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Gyms Prepare For Membership Rush At New Year’s

(credit: HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 12/30/11 10:46 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — If you’re like a lot of people, you may be resolving to get fit and lose some pounds in the new year.

WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya has some tips for helping to ensure you’re successful.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

Jim Goudos knows there will be large numbers of people signing up in the next couple of weeks at the Charter Fitness he manages in the Beverly neighborhood.

“It’s definitely our biggest time of the season – huge flux in membership, huge number of people trying to get fit,” Goudos said.

He says not to expect quick, dramatic results.

“You have to think realistically and safely – a pound or two pounds of fat loss a week,” Goudos said.

Goudos also emphasized that training alone will not be enough.

“Basically, you start slow. Diet’s huge, you know – you want to see your goals, don’t eat fast food every day, and then just get in here and put in the work, three times a week, at least,” Goudos said.

Persistence can pay off in a big way, Goudos added.

“I’ve seen people lose 60 pounds over the course of six months,” he said.

Brian Friend was doing strength training when we caught up with him. He has some advice for getting and staying fit.

“Stay at it – just try and stay consistent and work year-round,” he said.

Added fellow gym member George Lynch, “In order to start getting fit, I think you need to start eating healthier.”

And Pam Ahern is a very fit 54-year-old grandmother. She has worked out for decades, and just started running at the age of 50.

“I always set goals for myself – I’d like to do a half (marathon) next year, that’s my goal for next year. I’ve done two triathlons, and there’s always something around the corner,” she said. “You’re never too old to start to be fit. Never, never, never.”