In Hilo, people are walking more thanks to a doctor with a commitment to the health of his community. That doctor, Craig Kadooka, is the organizer of Hilo’s Walk with a Doc program, which meets every Sunday morning rain or shine.
The format of the program is simple. Attendees meet at Liliuokalani Gardens, sign in, and listen to a short talk on a health topic. The group will stretch together and then everyone walks around the park on their own for as short or long as they’d like. It’s modeled after the national Walk with a Doc program, which was started by a cardiologist named David Sabgir, M.D.
On average, 70 people show up to walk at the park each week. Kadooka says some value the social connection, time in nature, and ease of the exercise. “Walking has many benefits – there really are no downsides,” Kadooka says. “I tell people to just come and join us.”
Kadooka (right) is the organizer of the Walk with a Doc program in Hilo. Photos courtesy Walk with a Doc Hawaii Island.
Kadooka is an internal medicine specialist who has been practicing in Hilo since 1982. Born and raised in Hilo, he says many of his classmates and their parents have been his patients over the years. Kadooka says he plans to retire soon, so he isn’t accepting new patients. But he still plans to carry on the Walk with a Doc program.
“Over the years that I’ve been doing this, I find that it recharges me for the week,” he says. “It’s very rewarding.”
Walk with a Doc Hawaii Island meets every Sunday at 8 a.m. at Liliuokalani Gardens. For more information, visit wwadbigisland.org. Can’t make to the park? Check out these tips for sneaking in more steps.