SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Gyms are extra busy this month with people making plans for a healthier new year, but the inflated numbers generally drop off significantly after the first few months of the year.
One Coast woman has learned to make it a year round commitment, proving it's never too late to get started on a healthier you.
Like so many people, Emily Buntyn leads a busy life. She works full time at a dental office but still finds time to get to the gym five days a week.
"I feel so much better when I work out," Buntyn said.
Buntyn says she decided ten years ago to make fitness a priority rather than an option.
"I started working out with a trainer, committed to it and I'm really in the best shape of my life," said Buntyn.
In fact, Buntyn says she's in better shape in her 60s than she was in her 20s.
"Chronologically, my birth certificate says one thing, but I feel like I'm half the age of my birth certificate. I think it's because of working out and staying active," said Buntyn.
Her trainer at Bayou View Fitness, Philip Medina, says staying active is the key to staying young.
"Exercise can not only stop the clock, it can roll it back," said Medina.
Buntyn definitely works at staying fit. She has three personal training sessions a week and works on her cardio several times a week.
Before she changed her lifestyle ten years ago, she was a yo-yo dieter; gaining and losing. But since she committed to her workouts, she has lost thirty pounds and kept it off.
One of her secrets: She believes strongly in stepping on the scales every day.
"It makes sense to me to keep up with it daily. If you don't look at the scale, you're in denial," said Buntyn.
Medina says one major key to success is you have to pick a plan that works for you and make it convenient and consistent. He says the dividends will pay off no matter when you start.
"As you get older, your energy level decreases due to chemical changes in the body. Those changes reverse when you exercise, so the more you come to the gym, the less you age internally and externally," said Medina.