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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 23, 2006

Movin' to the groove

By Zenaida Serrano
Advertiser Staff Writer

Entertainer Marlene Baldueza works out during her advanced dance and step aerobics class at the Hawaii Athletic Club.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Age: 29

Profession: Baldueza, who was in the all-girl singing group Forté, is a professional entertainer who performs at shows and functions statewide. Baldueza also is the owner of a wireless service company, ProComm Wireless.

Residence: Honolulu

Height: 5-foot-3

Weight: 120 pounds

Stays in shape by: Weight training at the Hawaii Athletic Club with her trainer Lee-Ann Kapiioho Sagum; doing basic and step aerobics; using PACE hydraulic exercise machines and an elliptical cross-trainer; and following a sensible diet.

Fitness goal: "I'm always on the quest to tone up and lose those last stubborn pounds." Baldueza's ideal weight is 115 pounds.

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Marlene Baldueza

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Step aerobics help Marlene Baldueza build coordination and get a cardiovascular workout while avoiding boring exercise routines.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Among the biggest workout motivators for professional entertainer and singer Marlene Baldueza:

"Being able to rock those tight jeans," said the Honolulu resident, 29.

That, and the fact that Baldueza is nearing "the Big 3-0" and staying in shape is no longer as easy as it used to be, she said.

"In the last couple of years, I've noticed that I've had to work harder, and it takes me longer to achieve the same results," she said. "It's something that I have to focus on and dedicate time to."

Baldueza has always made health and fitness a priority in her life. As a performer, Baldueza knows that working out means looking good and being able to keep up with high-energy shows.

At 18, she became a member of Forté, a pop foursome that entertained locally and nationally for more than nine years.

"I think especially because we were in a female group, (image) was more important because we had to have a certain look," Baldueza said. "It was more critical for us."

The Forté members are no longer performing together — two of the women live on the Mainland and another is a mommy of two — but back in the day, exercising was just part of the job.

"We had a lot of choreography rehearsals, a lot of dance practices and we performed so many times a week that that was the workout for us," Baldueza said. "Our shows were so dance-oriented that it actually kept us in shape."

These days Baldueza, who also owns her own wireless service business, has to pencil in workout days on her calendar to help her stick to a fitness routine.

"I'm always on the run," she said.

A member of the Hawaii Athletic Club, Baldueza weight-trains with a personal fitness trainer and takes advanced dance/step aerobics classes, among other activities.

Working out provides stress relief from her hectic work schedule, and it helps tackle those problem areas shared by many women.

"I think I have a big butt and big thighs, so those are always going to be my areas that I hate," Baldueza said and laughed.

Baldueza recently got engaged to Elan Markos, a music producer and financial adviser. The couple hasn't set a date for the special day, but it's yet another big workout motivator for Baldueza.

"So I guess probably in the future one of my goals would be to get to my ideal weight (115 pounds) for the wedding, like every bride," she said.

• • •


If you're in search of a workout that doesn't seem like much "work," consider step aerobics, suggests Lee-Ann Kapiioho Sagum, a trainer at the Hawaii Athletic Club.

"It is a lot of fun," Sagum said. "You can include your friends and the weather is never an issue."

Sagum shares other benefits of step aerobics:

  • It's a good ice breaker. "It helps people to get their bodies used to coming to a club and working out on a daily or weekly schedule."
  • It's a great cardiovascular workout. "Some people get bored by just walking on the treadmill or riding a bike. This allows a variety of ways to get your cardio workout done."
  • Multiple muscle groups come into play. "People tend to learn a lot in these classes, (such as) the movements that they may use in the weight rooms. So, many times when someone is committed to aerobics and wants to get into the weight room, it's usually a little easier to teach that person to do resistance training because they are familiar with some exercises."
  • Builds coordination. "Step aerobic instructors offer different levels, which usually means that their choreography is either easy or difficult. If you have never tried step aerobics, try the basic or easier one, then you can always work your way up."

If you're interested in taking a step aerobics class, contact the Hawaii Athletic Club at 537-1131, look for classes offered at your neighborhood community center, or try your local gym.

— Zenaida Serrano

• • •


Workout habits: "Weight training or PACE (hydraulic exercise machines) once or twice a week, along with doing the elliptical cross-trainer for 30 to 45 minutes at the Hawaii Athletic Club. If I can't get to the gym for classes, I do aerobics at home to my 'Slim in 6' DVDs."

When and why I started working out: "Being in the entertainment industry for the past 10 years, I've always had to be conscious of my physical appearance."

Good foods/bad foods: "My good foods include protein and veggies, especially salmon, nonfat dairy and whole grains, brown rice, salads, protein drinks and sugar-free everything. I generally follow the rules of food-combining of Somersizing and the South Beach diets. Normally when I eat alone, I eat healthy, but for social gatherings and special occasions, I allow cheat days. My bad foods include pizza, teri-burgers, fries, pasta, chips and desserts."

Biggest motivator: "Now that I'm reaching the big 3-0, staying in shape and having a long, healthy life is a huge motivating factor. It gives me energy and helps reduce the everyday stress. Also, looking and feeling good is always a plus."

What saves my sanity: "Knowing that keeping in shape and staying healthy is part of my entertainment profession. Not only is physical appearance important, but so is having the stamina to do a three-hour, high-energy show. The constant encouragement and kudos I get from my fiance, Elan (Markos), are a big plus. I also reward myself on occasion by treating myself to a relaxing massage or some new clothes."

Next challenge: "I'm not a really sportsy or outdoorsy person, so my next challenge is to find a cute outfit, buy a racquet and learn how to play tennis. This is so I can hang with my fiance and the 'big boys.' I have stamina when it comes to cardio and aerobics, but the challenge is to translate that to a sport."

Advice for those in the same boat: "For those people who have a hectic schedule like mine, it's really hard to find time to work out. Personally, I find that I'm able to stick to a fitness regimen when I mark it in my calendar, that way I make sure I do it. I also recommend reading books and articles about eating healthy, and checking the ingredient labels when buying food. Most of all, do it for yourself and do what works for you."

Reach Zenaida Serrano at zserrano@honoluluadvertiser.com.