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Body Fit delivers high-octane boost

By Nancy Arcayna

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 08:40 p.m. HST, May 18, 2011

Craig T. Kojima / ckojima@staradvertiser.comKevin Aboud works out during Body Fit Boot Camp. Classes are held on the grassy area in Kapiolani Park across from the large water fountain.

Sweaty and a little achy describes how I felt after attending Body Fit Boot Camp's interval training session, held outdoors at Kapiolani Park. This was definitely not a military-style boot camp, but provided a motivational setting to push yourself beyond your personal limits. The exercises help to burn calories, build strength and endurance, and tone the body.

BODY FIT BOOT CAMP WITH MARIA BERNARDO

>> Where: Kapiolani Park, near the water fountain
>> When: 8:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday; 6 p.m. Monday, Thursday
>> Fee: $10 suggested; $15 for combined boot camp and stretching sessions; Saturday classes free to first-timers
>> Info: 426-8128

The session began with a 10-minute warmup that included stretches and simple exercises to get your body moving. I could feel the burn before we even started the "real" workout. The lively music helped keep us going, though.

During the class, we were led through a series of exercises that included squats, pushups and lunges. That was followed by circuit training, where participants ran or did lunges to different coned areas to perform designated activities, from squats and jumping jacks to resistance exercises. The class, led by personal trainer Maria Bernardo of Fitness Solutions, offered modifications to suit participants' fitness levels. I opted to do the low-impact workout. For example, instead of jogging, I did lunges across the field to get to the next circuit. Resistance bands are used for some exercises, such as bicep curls."Every class routine is different to ensure your body never gets bored and you're constantly seeing new results and changes," Bernardo said. Kate Chaplin, a 23-year-old from Kaimuki, agreed. "Every workout is different, so my body and mind are constantly being stimulated and challenged. Maria motivates us to push a little further so that we can all reach our fitness goals. Before you know it, you're feeling stronger and quicker" she said.

"Every class is high-energy, fun-spirited, and a butt-kicking workout," added 23-year-old Honolulu resident Julia Siljestrom, another class participant. "Anytime it does start to burn, we just belt out a tune or dance move."

A body measurement analysis is performed once a month. Siljestrom lost 6 inches in one month. Bernardo, a certified nutrition coach, also provides meal plans. Class ended with an abdominal workout and some stretching that was similar to yoga. I could definitely feel the workout a couple of days later. It's a fun, upbeat class and I'd definitely go again.

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"Be Well" features inspiring stories of people dealing with health challenges. Reach Nancy Arcayna at narcayna@staradvertiser.com or call 529-4808.






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