Now that the holiday season is over and Turduckens once again roam the earth as three separate animals, the mind is free to realize it’s a new year! Again. In 2009, why not take some time to appreciate a gift just for you – the gift of fitness!

Resolve to look good, feel good and be healthier with a gym membership or, better yet, the services of a personal trainer. Training fees, which vary from trainer to trainer, can run anywhere from $40 to $100 per session. It might be a good idea to just give one session and let the person decide if he or she would like to continue with more.

If you want to start small, return an unwanted holiday sweater in favor of a set of resistance bands, a jump rope, dumbbells, a fitness ball or home collection of exercise videos. All these delights can be found for $30, or less! If you want to jump right into the deep end, commit to fitness with a larger purchase, such as a treadmill, bicycle or yoga kit. (Those yoga stretches might even give you an upper hand once bead-tossing begins in February.)

For you tech lovers, there are countless gadgets out on the market to enhance your overall fitness experience. A heart rate monitor or space-age pedometer can get you techies off the couch and jogging into 2009 in style.

Speaking of space-age, the Accufitness Hydryx Workout Towel fits the bill. This towel absorbs sweat and cools you down after a workout; the 26-by-17-inch towel can even be used for first aid and heat-stroke prevention.

Another current obsession, the Wii Fit, is revolutionizing the way Americans view exercise. Gamers can get their hearts pumping while satiating their love of bright colors and blinking lights. And, since it’s after the holiday gift rush, you should be able to find bargains galore. Post-holiday shoppers, toss out the tinsel and tell Santa to scoot – it’s 2009 and it’s time to get back in shape!

Billy Katz and Hudson Ellis are the co-owners of Simply Fit gyms,
located throughout the New Orleans area. Please email your health and fitness questions