Wether you’re blessed to live on a tropical island or planning to visit one this summer, there’s plenty of ways to get/stay fit in paradise. Most of us islanders are pretty fit – after all, it is bathing suit season every day round these parts.
Whether you’re a water baby or a land lover, there’s endless activities that let you explore the island and get a good workout in to boot.
For those of you who aren’t avid surfers (you poor, poor things) taking lessons torches calories, gets you out in the sun and into the clear, cool water. No matter where you’re staying, there’s probably some surf shacks set up close by. If you’re in Waikiki, however, you have endless options for lessons & rentals. Plus, you’ll get a gorgeous view of the strip and Diamond Head from the ocean.
Stand up Paddling (SUP)
I love, love, love stand up paddling! It’s an insane workout with feeling like, well, a workout! Since you’re not competing with a zillion other tourists for teeny-tiny waves, it’s a peaceful and serene experience. My favorite part is that unlike kayaking, you can stop in the middle of the ocean and just lay there, relax, or even do some yoga. They’re easy to find & rent, and it’s a lot easier for the water-wary.
All the islands boast some insanely kickass hikes & a lot of them aren’t even too crowded, either. On Oahu, the most populous and hotel-filled, Diamond Head is touristy, but it’s close to the hotels and worth it anyway (see my last post!) Manoa Falls is a little farther, but it leads you into the jungle and to some beautiful waterfalls and it’s not super far from town.
If you go on the east side (over by Haunama Bay and lots of popular beaches) there’s loads of good hikes. Olomana’s perilous ‘Three Peaks’ for the advanced, Maunawili for those who’ve ever dreamed of jumping off a waterfall and into a perfect pool, Makapuu Lighthouse, and Stairway to Heaven for the fearless and somewhat insane.
Stairway is literally a rickety ladder going up the face of the Koolau’s and onto one of the island’s highest accessible points. You can see the entire island, but only for the sunrise. Due to a few deaths/major injuries, Stairway is technically closed to the public and illegal to climb. You’ll have to hook up with a local to find it.
Obsiously, the go-to island activity is getting your snorkel on. I seriously recommend visiting Haunama Bay on the east side; it can be pretty crowded (as in you’re literally snorkeling into other people) but it’s well worth it. Somehow there’s always an abundance of neon-colored fish regardless of how many humans are in the water.
I also suggest Shark’s Cove on North Shore; it’s a calm little bay protected by a rock wall, but you can also venture out and into the deep blue sea if you’re cool like that.
To be honest, I’m very anti-kayak. I hate it, especially when I always seem to end up paddling to make up for those who aren’t. But it is a good workout if you’re into it.
Walking the Strip
The Waikiki strip is pretty long – a little over 2 miles – but there’s lots to see and do. Tons of shops, restaurants, you name it. Whenever I’m traveling I somehow end up wandering around everywhere until my feet ache. It’s not a crazy-good workout, but it will help burn off all the plate lunches & Mai Tais you’re probably downing during your stay.
That’s my best suggestions for keeping fit on a tropical vacation – what are your favorite ways to stay fit?