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New center boosts student fitness


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POSTED: Monday, October 27, 2008

Moanalua High School's physical education students arrived on campus this year to an eye-catching treat: the school's new $300,000 fitness center.

The center was built using funds from a two-year federal Carol White Physical Education Program grant, according to Moanalua High School Athletic Director Joel Kawachi. Construction began near the end of last school year and was completed over the summer.

The facility, located on the first floor of the gym where the weight room used to be, is filled with several high-tech machines such as Precor treadmills, stationary bicycles and elliptical machines, as well as weights, medicine balls and even yoga mats. A cool thing about the cardio machines is that most of them have “;cardio theater,”; small TV screens, attached to them, so students can watch MTV hits and still burn calories. Mirrors line three of the walls of the room. Three flat-screen TVs will help the teachers instruct their classes.

“;Right now the fitness center is used by most ninth- and 10th-grade PE classes, as the curriculum is focused on lifetime fitness,”; Health/PE Department Chairman Joshua Suapaia said.

Each participating class goes to the center once a week, with the rest of the week devoted to other physical activities, he said. Every student is given a heart-rate monitor and is given a heart-rate goal—a “;zone time.”; Students track their progress on the computers in the room. The school will submit the information to the federal grant program as part of their data report.

Sophomore Larry Renas said he likes the new facility because of the variety of machines available. He also likes the heart monitor program.

“;I put more effort into my workout if I see my heart rate go down,”; he said.

Outside of the PE classes, Suapaia said he has begun an after-school fitness class called “;25th Hour,”; where students can “;use the fitness center and heart-rate monitors to improve their fitness level, learn fitness concepts and earn a half elective credit.”; Suapaia said he currently has 10 students involved with the program.

“;My faculty fitness program is still kicking, too,”; Suapaia said. He opens the fitness center early in the mornings for teachers and staff members who want to exercise before the school day begins. “;I have a few die-hards and some who fit it in when they can. It's easier to get them in now (as opposed to the former weight room) with all of the wonderful equipment they can use.”;