STEPHEN HEMELT — Stay true to yourself with exercise resolutions

Published 8:59 pm Saturday, December 28, 2019

We are mere days away from 2020.

Many of us in Port Arthur and Mid-County will likely take advantage of the calendar change to declare bold resolutions that usher in a new you for the New Year.

I don’t say that with a sense of mocking or cynicism. As a regular participant in resolution declarations, I realize many eventually fall by the wayside, but why the heck wouldn’t you attempt to live as the best version of yourself?

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For many, myself included, getting healthy in 2020 is a point of interest.

That can be difficult in a community that boasts as many hot donuts signs as ours does.

However, fear not good friends, we’ve seen another trend in 2019 that is already expanding into 2020: fitness options.

The health and fitness economy is booming as established businesses reinvest in their services while new operations come on board.

In fact, when speaking recently with Exygon Health and Fitness Club owner Travis Dugger, who has locations in Nederland and Beaumont, he shared plans to expand his brand by as many as three locations in the next five years.

As a leading force in the fitness scene, his vision speaks volumes about where our community is headed.

Fit Body focuses on intense weight loss results, quick 30-minute sessions and group atmosphere. 

Fit Body Boot Camp celebrated a Nederland ribbon cutting in November and is looking to make its mark locally.

Known for weight-loss results, 30-minute sessions and a group atmosphere, the workouts feature little to no equipment and welcome people from all backgrounds and stages of life by focusing on building lean muscle mass.

“The big difference between us and CrossFit is that we don’t do the big heavy Olympic lifting,” owner Brittany Marlatt told The News earlier this year. “Everything is fast paced. It has high intensity intervals designed to get the heart rate up and back down for an effective after burn.”

Another entry looking to add options to the fitness scene is HOTWORX.

Led by Nederland High graduates and siblings Walt Toler, Jill Lawrence and Pam Toler, they plan to open within 10 weeks in the shopping center behind The Schooner Restaurant.

Their unique approach includes virtually instructed exercise programs that implement the use of infrared heat and isometrics designed to flush toxins and burn calories.

Members exercise in a small group setting, doing most of the work in sauna-like pods to ramp up results while curtailing negative impacts.

Ann Hebert, owner and instructor of Jazzercise in Nederland, officially cuts the ribbon on her new business. 

Jazzercise celebrated a ribbon cutting at its Nederland gym Sept. 6.

Owner Ann Hebert told The News she offers an hour-long class that includes a warm up and cardio, and sets that are split between a dance-only option, strength or foot fusion, a combination of dance and strength.

“The biggest benefit for me is the stress release and energy it gives,” she said. “I’m not here to count your calories or watch every move you make. This is more of a relaxed environment.”

Whatever exercise or resolution path you choose, just make sure it’s about you. We live in a world where social media nearly took down the Peloton corporation for its holiday-themed exercise bike commercial.

The public response there was simple, although seemingly misdirected. This type of change and self-discovery can’t be forced; it must come natural.

I hope your resolutions match what’s in your heart, and if that means more exercise time, then we look forward to seeing more people in the gym.

Happy New Year.

Stephen Hemelt is publisher of The Port Arthur News. He can be reached at 409-721-2445 or