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Transcript: Benjamin B.C. Young, M.D.

Hula and canoeing are rigorous, high-skilled, healthy, and culturally-important activities

Hula is a very, very rigorous exercise program. And it takes a lot of talent and skill, and it really burns up a lot of calories. Canoe paddling is also another participant sport in which you can have people who are so into Hawaiian culture take part in that. I remember when I came home on Hōkūle‘a, that the dean of the medical school took one look at me—because I had lost about fifteen pounds— and he said probably it’s because of the muscles being in isometric tension all the time with the canoe weaving and going back and forth over the waves, that your muscles are so dense, and you really do utilize a lot of calories. So, yes, all these activities are very important culturally to Native Hawaiians, but also important because of the physical exercise it provides, and the long-term benefits.