Making fitness a family priority in the new year

At least four days a week you can find three generations of the Wilkerson family working out together. (SBG Photo)

It's a new year and that means many people have their sights set on getting healthy and in shape for 2018, but statistics show only 30 percent of people follow through with their fitness resolution over a 12-month period.

One major factor that can help you beat the odds in your quest for a better lifestyle: getting the whole family involved.

Today's Sinclair Cares report is brought to you by South Texas Medical Center.

Pushing yourself to start a workout program and stick with it can seem overwhelming for a lot of Americans, but Connie Wilkerson said the key for her was making it not a personal priority but a family one.

"My husband and I had different things that we did - but nothing together - and this was something that we could come and do together and then my son comes now and my husband's aunt has actually joined us as well," Connie Wilkerson said.

At least four days a week you can find three generations of the Wilkerson family working out together.

"I probably wouldn't have kept coming if it hadn't been for the two of us doing it together," Connie Wilkerson said.

"And we're living proof of that and once you start seeing results you feel better and it gets fun and you have something to talk about at home," said husband George Wilkerson.

"But just seeing them, they lost a lot of weight and got in shape quick and it just kind of got me involved naturally really," Connie's son Aaron Wilkerson said.

"I'm 71 and I've never done exercise at all but I started coming to the gym and the weight started coming off, and I started getting stronger and I can do things I haven't been able to do for years," Linda Jones, who is George's aunt, said.

Gym owner and personal trainer Jeff Lawrence said every year he see's people join his gym in January and disappear by March, but when families join together he said the memberships are renewed year after year.

"Anytime you do it as a group you know you've got some accountability," Lawrence said.

Connie Wilkerson started her fitness journey in 2015.

"She's taught them how to eat, she got them involved in coming to the gym and once you see some results it makes you want to do more and so they've all seen results and it's kept them motivated," Lawrence said.

"When everybody's on the same kind of diet plan then it works, so yeah, I'd encourage people to really start thinking about doing it together," George Wilkerson said.

"I probably wouldn't do it otherwise, it's so much fun because I enjoy being here with them," Jones said.

Need more proof that working out as a family helps?

The Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University surveyed married couples who joined health clubs together and found that couples who worked out separately had a 43 percent dropout rate over the course of a year. Those who went to the gym together, had only a 6.3 percent dropout rate.

And there's good news - many health and fitness clubs offer family discounts as promotions for the new year.

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