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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, November 29, 2004

Age just a number for active Isle executive

By Paula Rath
Advertiser Staff Writer

Although Ruth Limtiaco turned 60 on Nov. 19, the celebrants at her party could not believe that number. The busy business owner has made fitness a top priority in recent years — and it shows.

Ruth Limtiaco, shown with personal trainer Mike Sapp, says she will be diving in Palau and Samoa by the end of the year.

Deborah Booker • The Honolulu Advertiser

She is at the peak of fitness, having recently completed a mountain-climbing vacation in the Alps. She is planning more international treks while maintaining a rigorous training schedule at home and with a personal trainer at Gold's Gym.

Name: Ruth Limtiaco

Age: 60

Profession: President, The Limtiaco Company, public relations

Height: 5 feet 2

Weight: 119

Workout habits: "Once a week, I do a hard, full-body training session with professional trainer Mike Sapp. Three times a week, I train in my own gym. I try to work in something cardiovascular on the other days. I like to keep moving. Hiking is a frequent diversion."

When and why I started working out: "One day I looked at an ideal weight-height chart, and I had an unpleasant epiphany. I decided that the only solution was to decrease the intake and increase the output; so I cut way down on food quantity and started a workout routine immediately.

"More recently, I decided I needed extra training for a hiking excursion I was planning in the Swiss Alps. I was concerned about good performance at high altitude. In fact, I was so anxious about failing in full view of more experienced hikers that I almost canceled the trip. That's when I signed on with Mike Sapp. I read a piece about his training programs for corporate executives and decided his approach would be good for me. In other words, (he's) a no-nonsense person whom I can't look in the eye and lie to! Bottom line: He improved not just my workouts but my diet and habits. And I was scampering around like a mountain goat in front of everybody else on the Alpine trek."

My good foods/bad foods: "I toe the line pretty well — fruits, lean meat, salads. No alcohol during the week (OK, sometimes I cheat). Bad foods — there are no bad foods. Only bad habits."

My biggest motivator: "The mirror ... Mike Sapp ... and The Stones blaring on my I-pod. My last fitness performance test put me at an age of 24. Maybe I can work that down to 20."

My biggest roadblock to fitness: "Pretty much everyone's refrain — carving out the time. I've been known to pop into my gym at 9 p.m., though. If that's the best time to fit it in, why not?"

What saves my sanity: "An incredible staff at my company who enable me to have time for myself to devote to fitness ... and two golden retrievers!"

My next challenge: "It's a trek somewhere. I'm looking at New Zealand or the Himalayas. Meantime, I'll be diving in Palau and Samoa before the end of this year."

Advice for those in the same boat: "It is just amazing what happens when you allow yourself to try something that you think is too hard for you. With proper coaching and preparation, you, too, can be a mountain goat!"