The manager at Push Fitness in Thunder Bay would like to see parents and schools emphasize fitness for children, long before they're old enough to join a gym.

A Thunder Bay gym manager says it's good to see adults making New Year's resolutions to get fit.

But Jenn Poirier, who is also a physical education teacher, said she wants to see more emphasis on children's fitness in Thunder Bay. Parents and elementary schools need to foster that interest early, she added.

"You know, if you look around the city you're going to see a lot fewer playgrounds than you used to see in the past," Poirier said.

"And the playground is exactly where kids should be starting getting into fitness.  I mean the monkey bars and the rings and things like that are probably better than any machine that you'll find in a gym."

When it comes to kids, she noted that "you don't want to bring them to a gym and force them to run on a treadmill."

That's why she said she believes playgrounds — as well as physical education in schools — are vital to helping children grow up to be healthy adults. 

"Just learning how to be active and how to use your body as your primary tool is something that is super important for kids to learn," she said.

Poirier said parents' attitudes about exercise sets an important example for children. She also noted that adults who start an exercise routine should set realistic goals.

"So if ... people start out a little bit too ambitiously and end up having to take a few extra days of recovery, it's really difficult to get into a good routine," Poirier said.

"So my recommendation is … to set goals that are actually attainable ... don't tell yourself to come in five-days-a-week and expect that you're going to be able to maintain that after not doing anything."

Poirier said it takes about three weeks to make regular fitness a lasting habit.