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[ By Elizabeth Brunetti ]

Whether you’re an Iron Girl with a wardrobe of spandex, a seasoned couch potato who hasn’t donned a sports bra in years – or even someone in between – chances are, one of your New Year’s resolutions is to achieve a fitness milestone. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to help you reach your exercise goals.get_fit2

Don’t give up on getting fit until you’ve tried working out with a personal trainer. After analyzing your needs, trainers at Fitness Together in Ellicott City will create a customized plan and coach you to your goal. Their newest program, Aspire 8 will take you through eight progressive phases over the course of a year, each one building on the last, and is designed to help you achieve your goals in 12 months. Just imagine being a new you by 2014!  fitnesstogether.com/ellicottcity

With four locations in Howard County and many others across the area, Curves is the definition of convenient. Business hours are tailored to meet the needs of busy working women, and exercises are designed to give you a full body circuit training workout in just 30 minutes. If weight loss is the goal, Curves Complete is a 90-day weight loss program, and the CurvesSmart key-card system keeps track of your progress and goals, just like a personal trainer would. Online support is available and membership includes a subscription to Diane magazine.  mycurves.com

If you think Jazzercise is as outdated as shoulder pads and feathered hair, think again. Jazzercise in Columbia remains as popular as ever, offering morning, evening and weekend classes that will fit your schedule. Low-impact classes are great for those with joint issues, and if want to ease into it, you can watch online videos of the workout moves to get an idea of what the classes are like.  jcls.jazzercise.com/facility/ jazzercise-columbia-fitness-center-6789

get_fit1The Columbia Association offers a wide variety of opportunities, from long-term programs to single-session classes, for you to integrate exercise into your life.

Fit Beginnings is a 60-day physician referral program (meaning you need a doctor’s approval) that is great for beginners. The goal of the program is to encourage you to make exercise a part of your everyday life. Participants meet in small group sessions with a fitness professional and consult with a Certified Nutrition Consultant – along with receiving access to CA’s fitness clubs and classes.

WINN is an eight-week program for adults ages 45 and older, focusing on age-appropriate issues and strategies. The program includes unlimited use of CA’s amenities along with five sessions with a personal WINN coach.

Biggest Winner is another eight-week program that involves teamwork. Participants form teams to decide on personal goals and work together to meet them. The teams meet for personal training sessions twice a week, as well as weekly health and fitness seminars and challenges – with prizes. Everyone’s a winner!

The CA also offers ongoing fitness classes throughout the year, including Zumba, Tae-Bo, yoga, Pilates and the cleverly named “WillPower and Grace.”  columbiaassociation.com

All you need to join Howard County Striders is a pair of running shoes, $15 (or $25 for the whole family, $6 for students), and a desire to put your feet to the pavement. The club is open to runners of all ages, fitness levels and running experience. The Striders sponsor runs throughout the year, from fun runs to more competitive events. Training programs are also offered for beginning runners. Check out Hibernation to 5k – a program that meets once a week beginning in February.  striders.net

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