For Marianne Baker, fitness and philanthropy go hand in hand. As a certified exercise leader (ACSM), personal trainer, choreographer and the director of group exercise for the Concourse Athletic Club, she is passionate about helping people achieve their fitness goals. She also uses her position to raise awareness for charity organizations that are close to her heart such as Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure, and Toys For Tots with the U.S. Marines. "I really enjoy working with groups that help so many people in so many ways," she says. Beyond teaching Zumba, QiFORZE, TurboKick and other fitness classes, her private company, GroupEx Divas, certifies other wellness professionals all across the U.S. "I want to reach as many people as I can with the benefit of being dedicated to a fitness lifestyle," she says. And it seems she is well on her way to doing just that.
What is your favorite thing about leading a fitness class?
My favorite class is QiFORZE. It is a motivating muscular strength and endurance class that targets every muscle with unique movement patterns. QiFORZE has the fun and sizzle of a cardio class, but it is strength training and suitable for most people of all age groups. All the music is original and composed by multi Grammy award-winning artist Kike Santander. The class has amazing one-of-a- kind movement patterns and original, awesome music. It is also fun, challenging and body changing!
How do you balance home life and work?
When I am at work I focus on key priorities for my job and then have the exact same kind of focus on the personal priorities at home. I give my home life my undivided attention.
Do you have any new projects coming up?
I am developing choreography for QiGNITION (funded by Carlos Slim, ranked by Forbes as the richest man in the world) and the DVDs will launch on television in Central and South America in Q3, then in the U.S. market in Q1, 2014. We will develop and launch new content every quarter.
Becoming a Kilgore College Rangerette and Lieutenant in 1977 through 1979. This is a famous Texas-based college dance line, and it has set the stage for the accomplishments in my adult career.
Best surefire mood booster
Great dinner with friends on our patio.
Best place to vacation
Hilton Head Island.
Best guilty pleasure
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
Working almost exclusively on certifying new instructors and developing choreography for TV and web-based exercise programs. The management team at the Concourse Athletic Club has been very supportive and helpful in all my professional and personal endeavors. I also have the privilege of working with exercise professionals at the absolute top of their profession.
Best advice you'd give your 20-something self about staying healthy
To set common-sense health and fitness goals, then follow a consistent program to meet those goals.