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Igniting passion for exercise brings joy to instructor's heart

Noriko Kawaguchi

Igniting a fiery passion for lifelong exercise brings bliss to fitness instructor Noriko Kawaguchi’s heart.

“It’s really exciting. It brings joy to my heart to see people catch fire with it and want to progress and want to do more,” she said.

About 10 years ago Kawaguchi became a certified fitness instructor and personal trainer; she’s also a certified yoga instructor. She currently teaches courses through Nanaimo parks, recreation and culture and enjoys sharing the journey with her students, seeing them get excited about exercise.

She takes a more relaxed approach to her classes

“My motto in class is no pain – period,” said Kawaguchi.

Tailoring exercises to people’s abilities is important for her. She’s worked with people of all different fitness levels and even some who were fearful of trying new things because of injuries.

“I will find something that you can do,”  she said. “I don’t focus on what you can’t do because of physical limitations, I look for things that you can do.”

Exercise is an important component to daily living and disease prevention, so Kawaguchi encourages people to try different classes to discover an activity that will become part of their routine.

“I believe that fitness is the Fountain of Youth,” she said.” Keeping strength, flexibility and cardio levels up is important to staying active in a person’s later years.”

Kawaguchi’s love of fitness started with the aerobics fad.

She thought it was fun and began to weight train as well. Becoming a fitness instructor was a natural progression of where she wanted to go in her own fitness.

She currently teaches Gentle Fit, Gentle Core and Stretch and Strictly Toning Express classes. While they end in early June, she’ll lead more in September and encourages people to check out the leisure guide for fall activities that comes out this summer.

Gentle Fit is for all fitness levels – from people are starting an exercise routine or have been in an accident, to those who regularly exercise.

The course focuses on adults who have a sedentary lifestyle and includes a large portion of exercise ball work and light gentle movements that improve strength and flexibility.

The Gentle Core and Stretch focuses on strengthening core muscles, improving endurance and flexibility. Strictly Toning Express also works the core muscle groups.

Classes incorporate a variety of equipment such as exercise balls, toning bands and free weights. Kawaguchi also uses yoga in her classes to encourage flexibility.

For more information on Parks, Recreation and Culture classes offered please go to or check out the leisure guide.



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