Does exercise help our bodies’ ability to fight off infections?
In the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, that question has gained urgency and, thanks to recent research, some answers. The latest science suggests that being fit boosts our immune systems, and that even one workout can amplify our body’s ability to fight off germs.
But some studies also indicate that the types and amount of exercise may influence how exercise affects our immune responses. More exercise is not necessarily better. And the location of the exercise could matter, too; cue germiness of gyms versus hiking outdoors!
Exercising on Kauai
On April 25, Governor Ige issued a sixth supplemental proclamation, which extends the stay-at-home order through May 31, 2020. However, outdoor exercise is permitted – including hiking, swimming, surfing, and walking pets. In addition, running, jogging, or walking on the beach is permitted, as long as social distancing requirements are observed.
Insert shameless disclaimer: I have to say how grateful I am to be quarantined on Kauai where there’s plenty of space for exercising outdoors while social distancing. Hiking to breathe in the fresh air and reconnect with nature is one of my favorite ways to exercise! Surprisingly, some hikes are currently closed to the public, but most are open for foot trudging!
Kauai’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) is promoting responsible recreation and, lucky for us, agrees that forest recreation is an important way for people to maintain physical and emotional well being by interacting with nature and exercising outside, in response to the coronavirus. The DOFAW is allowing no more than two (2) people on State hiking trails unless they are part of the same family or household. They are also encouraging us all to follow the CDC guidelines and maintain social distance at all times. As always, please exercise good judgment, be safe, and respect trailhead neighborhoods and communities.
Currently, all DOFAW trails are open to hiking, running, and biking, while State Park trails are closed, with the exception of a few. All commercial trail tours are closed on all islands. Hours for hiking include 30 minutes before sunrise and close 30 minutes after sunset. Updates can be found on the Na Ala Hele Trail & Access website.
When speaking with Kawika Smith, Kauai Trail & Access Specialist at DLNR DOFAW, about the current status of hiking on Kauai, he assured me hikers can park their vehicles on Kokee Road to access trails within the State Parks. Enforcement officers are well aware that cars will be parked on the street for hiking purposes only.
This is not a complete list, please be sure to check with the DOFAW and/or the County frequently for updates and talk with park enforcement officers updates on which trails you may access at that time.
- Alakai Swamp Trail
- Contour Road
- Haeleele Ridge Road
- Ho'opii Falls Trail
- Iliau Nature Loop
- Koaie Canyon Trail
- Kuamoo Trail
- Kuilau Trail
- Lapa Ridge Road
- Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail
- Makaleha Trail
- Moalepe Trail
- Mohihi-Camp 10 Road
- Mohihi-Waialae Trail
- Nounou-East Trail – aka Sleeping Giant
- Nounou-West Trail – aka Sleeping Giant
- Okolehao Trail
- Poomau Canyon Vista Trail
- Powerline Trail – if you’re on the North Shore, I highly recommend this easy, beautiful nature walk!
- Pu’u Ki-Wai’alae Trail
- Waimea Canyon Trail
Trail Access Allowed through State Parks
Vehicle Access is not allowed beyond Kalalau Lookout. Hikers must walk the park road beyond that point to access Pihea trailhead.
- Hanakapiai Trail
- Kaaweiki Ridge Road
- Kalalau Trail
- Kauhao Ridge Road
- Kawaikoi Stream Trail
- Kohua Ridge Trail
- Makaha Arboretum Road
- Makaha Road
- Milolii Ridge Road
- Milolii Vista Trail
- Papaalai Ridge Road
- Pine Forest Drive
- Polihale Ridge Road
- Wailua Forestry Management Road – aka Loop Road
Which Hikes Have You Tackled?
Post your favorite hike on Kauai to Instagram and tag me for a chance to be featured on my page! I wanna see your photos! #FavKauaiHike
Aloha For Now
Be safe, stay healthy, and keep dreaming of Kauai!