Staying Healthy on Kona: A Guide to Embracing Wellness on the Big Island

Staying Healthy on Kona: A Guide to Embracing Wellness on the Big Island

  • Kris Hazard
  • 04/16/24

Kona, on the western coast of the Big Island in Hawaii, is not just a haven for coffee enthusiasts and beachgoers but also a paradise for those looking to kickstart a healthy lifestyle. The year-round warm climate and easy access to nature make Kona an ideal location for staying active. This guide explores how residents and visitors can stay healthy by engaging in the outdoor activities Kona has to offer.

Embrace the Great Outdoors

Ocean Adventures

The clear waters of Kona are perfect for water-based activities. Snorkeling and scuba diving are among the most popular activities, offering views of coral reefs, colorful fish, and even manta rays. For those seeking a more vigorous workout, paddleboarding and kayaking along the Kona coastline provide both upper-body exercise and breathtaking island views.

Cycling the Scenic Routes

Cycling enthusiasts will find Kona’s landscape a challenging and rewarding terrain. The island’s geography makes for an exhilarating ride, whether on the coastal roads that offer stunning ocean views or the uphill routes that will test your endurance and reward you with panoramic vistas of the island. Biking is not only a great way to explore Kona’s beauty at a personal pace but also an excellent cardiovascular activity that promotes heart health and overall fitness.

Outrigger Canoe Paddling with Kai’Opua

Outrigger canoe paddling is more than just a sport in Hawaii; it's a cultural tradition that offers an exceptional full-body workout and a unique way to experience the ocean. Kai’Opua Canoe Club, one of Hawaii's oldest and most respected canoe clubs, welcomes paddlers of all skill levels to learn and participate in outrigger canoe paddling. This activity strengthens the arms, shoulders, back, and core.

Kayaking Adventures in Keauhou

Kayaking is a fantastic way to explore Kona’s breathtaking coastline and marine ecosystems. For those interested in kayaking, there are numerous spots to rent equipment, including Ocean Safari Kayaks in Keauhou, which offers tours to the mesmerizing Keauhou Sea Caves. Kayaking is an enjoyable way to see the island from a different perspective and an excellent cardiovascular activity that improves endurance and strength. Explore Keauhou Cave Kayak Tours.

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding in Kailua-Kona

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is another popular water activity in Kona. It offers a calm, meditative experience and a thorough workout. Kona Boys in Kailua-Kona provides rentals for those eager to take to the waters on a paddleboard. This activity tests balance and core strength while providing paddlers a serene way to enjoy the ocean's beauty. With Kona's gentle waves and clear waters, paddle boarding is accessible to beginners and seasoned enthusiasts, making it a must-try activity. Find out more about paddleboard rentals.

Surfing at Kahaluu Beach

For those drawn to the surf, Kahaluu Beach presents a fantastic and safe environment in which to learn to surf. The beach's protected bay ensures gentle waves, which is ideal for beginners. Surf lessons are available for all ages, providing a fun and engaging way to stay active while mastering the art of riding the waves. Surfing not only offers an adrenaline rush but also improves cardiovascular health, strength, and balance. Learn to surf at Kahaluu Beach.

Hiking and Exploration

Kona and its surrounding areas boast an array of hiking trails that cater to all fitness levels, from leisurely walks through lush landscapes to more challenging treks across lava fields and up mountainous terrains. The Kings’ Trail, for example, offers a glimpse into Hawaii's royal past and presents an opportunity for a historical and physical journey. Hikers can enjoy the island's diverse ecosystems, including tropical rainforests, arid deserts, and volcanic craters while getting a heart-pumping workout.

Explore the island’s national parks, like the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where walking and hiking trails through volcanic landscapes offer a unique exercise experience. The Mauna Kea summit, accessible via a challenging hike or drive, offers physical and spiritual rejuvenation with its stunning sunrises and sunsets and importance in Hawaiian culture.

Pu’u Wa’awa’a Cinder Cone Hike

For those who relish a challenging hike, Pu’u Wa’awa’a Cinder Cone offers an unparalleled experience. This exceptional trail, about a 20-30 minute drive from Kailua Kona, winds through diverse ecosystems and culminates in breathtaking vistas from its summit. The hike extends over 6 miles up the cinder cone.

As adventurers ascend, they are treated to the westward view that spans the coastline into Kona, reaching all the way up to Kohala. On clear days, the neighboring island of Maui emerges on the horizon, adding to the spectacle. The opposite view is equally majestic, with the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa unfolding beneath.

The journey to the crater’s summit is a moderate to challenging trek, suitable for hikers in good physical condition and prepared for the island's changing weather conditions. This hike is a must-do for outdoor enthusiasts seeking to experience the majesty of Kona’s landscapes and the serene beauty that can only be found at the pinnacle of Pu’u Wa’awa’a.

Kona Fitness Communities

Numerous fitness clubs and groups organize outdoor activities, ranging from yoga sessions on the beach at sunrise to group swims in the ocean. Joining these groups is an excellent way to stay motivated, meet like-minded individuals, and immerse oneself in Kona’s culture of health and wellness.

For those specifically looking to integrate fitness into their daily routine while enjoying the outdoors, Kona offers several options. The annual Ironman World Championship, hosted in Kona, is a testament to the island’s reputation as a premier destination for endurance sports. Training for events like this, or even smaller-scale local competitions, provides both a goal and a community for fitness enthusiasts.

Pickleball is becoming increasingly popular in Kona. This sport combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, offering a fun and competitive way to stay active. Played on a smaller court with a net, a paddle, and a plastic ball with holes, pickleball can be enjoyed by participants of all ages and skill levels, making it a fantastic activity for socializing and exercising. Several local parks and recreation centers now feature courts dedicated to the sport.

Taking Advantage of Fresh Foods and Nutrition in Kona

In addition to its outdoor activities, Kona offers an abundance of fresh, locally sourced foods that are as nutritious as they are delicious. Integrating these foods into one’s diet is a great way to stay healthy on Kona.

Farmers Markets: A Gateway to Kona’s Freshest Produce

Farmers markets in Kona are community hubs where locals and visitors can indulge in the island's freshest produce.

  • Keauhou Farmers Market: This market is renowned for its wide selection of fresh foods, ranging from fruits and vegetables to locally made products. It is a weekly event showcasing the best of what local agriculture has to offer. Explore Keauhou Farmers Market.

  • South Kona Farmers Market: Known locally as the "Green Market," this gathering spot emphasizes organic produce and sustainable farming practices. They offer not only fresh produce but also artisanal goods and crafts. Discover the South Kona Green Market.

The Culinary Delight of Poke

Poke, a traditional Hawaiian dish that has gained international fame, is a staple in the local diet and exemplifies the island’s commitment to fresh, nutritious food. Made from raw, diced fish seasoned with a variety of condiments, poke is a healthy, protein-rich dish that reflects the flavors and culinary traditions of Hawaii.

  • Umeke’s: A must-visit for poke enthusiasts, Umeke’s takes pride in its fresh, locally sourced fish and its commitment to traditional Hawaiian poke while also offering innovative takes on this classic dish. Visit Umeke’s.

  • Da Poke Shack: Known for its authenticity and quality, Da Poke Shack offers a wide range of poke options, from traditional recipes to unique creations. Check out Da Poke Shack.

Contact Kris Hazard Today

If you're drawn to the healthy, active lifestyle that Kona promises, Kris Hazard is here to guide you through the real estate options that can make this dream a reality. Whether you're looking for a home with easy access to the beach for your morning swims or a property with ample outdoor space for yoga and meditation, Kris has the expertise to find the perfect fit for your lifestyle. Reach out to Kris Hazard to begin your journey to a healthier, happier life on Kona.

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