Jazzercize Is Good For Guys Too

Yu Shing Ting
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Friday - May 30, 2007
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Two years ago Chad Lovell took his first Jazzercise class to support his mom, Patti White, who was the instructor.

Now, you’ll find him at the front of the class as the first male certified Jazzercise instructor in Hawaii.

“I used to be a competitive gymnast and played baseball, so when my mom was at Jazzercise I used to think that she wasn’t really working out,” says Lovell, 33. “My mom has a fear of public speaking, so originally I just wanted to support her and see her as an instructor. I thought I was in good shape, but after the class I thought, wow, this is a workout.”

Lovell ended up continuing the classes and in six months he lost 30 pounds.

“I lost the weight from going to Jazzercise and modifying my diet,” says Lovell, whose daytime job is a communications specialist for Kamehameha Schools. “I’ve always been involved with dance and I like the dance element of Jazzercise.

“I think there’s still that stereotype that Jazzercise is for your mother or grandmother, but it’s not. Our youngest student is 17, and our oldest is in her early 70s. I even have several men in my class, including a man in his 40s taking it with his daughter in her 20s.

Jazzercise is a dance fitness program for any age and any fitness level.”

Lovell received has certification in March and has been teaching Jazzercise for about a month.

White, 54, has been taking Jazzercise since 1986 and became an instructor in 1999.

“I feel that I’m a shy person but Jazzercise has brought out another side of me,” says White. “But Chad, he loves performing.

“For me, the reward I get from Jazzercise is my students, especially when they come up and say how much they love the class and see the results.”

According to White, the benefits of Jazzercise include cardiovascular fitness, strength training and muscle toning, an improved metabolism, increased energy, improved flexibility and balance, and an improved health and well-being.

Andrea Fukushima, 36, joined Jazzercise last August and credits it to helping her lose 20 pounds.

“I’ve been trying to lose weight for a long time,” she says. “I used to be active but then my life got busy and before I knew it I gained 30 to 40 pounds over my regular weight. I tried so many times to get back into a routine but I just never could stick to it.

“I took one Jazzercise class and found it fun. The music is fun and you’re focused on the moves and before you know it the class is done. I also like that it encompasses cardio, stretching and strength training.

“I lost the weight from a combination of Jazzercise and dieting. I would diet before, but I never had an exercise program I could stick with to go with the diet. Jazzercise really made me get into a routine and seeing the weight loss just motivated me more.”

Becky Arakawa decided to take a Jazzercise class after overhearing two ladies talk about it while waiting in line at a store.

“They were talking about how much fun it was,” she recalls. “I danced when I was a young child and worked out regularly. Then, I had kids and for 10 years I did nothing, and gradually I put on the weight.”

Arakawa has been taking Jazzercise for the last four years and says it has helped her to lose weight, gain energy and strengthen the muscles around her joints.

“Jazzercise is the perfect combination of exercise and music,” she says. “That’s my favorite part of it, the music and the mood. I always tell people that it brings out the inner diva in you because you can just let go and have a lot of fun. No one cares what you look like or what you wear.

“Jazzercise also allows me to eat the things I enjoy because it does work some of that off, and my family says I’m happier and in a better mood.”

There are about 20 Jazzercise locations on Oahu. Lovell’s classes are on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6 p.m. at Liholiho Elementary School in Kaimuki.

White teaches on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. at Maunawili Elementary, and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays (except the first Saturday of the month) at 8:45 a.m. at Niu Valley Middle School.

She also leads corporate classes for HMSA employees on Wednesdays at 6 a.m., and a Jazzercise Light class for senior citizens at Kahala Nui on Tuesdays and Fridays at 3 p.m.

Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program. For more information or for a complete listing of Jazzercise classes available, visit www.jazzercise.com

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