Shake it, work it, feel the burn

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Benjamin Kim
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
Loud, soul-shaking music reverberated throughout the room while crisp dance moves engulfed the dance floor and wet sheens of sweat glistened off attendees. The room boasted all the characteristics of a night club, but a second look revealed spandex, workout clothes and a well-lit gymnasium with an instructor leading the pack.

The Aderholt Fitness center held an Aerobathon to showcase various aerobic activities including popular exercises such as Zumba, salsa and hip-hop dance for men and women. The Hurlburt Field Weight-Warriors, Airmen in an eight-week physical fitness program, attended the event to spark a new year of fitness.

"It's 90 minutes of heart pounding, cardiovascular and sculpting exercises intended to give people a taste of what classes are offered out there and also to kick-off new year's resolution goals," said Karen Cataldo, Riptide Fitness Center Manager of 1st Special Operations Force Support Squadron.

The Weight Warriors program is a program designed to promote a healthy lifestyle with more than 70 members for the duration of this season.

"I'm here to support Weight Warriors and show them alternative ways of working out that are fun and how dancing can burn calories," Cataldo said.

A component of the Aerobathon consisted of Zumba for one main reason: it works, according to Capt. Latasha Westfall, a registered nurse for the Family Medicine Residency Clinic at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and fitness instructor for the Riptide Fitness Center.

"Before I entered the military I weighed 240 pounds, and I wanted to become active to get fit and healthy," Westfall said. "I heard about Zumba, took one class and I was hooked. I lost my first 50 pounds with Zumba, which made me more confident, and I felt amazing."

Westfall, enamored with Zumba, decided to become an instructor to spread the joy.

"I decided to become certified so that I could offer the same feeling to other people," Westfall said.

Zumba, as well as the other aerobic exercises presented at the Aerobathon, offered unique alternatives to seemingly run-of-the-mill physical training exercises in an attempt to motivate Airmen to stay in shape.

"Including physical fitness in their daily lives is the best way for our Airmen to avoid becoming deconditioned or stagnant," Westfall said. "Being healthy and having the desire to be fit should be the epitome of all Airmen."

At the end of the day, despite the sweat, pain and agony of a rigorous 90-minute aerobic exercise, men and women gleamed with glee from the variety of workouts.

"I think the most important key is to find something that is effective, fun and easy to fit into our busy schedules," Westfall said.

For more information on Weight Warriors program or upcoming events and activities, please visit or call 881-5121.