The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: Take a Walk

Finding a local walking group can help you get in shape while connecting you with your surroundings.

Medically reviewed in July 2022

Bettina Mok works from home. Most days, she doesn’t have a reason to leave her apartment. Some days, she doesn’t see anyone at all. So when Blue Zones Project® set up a Walking Moai in her neighborhood, she knew she had to join. The four M’s (Manoa-Makiki-McCully-Moiliili) Walking Moai was just the reason she needed to get moving and meet some of her neighbors while she was at it.

"Each week, we pick a different route,” says Mok. “We’ve been on forested trails, historic neighborhood walks, and what’s turned out to be a favorite destination—local cemeteries, full of history, leafy foliage, and peaceful views!"

Two months later, Mok walks an average of 1.6 miles every Thursday. She’s made good friends through the group along with connections in her neighborhood. The group has shared firsts, birthdays and experiences that brought them closer.

"One member had never heard wind through the trees before our walk up in St. Louis Heights,” says Mok. “When we learned that another member had gone to the hospital for an injury, we all signed a card to send to her. This week, we’ll celebrate a birthday over dinner after walking. Our group loves eating before or after walks—sometimes at a farmers market in Makiki, other times in local family restaurants.”

Mok says the group is especially meaningful to her because she’s lived in Hawaii for only three years. Her new friends are teaching her about local history and where to get the best local grinds. They’re helping her find a new place and have invited her to family events.

"We wear our Blue Zones Project shirts proudly on our walks and remind each other of healthy eating habits when we go out,” says Mok. “I’m happy to say that this moai will continue . . . there’s so much to see in our community. So many restaurants to try, more neighbors to get to know … the path to wellness and community-building is limitless!"

This content originally appeared on Island Scene.

More On

Blue Zones Project Hawaii

slideshow

Blue Zones Project Hawaii
In a community near you.
The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef Dinner

article

The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef Dinner
It’s that time of year when everything’s coming up green—St. Patrick’s Day! As the resident Irishwoman at Island Scene, I’m here to share a healthy ta...
The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: Another Look at Alzheimer's and Dementia

article

The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: Another Look at Alzheimer's and Dementia
My maternal grandpa used to say that he fell in love with my grandma at first sight. They met when my grandpa was a master sergeant and my grandma was...
Hawaii Health Alerts: What You Need to Know About Drowning Prevention

article

Hawaii Health Alerts: What You Need to Know About Drowning Prevention
Every day, about 10 people die from drowning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 20 percent of people who die fr...
The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: Peace, Harmony and Ikebana

article

The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: Peace, Harmony and Ikebana
Whether I’m writing a blog or drawing a picture, there has to be a “first thing.” It’s that single initial step that gets the creative juices flowing ...