South Florida starts the year on the right foot


Many South Florida residents embraced 2013 by starting to check off that annual to-do list

Eating healthier. Quitting smoking. Saving money. Common New Year’s resolutions, all.

But none may be more popular than the decision to hit the gym and finally get into shape.

Tuesday morning, Dana Todd and her mother, Donna Dardeen, signed up for the gym at the YMCA in their Pembroke Pines neighborhood, where a Zumba class with 130 people was in full swing.

Todd had already lost 25 pounds since she started dieting in September. But the new year inspired her to add exercise to her routine.

“I’ve been lazy, but no more,” said Todd, 31, who hopes to lose another 50 pounds. “Now is the time to do it.”

The decision to get into shape is logical, particularly after the overeating and indulgence of the holiday season.

“I ate too much and I need to exercise,” said Maria Rose Heggins Fallon, who is competing with her husband to see who will be the first to lose the weight they gained from a holiday cruise. “I am going to beat him. I want to lose 10 pounds in one month so I will be serious.”

Aside from the usual self-improvement vows, some people strolling down Lincoln Road on Miami Beach Sunday morning had more original resolutions in mind.

Sol Genet, 37, of Miami Beach says he has resolved “to boycott all forms of voting until Congress gets their act together. Until then, I’m sitting politics out.”

Aviva Raucher, 24, who was visiting from Connecticut, says she has vowed to “do one good deed a day, every day.” Her first? Leaving an extra fat tip at the restaurant where she had brunch.

Rodrigo Najar, 43, from Brazil, was in the middle of a jaunt through Florida, from Orlando to Key West, with his wife and two teenage kids.

“We usually take three trips a year, but I want to make it five this year and see more of the world with my family.”

The most philosophical resolution of the day, though, came from Julie Glasgow, 50, of Miami.

“I’m going to treat every day as if it were Jan. 1. You can start fresh every morning. Why wait until the beginning of the year to change and improve your life?”

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