When you live a healthy lifestyle, it just makes sense to keep those same practices in place when traveling. Part of having fun is feeling good by eating healthy food and staying active. So, here’s my top 10 things to do on Oahu to keep in line with your healthy lifestyle:
1. Hike. We have some of the most beautiful hikes in the world here on Oahu but one of my favorites is the Kuliouou Ridge Trail. Located in Hawaii Kai, this hike is about 5 miles and is roughly 1900 feet in elevation along a ridgeline of lush tropical rainforest. It can take anywhere between 3-4 hours to complete and it’s especially nice to hike in December because of all the Norfolk Pine trees…..Just gives you that holiday feeling. When you get the top (after a couple hundred stairs), you are rewarded with stunning views of the entire East side of the island. Pack snacks, bring lots of water and wear good footwear as it does rain often and becomes quite muddy in spots. After the hike, be sure to drive around the East side of the island and check out Makapuu Light House, Hanauma Bay and The Blowhole. During the winter it’s likely you’ll see a whale breach along the drive.
2. Surf. If you don’t know how to already, take a lesson and get ready to be sucked in for life. Waikiki is of course the mecca for learning to surf but there are other places that are less crowded like White Plains on the Southwest side of the Island or Mele Kahana at the tip of the North Shore. There are lots of “Learn to Surf” schools out there. Just pick one that teaches you to pop fully up and not go to your knees first! Learn to surf correctly from the beginning or you’ll be trying to break the knee habit forever.
3. Mountain Bike. We have some of the best mountain biking trails in the country. If you’re just getting into it, try the North Shore Bike Park at Turtle Bay.
http://www.turtlebayresort.com/Things-To-Do/Sports-Recreation/Mopeds-Bikes You can rent bikes and take a tour or consider renting a bike at Hawaii Rides and exploring on your own. Sunset Hills in Pupukea (North Shore) offers world class riding of all levels. Just be sure to download a trail map before you go because it’s very easy to get lost.
4. Bodyboard or Bodysurf. There are all levels of waves on Oahu for bodyboarding and bodysurfing but an easy place to have fun and get a good workout is at Waimanalo Bay (not to be confused with Waimanalo Beach Park). It can get quite big here at certain times of the year but just check www.surfnewsnetwork.com for wave heights before you head over and if in doubt, don’t go out.
5. Yoga. There are sooooo many yoga studios on Oahu. Whatever style of yoga you prefer, you can find a studio and classes to accommodate. On the North Shore, Open Space Yoga is great and has a variety of small classes. In Honolulu you can find everything from Core Power Yoga to Ashtanga at Purple Yoga or a variety of Vinyasa, Yin and Hatha at various studios across town.
6. North Shore Bike Path. This magical, botanically covered bike path connects the seven miles of miraculous surf on the north shore. From Sunset to Waimea, it’s a great place to run, walk, bike or skate and along the way stop for a swim at one of the amazing beaches.
7. Get a Massage. Regular massage is a crucial component to a healthy lifestyle. It helps release tension and improve blood circulation, which is important for immunity and lowering inflammation. I enjoy massage from naturopathic practitioners outside of the “spa” setting because many times I find them to be more intuitive and less expensive….but sometimes you just want the whole experience so in that case I’ve had great massage at Heaven on Earth Salon & Day Spa in downtown Honolulu. They also offer fantastic facials.
8. Free Dive at Shark’s Cove. Free diving is the ultimate training for breath holding. It’s a great cardio workout and it strengthens nearly every muscle in your body, especially your core. The caves and crevices at Shark’s Cove are super cool to swim through and you’ll see beautiful fish and other creatures along the way. Find a local that can lead you through (or you can scuba tour your way through) but it’s greater exercise to just rock it with a mask and fins. (Add a snorkel if you must) Note: Stay clear of Sharks Cove in the winter. The waves can be huge and every year people are seriously injured or die from walking out on the rocks to see the waves.
9. Cliff Jumping at Waimea Bay. During the summer, when the water is calm at Waimea Bay, it’s super fun to jump off the rock. From the beach it doesn’t look too intimidating but once you’re up there it feels pretty high. Push on through that fear and free fall about 30 feet into the ocean!