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The best for instructing fitness, yoga classes
BEST--Tapia Pic
Keri Tapia – who was voted the best fitness instructor/personal trainer in the Best of Manteca on-line voting – looks over a Yoga website. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
It was shortly after Keri Tapia’s mother passed away that she really started to pay attention to fitness.

And ever she made that commitment to herself to do what she could to live a longer life she’s branched out to share that vision with other local people through a variety of classes ranging from aerobics to yoga.

The Second Harvest Food Bank program coordinator who spearheads her fitness routine on her spare time says she was shocked when she learned she was voted the best fitness instructor/personal trainer in the 2009 Best of Manteca awards that will be presented on Friday,  May 15,  at Manteca Trailer and Camper.

“My first reaction was one of shock because there could have been so many other deserving people who could have received that honor,” said Tapia – who now teaches a Yoga class at 24 Hour Fitness. “I was honored, but at the same time I was kind of floored that I was the one that people voted for.”

After making the decision to lead a healthier lifestyle and do what she can to prolong her own life, Tapia – a mother of two – started teaching a variety of fitness classes at local health clubs 12 years ago that ran the gamut from high-impact aerobics to standard yoga.

Naturally teaching the classes gives Tapia the chance to work on maintaining her own physical health, but she says that helping others understand the benefits of fitness or seeing them finally get something that they’ve been struggling with really makes the effort worthwhile.

“Going over things with people and explaining the techniques and why they work and how to do them so that you don’t injure yourself is what I enjoy about teaching,” she said. “I think that it’s important for people to get into a physical routine and to help them do that is rewarding.”

Even when she isn’t out in front of the class, Tapia can often be spotted taking a jog or doing something else to maintain her goal of doing something athletic at least five days a week.

Her favorite workout? A cross-training class that incorporate weights is what gets the self-professed “cardio junkie” really going. But for those who are intimidated about joining a gym or think that they’re too far gone to get into a normal rhythm, Tapia says that there are plenty of ways to slowly work into a schedule that works for you.

“I think the best thing for people to do is just to find something that they enjoy doing and sticking with that,” Tapia said. “Regardless of what it is, if you hate doing it then you aren’t going to stick with it and you’re just going to punish yourself.”