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All in a Day's Workout

Despite busy schedules, some business people still find time to exercise. Six of them share their secrets.

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Ruby Alvarez, 56
executive manager, Batesville Logistics

At Batesville, a casket-making company in Kalihi, half a dozen employees gather daily before 6 a.m. to stretch and playfully compete with five-pound hula hoops.

Leading the exercises is Ruby Alvarez, who runs 10 miles and lifts weights three times a week. “We compete to see who can do the hula hoop the longest – it’s hilarious to watch,” she says.

Alvarez, who works from 4 to 11 a.m., exercises solo at home in the afternoon before meeting the North Shore Canoe Club for paddling practice. The group paddles from Haleiwa to Waimea every other day, and from Haleiwa to Turtle Bay on weekends.

Her motivational secret is to surround herself with physically fit people her own age. At the Queen Liliuokalani Long Distance Canoe Race Classic in September, she was inspired by a 78-year-old woman who completed the 18-mile trek from Kona’s Kailua Bay to Honaunau.

“I don’t want to be one of those elderly people who gets weaker and older because they don’t take care of their bodies,” she says.

Richard Ho, 41
procurement manager, Chevron Hawaii

In February, Richard Ho organized a day of racquetball, kickboxing and foam-roller exercises at the Honolulu Club for the 10 employees who report to him at Chevron Hawaii.

The group has lost a total of 200 pounds since then. “I’m grateful because you can’t tell people what to do, they have to do it for themselves,” says Ho, who began exercising again in February after six inactive years. “They haven’t been sick in months and have higher energy levels.”

Ho’s workouts consist of 45 minutes of intensive boxing on punching bags, followed by spinning and jiu jitsu four times a week. He leaves Chevron’s Kapolei office by 6 p.m., arrives at the Honolulu Club before 7 and is usually finished by 10:30 p.m.

“I used to train every day, but my wife [Mabel] asked me to commit to a shorter schedule,” says the father of two children, ages 13 and 9.

The fruits of his labor are impressive. In addition to 30 lost pounds, Ho’s blood pressure is down by 28 points, and his total cholesterol is down by 62 points. “My doctor was about to put me on cholesterol-reduction medication,” he says.

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