Saturday, February 20, 2010

HEALTHY, FIT AND OLD IN KONA

Walking along the Kona Coast at daybreak, we are inspired to see the large number of 60 and 70 year olds biking, walking, jogging, and even running along the road. Even more spectacular than the speed with which they move their bodies along Ali’i Drive is their exceptional fitness and health obvious from their muscled, fat free bodies.

A 2007 study by Rand Corporation
found that specific features in a neighborhood including having parks, business diversity, and strong community social bonds directly impact the obesity and fitness rates of the residents. Kailua-Kona has all the attributes mentioned in the report with abundant sidewalks and bike paths. The 5 mile length of Ali’i Drive between Kailua pier and Keauhou Shopping Center has wide areas along both sides of the street for bicycles and walkers and rewards those that walk it with spectacular ocean scenery, parks with places to sit and watch the waves, restaurants, coffee shops, farmers markets, curio shops, and stores of all types.

Kona is used to crowds of joggers, walkers and bicyclers; cars yield to them and make room on the road. When we walk folks greet us with smiles and “good morning"s. The community organized the Kailua Village Business Improvement District, funded by property and businesses owners, to provide security patrols, janitorial services, and landscape maintenance to keep the neighborhood safe and clean for residents and visitors.

Though we have worked diligently at our own fitness and weight loss for the past two years, we have not come close to the results achieved by the packs of active older folks we’ve seen along Ali’i drive. They are an inspiration to us.



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just turned 60.
Went back to Michigan to see my old friends from high school. Funny, everybody looks old- except for ME!

noel said...

i've always admired the morning walking/jogging crowds on alii of all ages, but there are alot of seniors that are very active in their morning walks, thanks for posting this...