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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, June 1, 2006

Jazzed about staying fit

How do you keep fit? Visit our discussion board to share health tips, diet secrets and physical activities that help you stay in shape.

By Zenaida Serrano
Advertiser Staff Writer

Tina Marie King takes a Jazzercise class that combines elements of dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga and kick-boxing.

Photos by JEFF WIDENER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Age: 29

Profession: student at Hawai'i Pacific University

Residence: Kailua

Height: 5-foot-2

Weight: 103

Stays in shape by: Jazzercise classes and walking

Fitness goal: "I have a small frame, and as I get older, bone loss can begin, even in younger women. Muscle mass is important to support the body, per my Jazzercise instructor. So I hope to gain more muscle and definition in my arms, abs, booty and back thighs. I want my arms to be defined, like Jada Pinkett Smith," King said, laughing.

Interesting fact: King was third runner-up in the 2005 Mrs. Hawai'i State Pageant and won the Mrs. Photogenic award.

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Tina Marie King

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Instructor Mary Anne Smith has taught Jazzercise for 17 years. She says the program challenges her body and never is boring.

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Tina Marie King made a commitment to weekly Jazzercise classes after she began feeling lethargic, achy and mildly depressed.

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When Tina Marie King needs a little motivation in her Jazzercise class, all she does is look around her.

"There are women who range in age from 20 to 80, women who have overcome health ailments or diseases, and women who just love working out," said King, 29, of Kailua. "(They) give me no excuse for living a sedentary lifestyle."

Jazzercise combines elements of dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga and kick-boxing to create a fitness regimen that can accommodate people of every age and fitness level, said Mary Anne Smith, King's Jazzercise instructor.

After 17 years of teaching Jazzercise, Smith still loves it. "It continues to challenge my mind and my body, and it is never boring."

King's mom introduced her to the dance-fitness program about five years ago.

"What keeps me going back to Jazzercise is the hip music, dance moves, weight training and target exercises," she said.

While King has been doing Jazzercise for several years, she didn't get serious about a weekly exercise routine until a few months ago.

"(Before) the commitment, I started to feel slightly depressed, lethargic, experienced dizziness, had trouble sleeping and felt achy," King said.

She saw her doctor, who ran tests and found everything to be normal, she said.

"I got alarmed and realized that I simply was not a spring chicken anymore," said King, who will turn 30 later this month.

King said she realized she needed to make the time to not only stay in shape, but to be disciplined and healthy mind, body and spirit.

"I want to be just plain healthy, then continually improve my natural energy level and stamina," she said.

When King isn't moving and grooving at Jazzercise class, she keeps busy as a student at Hawai'i Pacific University pursuing a bachelor's degree in human services with a concentration on nonprofit management and she sings on the New Hope Windward worship team.

King is married to Justin King, who serves in the U.S. Navy.

"In a year or so, my husband and I hope to start having children," King said. "I want to be a fit and healthy future mom."

When the time comes, King plans to add prenatal yoga and Baby Boot Camp to her fitness regimen, she said.

"I want to make the most of the life God has blessed me with," King said. "I also want to be at my best and be able to be there for my husband, family and friends for years to come."

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Workout habits: Jazzercise class three to four times a week. If King can't make it to a class, she takes a one- or two-mile neighborhood walk with her dogs, Tyra and Pono, or works out at home to DVDs  Jazzercise or "Urban Rebounding."

When and why I started working out: "I love to dance, and Jazzercise was a great way to dance and incorporate weight training and target exercises," King said. She started Jazzercise about 5 years ago, but didn't commit to a weekly exercise regimen until March.

Good foods/bad foods: King's healthy favorites include Oriental chicken salad and salmon. Her weaknesses are "coffee ice cream and occasional french fries," she said.

Biggest motivator: "My mom always reminded me to take care of my health and work out. She introduced me to Jazzercise. We used to go to classes together before she started teaching her own aerobics classes."

What saves my sanity: "Reading my Bible and praying, exercising regularly, eating right, getting enough sleep, and staying away from trans fat and foods that are not good for me."

Next challenge: "To become a Jazzercise or fitness instructor and help other people to stay fit and live healthy lifestyles."

Advice: Being young — in your 20s or 30s — shouldn't be an excuse to neglect your health, King said. Exercise and health should be top priorities.

"At any age, if you start to feel tired all the time, depressed, experience dizziness and have achy muscles, you may need to evaluate the kind of foods you eat, start to exercise regularly and make sure you are getting enough sleep," King said.

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Jazzercise is a comprehensive dance-fitness program designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength and flexibility, said Mary Anne Smith, a Jazzercise instructor and Hawai'i district trainer.

"As a (state Department of Education) teacher for over 23 years, I find Jazzercise to be a quality program or I wouldn't teach it or train others to be instructors," said Smith.

Among the benefits, Smith said:

• It never gets boring. Music is always fresh, and the routines change.

• Students can work out at their own pace and level of intensity, low-impact or high-impact.

• Students see their blood pressure decrease after a few weeks. They feel more energized and stronger. The weight-bearing exercise helps prevent osteoporosis.

• Jazzercise helps to relieve stress and promotes confidence. A stronger body goes arm-in-arm with a stronger mind.

• The interaction between instructor and student, as well as student to student, is what makes a class. There is a circle of energy that creates a feeling that touches one's soul. It feels spiritual.

• To learn more, visit www.jazzercise.com.

• For classes islandwide: Kane'ohe, 262-5576; Niu Valley and Kaimuki, 295-2289; Liliha and Nu'uanu, 375-4311; 'Aiea, 247-1904; Waikele, 674-1083; Moanalua and Salt Lake 455-5981; Mililani, 621-2482.

Reach Zenaida Serrano at zserrano@honoluluadvertiser.com.