Fitness is Not a Game to Me: Improve Native Hawaiian Fitness and Health

In Hawaii, Native Hawaiians lead in mortality rate caused by chronic health conditions compared with the total state:

Heart Diseases: 68% higher

Cancer: 34% higher

Stroke: 20% higher

Diabetes: 130% higher!

Heart disease or Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) hits close to me because both sides of my family have a history in Heart disease which is the leading cause of death among Native Hawaiians.  Studies have shown that although CVD-related deaths have declined, the difference between Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians have increased.

I’m not done yet…Obestity.

Within the US, more than half Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders  are either overweight (31.7%) or obese (31.0%).  This rate is said to be higher than most other racial groups.

The root of many of these chronic health related diseases are widely caused by health and lifestyle behaviors such as tobacco and alcohol use, eating habits, and physical activity.

So here are a few more numbers.  Last one, I swear.

2 in 5 (42%) Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander in the U.S were physically inactive.  This is similar to other racial groups BUT many Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders already have the weight of chronic diseases in them.  So even more so, it’s important for them increase their physical activity.  This would help them lower blood pressure and blood glucose, and improve insulin-sensitivity.

Now, you see why Fitness and Strength isn’t a game to me…

Yes, I trained for physique competitions which comes off very vain and narcissist.  Yes, I care about how much weight I can lift and how hard I push myself during training sessions which may come off as arrogant or egotistical.  And yes, not accepting that piece of pizza and scoop of ice cream may seem like I’m an ungrateful ass who’s on some hardcore diet and too good for “regular” food.

But if you take a look at the above numbers, you’ll understand why it’s not a game to me.

I have family and friends around me today who I see often suffering from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity and all I can hope is that I set a good example.

This is the underlying foundation behind why I got into the strength and fitness industry.  It’s the reason I started Kū Performance Hawaii and began the Hoʻokahi Class.

I believe integrating physical performance (particularly strength training and weightlifting) with Native Hawaiian cultural practices, can have a huge impact on all those statistics for the better. Not just for Hawaiians but for all races.

The ancient Hawaiians were known to for their health, physical strength, and their powerful physique. Today in Hawaii, there’s a lot of talk about making our ancestors proud and bringing pride to the Hawaiian culture but the statistics are still climbing.

This is why I continue to strive to make an impact not only on the Hawaiian community but for all people who I come across either through my blog or personally.

It’s not a game…

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