Men, it starts with taking care of ourselves

Mahalo to The Garden Island and the state Department of Health for continuing their collaboration to promote health and wellness on Kauai. I am honored to join the effort as we kick-off National Men’s Health Week.

Often, we get lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life and overlook the fact that our health is at the core of everything we do. Without a sound mind, body and spirit, we lose our ability to accomplish even the smallest of tasks.

Beyond being mayor, I am a husband, a father, a grandfather, and I share in the duties to provide and care for my family.

The demands of my daily life are very similar to yours — it is a constant struggle to find balance. If you are like me, we know being “healthy” is important, but it can feel like an overwhelming goal.

For me, it helps to simplify the goal and be realistic. Some days, it’s a matter of having a fruit instead of “junk food” when I need an afternoon snack, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. I have a standing weekly lunch with my family during the work week, which gives us dedicated to time to reconnect. Seeking spiritual guidance is also important to me and helps me to stay centered. Most of these tasks don’t require much time or effort, but they play an important role in my overall health.

As an island, I am proud of the fact that Kauai participates in many community-based health initiatives, such as the Community Health Needs Assessment, the Hawaii Health Initiative, the Safe Routes to School program, Worksite Wellness, Tropic Care, and many more! All of these programs are aimed at providing comprehensive health care and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

We are also fortunate to have many community events which encourage us to get out and get active. One event that is near and dear to my heart is the upcoming Mayor-a-Thon, which will be held Saturday, June 20 at Kapaa Beach Park.

We are now in our seventh year and the event keeps getting bigger and better. I invite you to join me and nearly a thousand residents and visitors for a brisk morning walk, bike or run along Ke Ala Hele Makalae, followed by fellowship and a healthy continental breakfast.

The Mayor-a-Thon is sponsored by Get Fit Kauai (also a Hawaii Health Initiative). To register for this free event, visit the Get Fit Kauai website at www.getfitkauai.com

There are many ways to stay on track for a healthier lifestyle. Start with simple goals and rely on your family, friends and your community for support. Remember, we cannot take care of others, if we don’t first take care of ourselves!

May your journey to good health start today!

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