How to be fit and fabulous in Hawaii

The Aloha State is just the ticket if you’re in need of a “glowcation” that’s equal parts physical fun and stress-free relaxation.

It’s been crowned the healthiest state in the US nine times since rankings began in 1990, so no surprises health and wellness experiences abound in the island paradise of Hawaii.

Whether it’s hiking across ancient lava flows, diving with giant mantra rays, gliding in a kayak to a deserted offshore island or just soaking in the spectacular scenery, the 50th US state is one of the best places in the world to get your glow on.

These are our picks of some of the top ways to spend your time in Hawaii:

Hang ten anyone?

The sport of surfing originated in Hawaii (said to go back to the 4th century AD) and is now a monumental drawcard for tourists and locals alike.

In winter, Pacific storms drive ocean swells towards the islands, creating the infamous legendary big waves.

For the Moniz family, surfing runs in their blood. Since setting up their Faith Surf School in Waikiki in 2000, Tammy, Tony and their kids have been passing on their passion by teaching young and alike how to master the art.

Their family-friendly surf school offers group and private lessons as well as personalised surf tours, stand-up paddleboard (SUP) lessons and outrigger canoe surfing. Find your form on some of the best breaks in the world.

Find your zen with Yoga Floats

If you are after a more gentle experience on the ocean, why not try stand-up paddle board (SUP) yoga on a floating platform with innovative wellness experience Yoga Floats?

This yoga with an ocean twist is held on the turquoise waters of Ala Moana in Honolulu and what a way to see the sun rise, or set!

Owner Kelsey Barden says she wanted to combine the deep sense of peace she found through yoga with the uplifting feeling of being on the ocean. We say Namaste.

Telling stories with sand

While we’re on the subject of the healing ways of nature, Hawaii’s inimitable natural environment has given rise to some unique healing practices.

One of these is the indigenous Hawaiian lomi lomi massage which uses nut oils – and elements of prayer, breathing and dance – to restore energy and soothe the body.

Honolulu-based massage therapist and hula teacher Mālia Helela takes this one step further, using hula dance and the art of “touch sensitivity” with her love of the beach to tell stories in the sand.

Think about all of those times you’ve let the sand slip through your fingers while watching the waves roll in – Mālia takes this whole experience to a whole new level.

If you want a more traditional lomi lomi massage – or perhaps a hula lesson –  Mālia does this too, looking to the ‘āina (the land) for grounding and inspiration.

The magic of technology

When it comes to wellness, Hawaii isn’t just about the healing sensations of the great outdoors, but is also at the cutting edge of some pretty amazing technology.

Queen’s Medical Centre in Honolulu recently marked its 100,000th operation using high-tech surgical robots, and also welcomed its latest model, the cutting edge DaVinci SP System.

The hospital is just one of 19 worldwide, and the only one in Hawaii, with the DaVinci SP, which can insert four instruments at once through a small single incision in the body.

Sounds like ouch? Dr Steven Nishida, general surgeon at Queen’s, says using the robot means everything is magnified allowing surgeons (who are at the controls) to use more precision in their work.

And making the whole experience less invasive for patients. Aloha indeed!

Written by Liz McGrath.