tremendous,” McCoy says. “People were waiting at the door even a week before we opened. People just love our 24/7 electronic key card entry concept, so they can work out in a clean, pleasant atmosphere at any time, as often as they want.”

In addition to dozens of cardio and strength machines, the gym offers free weights and the services of personal trainers who can help members assess their current fitness level, develop an exercise plan to help them reach their goals, and training to use each machine correctly. Group classes in Zumba, yoga, cardio sculpting and core fitness are additional options. (Zumba is included with membership but other classes require additional fees.)

Exercise is just one aspect of fitness. Proper diet is the other. “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet,”  McCoy says. The website www.snapfitness.com can help members develop a nutritional profile, meal planning, shopping lists and healthy recipes; even for people with medical diet restrictions due to food allergies, high cholesterol, diabetes and other conditions.

Special events, fundraisers and competitions round out the SNAP fitness plan. Pedal for Heroes is a fundraiser for war veterans, in which members gather sponsorships for the number of miles they put on an exercycle on February 23. A SNAP Weight Loss Challenge will also be held in March or April as a competition among other SNAP locations in the region.

Remember, fitness resolutions don’t end in January. But SNAP’s grand opening membership deal ($8.95 plus an individual, couple or family monthly fee) ends February 28.

While SNAP is open 24 hours daily to members, it is staffed 10am-2pm and 4-8pm Mondays through Fridays; 9am-12 noon on Saturdays; and 11am-2pm on Sundays. Call (330) 527-8032 to schedule a tour or fitness assessment, or to become a member.  Annual contracts are optional. Most people prefer a month-to-month agreement and SNAP’s 30-day guaranteed results (or get your money back).

Just down the road at 1 Memory Lane is the Total Lifetime Care (TLC) Health and Fitness Club. TLC offers diverse sets of cardio and strength training exercise equipment; fitness assessments; lap training, water aerobics  or swim lessons in the Mediterranean-style pool;  a women-only training room; sauna; whirlpool; and upcoming group classes (most likely yoga, core workout or strength training).

Manager Shane Andrews says TLC is now offering its lowest-ever enrollment fee of $25, plus a month-to-month or annual price for an individual, couple or family (and no cancellation fees).  Andrews says the combination of amenities, plus the attractive entrance fee, are all enhanced by TLC’s “Welcome to the Family” attitude at the gym. Call (330) 527-4852 or log onto www.totallifetimecarecenter.com to learn more.

At Advanced Rehabilitation & Health Specialists in Mantua, you’ll find physical therapy, lifestyle coaching, exercise instruction or customized corporate wellness programs. Located at 407 Mill Street, the staff guides clients through their paces both in the gym and out on the nearby Portage Park District all-purpose trails.

The atmosphere created by Dr. Edie Benner, PhD, PT, OCS; Juli Robine, MPH, PTA, Lifestyle Coach; exercise instructor Samantha Montgomery; and billing manager Terrie Conrad is both highly professional and down-home friendly.

Take their annual Chili Cook-Off. This year, it will be March 21 following a 5-kilometer walk/run. Bring your pot of homemade chili to share and compete for prizes; or just bring $10 and your appetite. Call (330) 274-2747 for details.

Otherwise, benefit from the exercise equipment, a complete 60-minute fitness physical, lifestyle coaching, Weight Watchers, running analysis, workplace wellness programs tailor-made for your corporation, or various group classes. One-hour classes include circuit exercise, bootcamp, yoga, stretch & tone, or Silver Sneakers senior exercise class, which is available for free to seniors with qualifying Medicare coverage. Otherwise, general class fees are $48 for eight sessions or $10 per class for yoga.

Browse www.arhs.us or call (330) 274-2747 for further information.

Each of these three local fitness centers can help you get closer to your wellness goals with the extra format and built-in motivation that’s difficult to sustain if you simply resolve to get back on your basement treadmill or return to your favorite exercise DVD. Your challenge now is to find the one that suits your lifestyle and budget the best to make February your kickoff month for fitness.