Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Zumba: Spicy, Sexy and a great Workout

Zumba participants enjoy the fun workout

   Turn up the Latin music, add nonstop rhythmic dance and you have one of the latest fitness inspired regimes that continues to sweep the world.
   Hilo, along with the rest of the planet, has been getting its hearts pumping to Zumba which mixes fast Latino beats with resistance training to spice up an hour’s worth of aerobic exercise.
Zumba classes are springing up all over the Big Island as people, both young and old, are motivated by the high energy music which brings together various dance styles from Salsa, to the Mambo, Calypso, Maringue and even the Cha-cha.
   “I love the music and I love to dance,” Zumba student Claire Shigeoka said. “The workout involves a bit of belly dancing with some great music and it makes me feel sexy when I’m doing it.”

Cheryl Cobile

   On this particular day the venue was Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium — not the usual Aunty Sally’s Luau House which was being used for a different event. But the dance instructors were still the same, with the upbeat Cheryl Cobile and Dawnelle Forsythe.
   “We’ve been leading Zumba classes in Hilo since April 6 of this year,” Cobile said. “Previously we were at the Prince Kuhio Plaza, but it had a capacity of 80 and we were turning 20 to 30 people away at every class.”
   Cobile and Forsythe then connected with the County to use Aunty Sally’s or the Civic every  Monday through Thursday, and they’ve averaged 130 to 160 participants at each class. Ages range from 10 to 80, according to Forsythe.
   “We once had a free friends and family night, and more than 400 people showed up,” a smiling Cobile said.  
   Both women are certified Zumba instructors and charge $4 at the door for an hour long lesson with anxious participants lining up at the entrance anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half in advance.
   Cobile works at Office Max in Hilo while Forsythe is employed by the County’s Housing Department.
   “I have three kids and one day last year I saw a sign at the YWCA offering Zumba classes,” Cobile said. “Once I took my first class, I was hooked as this is such a fun way to do a workout.”

Dawnelle Forsythe

Forsythe’s motivation for trying Zumba took a different curve as she was looking for a distraction from depression as a result of her developing thyroid cancer four years ago.  
“I was feeling very down and Zumba gave me my life back,” she said. “Just doing that workout for an hour made me feel free and took all thoughts away from my personal problems. I’ve been in remission but would still feel down until I began doing Zumba. It’s been years since I felt like myself and it’s been a blessing (discovering Zumba) in disguise.”

Robin Hoopii

First-time participant Robin Hoopii gave the fitness class a try Tuesday night.
“My daughter told me you just gotta go ma, but you’re gonna die!” she said with a giggle. “I love to dance so I thought I’d give it a try so that I can build up some energy and take off some weight.”
   Thank goodness Hoopii survived — and she plans on returning again for another lesson. The 45-year-old mother of five looked like she was having lots of fun in her first attempt at Zumba.

Joanne Vierra

Zumba regular Joanne Vierra, 54, joins the class three times a week and enjoys the feeling she gets from regular physical exercise.
“I just love doing it,” she said. “It makes me feel good. It’s not like normal exercise — this is way more fun.”
   Cobile and Forsythe believe that during a single Zumba lesson participants can burn, on average, 1,000 calories.

Byron Matthews

Not many men participate, but there are a few and some are regular members, like Byron Matthews who does all four days during the week.
   “I’ve been coming since May because it’s a lot of fun and a better cardio workout than most other activities,” Matthews said. “Guys might think it’s a real female thing, but it isn’t and they should come and check it out.”
   Matthews follows every Zumba class with an hour of weights in the gym and has high praise for the Zumba instructors.
“Cheryl and Dawnelle make us feel like family and they provide a very comfortable atmosphere,” he said.
“It’s a fun way to exercise and lose weight,” Cobile said. “We incorporate a variety of dance moves that also include rock and roll, and it’s nonstop.”
At Aunty Sally’s Luau House, or at the Civic, doors close at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Then the lights are turned off, laser lights are turned on, and the music is pumped up as more than a 100 happy participants jump, laugh, bend and stretch, all to a lively beat.
The Zumba interval cardiovascular training replaces swimming multiple laps in the pool, or running continuously around an oval track, under the guise of Latino style beats and fast-paced dance moves.
“I like to run but when I discovered Zumba about two years ago, I decided to cross-train using Zumba twice a week and running three times a week to maintain my fitness,” Shigeoka said. “Zumba is way more fun than running by myself and it keeps me motivated to keep coming back.”
Zumba got its start during the 1990s in Colombia, South America. Since that time, Zumba classes have sprung up around the world and the Big Island can now boast of having a Zumba class in just about every district of the Big Island.
   More than 7.5 million people worldwide participate in a Zumba class each week, according to www.zumba.com
Forsythe and Cobile will be holding a free “Zumba Friends and Family Night” during the third or fourth week of each month. They would like to encourage people to come and discover the benefits of the fitness dance.
   “We want to give back to the community and have decided to have a free class each month,” Forsythe said.
For more information, call Forsythe at 990-3995 or email me: forsythed001@hawaii.rr.com

July 25, 2010 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Never too Late to Start Exercising – Just ask Hilo’s Claire Shigeoka

Claire Shigeoka

It’s never too late to start a health and fitness routine.  Many studies show the benefits to seniors that were sedentary most of their lives and how, at an advanced age, they managed to improve on many areas of productive fitness.

   Research suggests that exercise and physical activity can help maintain or partly restore strength, flexibility, balance and endurance.

   Getting older doesn’t mean that we have to lose our ability to do everyday tasks.  Exercise is proven to help older adults feel better and enjoy life more, even those who think that they are too old or too out of shape.

   Growing up in Hilo, 57-year old Claire Shigeoka, can recall being bored as a child and longing for some playmates and activities that would keep her occupied.

  “I wanted to do age group swimming so badly, but my family only had one car and there was no way to get to and from this activity,” Shigeoka said.  Even if I could find the transportation my family lacked the financial resources to afford them.”

  As Shigeoka approached her 40th birthday she began to see the need to get physically active and joined a local gym and began to take aerobic classes.

  “I decided to make up for lost time and began to find various physical exercise routines that would make me feel great,” she said.

   “By the time I was 50, what I was doing for the past 10 years wasn’t doing anything for me,” Shigeoka said.  “So I thought I would shock my body by starting to run.”

   Seven years ago Shigeoka took the first steps in a life changing experience that not only shocked her body but shaped it into something she is now proud of.

   “I started running on the treadmill on my 50th birthday and very slowly worked up some mileage,” she said.  “I didn’t go out on the road until about eight months later and it took me about a full year to be able to run my first 5K (3.1-mile) race.”

   Shigeoka’s slow transition to running not only transformed her body, but gave her the confidence to participate with others in various road races around the island.

   “I was inspired by everyday women whom I found out did marathons and other races,” Shigeoka said.  “Since running my first 5K I’ve completed two marathons (26.2-miles) and a few half-marathons (13.1-miles).

   Shigeoka currently works at the University of Hawaii at Hilo where she is the Associate Director of Human Resources.

   “I oversee the day-to-day operations of the HR office where I review and audit personnel and position transactions,” she said.  “I’ve done HR work for the last 24 years both in the private sector and for the University.”

   Learning from her early “boring” days as a youngster Shigeoka has made time to insure that her own two daughters reap the value of sports participation.

   “My older daughter (28 years old) did age group swimming, and then swam for Waiakea High,” Shigeoka said.  “My younger daughter is in her second year of college and she did gymnastics from the time she was in kindergarten and was competitive until she graduated from high school.”

   Shigeoka now considers her fitness routine as being almost an obsession as the late bloomer tries to make up for lost time.

   “Right now my typical week would be running 9 to 12 miles on Sunday, run two evenings a week after work for an hour,” she said. “I have two hour long Zumba classes at the YWCA and one early morning workout session with a trainer at the gym.”

   Time permitting Shigeoka will also squeeze in another gym session, on her own, sometime during the week.

   Shigeoka claims that today her weakness comes from her diet and knowing this she has made some adjustments.

   “For many years I thought I could just exercise and eat whatever I wanted, but it just doesn’t work for me,” Shigeoka said.  “What I’m doing is what I’ve heard over the years; eat chicken and fish and keep the red meats to a minimum.”

   Another obstacle for Shigeoka is her lack of interest in eating fresh fruits.

   “I eat lot of vegetables, which is something I like, but find it hard to include fruits in my diet,” she said.  “I’ve cut out fried foods and will limit my sweets to special occasions.”

   Since Christmas, by watching what she eats, Shigeoka has managed to lose 10 pounds without needing to go on a “diet.”

   “It’s the sweets that have sabotaged me the most in the past,” Shigeoka said.  “By limiting them to special occasions it has helped me maintain a more desirable weight.”

   And why does Shigeoka keep running?  “Exercise makes me feel great,” she said.  “Running makes me feel young and energetic.  Often times when I do long runs, it’s a real struggle but when I’m done there’s a feeling of elation, of accomplishment.”

   Despite getting started late on health and fitness Shigeoka has managed to improve her health and increase her self-confidence in everything she does.

   “My fitness goals are to keep doing what I’m doing and running well into my 90’s,” Shigeoka said.

   Sharon Olds summarized people that get a late start on something best when she said, “I was a late bloomer.  But anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky.”

April 19, 2010 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Running on the Big Island | , , , | 5 Comments

Big Dog’s Valentine’s Day run/walk results

115 runners and walkers took part in the Big Dog's Valentine's Day event

pre race instuctions

BIG DOG’s Valentine’s Day 3.2-mile run/walk results

  1. Billy Barnett         17:33
  2. Chris Mosch         17:53
  3.  Jason Braswell    18:02
  4. Johan Dana          18:48
  5. Justin Pang          18:52
  6. Louie Perry          18:57
  7. Mike Daly             19:15
  8. Jomar Matias       19:45
  9. Bryce Harada        20:03
  10. Roycen Deymer   20:16    
  11. David Santiago     22:53
  12. Josh Stallsmith     23:01
  13. KC Stallsmith        23:02
  14. Melissa Braswell  23:17
  15. Dawn Velasquez 23:20
  16. Jarred Yates          23:36
  17. Arjun Clarry          23:43
  18. Isabel Camp         23:51
  19. Rick Camp            23:51
  20. Nick Mildon         24:02
  21. Katie Mennenga 24:02
  22. Eric Helmes          24:15
  23. Cameron Anderson 24:20
  24. Bill Hubbard        24:25
  25. Nina Caiserman   24:32
  26. Paul Booth           25:10
  27. Dena Rae              25:45
  28. Glen Ishii              25:53
  29. Esther Kanehailua 26:05
  30. Shea Pitoy             26:10
  31. Kelly Freitas        26:10
  32. Lisa Bryant         26:14
  33. Carla Marzi        26:38
  34. James Hank        26:45
  35. Big Dog               26:47
  36. Melissa Schad    26:54
  37. Joanne Pocsidio  27:12
  38. Lauren Pacheco   27:20
  39. Micah Kanehailua 27:31
  40. Missing                   27:32
  41. Toru Ikeda               27:45

  1. Andrew Misitano   27:55
  2. Gina McGuire          28:03
  3. Joel Trusdell            28:13
  4. Kiko Camp               28:14
  5. DJ Sekiya                  28:18
  6. Asia Addlesberger  28:33

Imelda Tamayo   28:36, Dawn Patterson       28:50,    Richard Kerr             29:51,    Pomai Evans-Baustista 29:56

Rachel Addlesberger  29:58,  Brie Corpuz                  30:09    Magnus Namohala-Roloos 30:40

Shawna Hank          31:16,   Rae Mori                  31:27,   Dave Adachi            31:32        Rudy Arzaga            31:33

Lynne Kiranka-Pitoy 31:45    Dale Sekiya         31:48     Gerard Callo       33:00      Marla Hank         33:17

Matt Lum             33:54     Richard Alderson 33:57    Brandon Morita   34:13     Mike Gleason      34:16

Joann Aurello      34:24   Aaron Morita      34:28     Amanda Zen       34:30      Marissa Salazar  34:58

Gina Durante      34:59    Joel Nathansen   35:55    Noemi Arzaga     35:55    Marissa Bryant-Manago 35:57

Jennifer Maninga  36:26   Claire Shigeoka     36:27     Calvin Pitoy           36:36      Misty Inouye         36:38

Scott Inouye          37:05     Joy Pollard           37:11     Micah Namohala   37:58       Florencio Guerpo    38:22

Kamalanai Kekuawa  38:38    Halia Evans-Bautsita  38:53     Noa Caiserman          38:54    Lorraine Hubbard     39:12

Loke Bautista             40:31    Kalei Namohala         40:37     John McGuire            40:37     Lois McGuire             40:38

Marie Kurimoto        40:39     Russell Hayashi          41:02    Mykelah Ojano-Daly 41:04    Rodney Aurello          41:11

Bryson Pavao            41:25     Virginia Alderson      41:31       Ashley Midel            42:22     Makamae Bautista   43:36

Cheryl Ostrowski  43:36     Jack Roney 43:53      Sharon Sekiya 46:02      Su Lambert 47:13

Debbie Namohala 48:43     Malcolm Maku Roloos 50:18     Betty Maku 50:25      Ariana Nussbaum 50:25

Randi Saplan 55:29      Kyle Saplan 56:17     Cindy Saplan 56:17    Eldon Lindsey 1:03:54

Mell nakao 1:03:54    Joy Nakao 1:05:15    Lorretta Nussbaul 1:05:59

February 14, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments