Exercise! There are no substitutes for working up a sweat on a daily basis.
Daily physical exercise can be our ticket to a longer, happier, more productive life and when you incorporate a healthy diet you have discovered the secret to the “Fountain of Youth.”
Exercise alone can reduce our risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and high cholesterol.
If all of the adults in Hawaii were physically active hospital cost related to stroke, heart disease and diabetes would have been reduced by $140 million in 2005 alone.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventions claims that adults who were physically inactive added $76 billion to our health care cost in one year.
Just having an overweight person lose 10 percent of their weight can reduce their lifetime medical cost by several thousands of dollars by lowering their risk of preventable diseases.
How large of a commitment must you make to achieve these gains? Most studies suggest that 30 minutes of moderate exercise can do the trick in improving your overall health and fitness levels.
Thirty minutes a day can add quality years to your life, and if all of us exercised, it could reduce this counties endless dependence of the rising cost of the health care industry.
When you add healthy food choices and reasonable portion control to your daily lifestyle you will not only add years to your life, but you’ll look and feel younger.
This past summer I spent a week in Okinawa, an island with a population size similar to Hawaii. In our island state we have about 300 residents that are 100 years old or older, but in Okinawa that number is more than doubled.
The difference between us lies in the fact that in Okinawa their diets are higher in plant food fiber and lower in saturated fats.
Researchers have been working on the Okinawa Centenarian Study for more than three decades and the results all point to regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Overeating seems to be a national past time in this affluent country. Yet our obsession with large “super sized” portions is killing us at alarming rates.
Perhaps part of the solution would be to spend more time educating our younger population in order to convince them at an early age to practice healthy habits.
At Keaau High School this past Saturday coaches and team members on the boys and girls cross-country squads promoted their own fundraising activity, not by selling junk food, but by hosting a 3-mile fun run/walk around their campus.
“I think this is a good activity for our kids as it works with building school pride when they are on campus,” Keaau cross-country coach, Donna Wong Yuen said.
Wong Yuen, along with her runners set up the course and provided the marshaling, gave out awards and post race refreshments.
Cougar senior, Shannon White, designed the 3-mile course which began on the track and traversed the campus grounds.
White ran for the state cross country champions Leileihua Mules last year and has been the Cougars number two runner behind Daniel Brooks during the season.
The 3-mile fun run was won by Cougar Kevin Olsen in a time of 19 minutes and 40 seconds with teammate James Clubbs coming in second at 19:57.
Third place went to 55 year old Stewart Miyashiro of Volcano as the elder runner started out slow and picked off the younger runners one by one with his time of 20:55.
Top woman was another Cougar harrier as Deann Nishimura Thornton who finished ninth overall with a time of 22:41.
Jeffery Ferrell won the middle school division from Keaau when he crossed the line in 23:56.
I don’t know if the Cougar cross-country team raised much money for their anticipated state competition on Kauai, but I do know that these youngsters gained some valuable life experiences hosting a fun filled activity.
Congratulations to the Cougar ohana for practicing healthy habits and encouraging others to do the same.
If anyone would still like to help these youngsters with their travel funds contact coach, Greg Lum Ho, at 987-5224.