Cynthia Young was at Planet Fitness on Marginal Way in Portland bright and early Thursday, kick-starting 2015 with an hourlong gallop on an elliptical machine set at the highest level.

“It’s the same resolution I’ve made every year since I was about 40,” said Young, 50, a single mother who lives in Portland. “It’s part of an overall goal to eat right, exercise regularly and be healthy.”

Planet Fitness was busy Thursday morning as many Mainers started 2015 showing a commitment to staying or getting fit. While pledging to lose weight is the most common resolution, researchers at the University of Scranton found that only 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals, according to The Associated Press.

“People figure it’s New Year’s, I’m going to get healthy and start going to the gym,” said Ashley Hodge, manager of Planet Fitness. “Usually, it only lasts a few weeks.”

But for those who stick with it, regular exercise has plenty of health benefits beyond weight loss, including controlling or reducing symptoms of chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis, and preventing or recovering from injuries, Hodge said.

That’s one reason Rachel Fisk, 25, was at the gym on Thursday. She has had two knee injuries in recent years, so working out helps her cope with residual pain. But she recently started a new job, so her dedication to working out waned last year. Her boyfriend, Dan Rossi, has been encouraging her to resume a regular fitness routine.

“I used to be the fitness person in our relationship, but I’ve been struggling lately with fitting it into my schedule and getting motivated,” said Fisk, who is a unit marketing coordinator for Sodexo. “He’s been the one getting me up in the morning to come here. He’s the rock.”

Rossi, 26, was upstairs lifting weights while Fisk was on the mat doing leg lifts and other exercises. Her goal for 2015 is to hit the gym at least five days each week for a half-hour workout that starts on a cardio machine and features a full-body workout of stretching and muscle-strengthening exercises.

Mark Wakefield was at the gym when it opened at 5 a.m. Thursday, as he is at least four days each week.

“It’s my day off and I wanted to start the year off on the right foot,” said Wakefield, 55, who is single and works at McDonald’s in Westbrook.

Wakefield started exercising regularly in 2009 and saw his weight drop from 256 to 200. Now, he’s working on losing a few pounds that he’s gained back, and he urges others to get moving if they want to see similar results.

“Instead of staying home, doing nothing, you should get off the couch and get to a gym,” Wakefield said.

To be successful in keeping any New Year’s resolution, experts recommend setting realistic, attainable goals, seeking support from family and friends, joining a group, rewarding incremental progress and avoiding the common practice of quitting after one slip-up.

Family is a big part of what gets Young to the gym five days a week. Her 67-year-old mother, Thelma Jean, works out daily at home and her 18-year-old son, Jayvon Pitts-Young, is a Portland High School graduate and a freshman on a basketball scholarship at American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts.

“My mother has been a good example for me and I want to be a good example for my son,” said Young, who works as an American Sign Language interpreter.

Young, who had breast cancer in 2011, also sees herself as an example to others who have struggled with illness. On Thursday morning, wearing a T-shirt saying “Lazy But Talented,” she was barely breaking a sweat after 40 minutes on an elliptical machine.

“I’m here starting 2015 the right way,” she said, “writing the first page of the book for the whole year.”

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