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Meet Our Staff – Medical Fitness Trainer Mariah!

Every month or so, we hope to highlight one of our amazing employees. The folks who work at OrthoSport Hawaii come from many different backgrounds, have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share, and love staying active while helping others improve their health and fitness. To schedule an appointment or get more information please call (808) 373.1114.

Aloha! My name is Mariah. I used to work briefly at the downtown location a couple years ago & I’m beyond grateful to be back working at OrthoSport at the Niu Valley location! I’m a certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. I was born and raised on the west side of the island. I played collegiate soccer at Graceland University, where I studied Psychology and Corrective Exercise & Performance Enhancement.

Following my college years, I continued my soccer career, playing competitive soccer with semi-pro team Kansas City Courage. I have 10+ years experience of coaching soccer and training athletes – to be a more effective coach & trainer, I’m currently working on obtaining my Certification in Strength & Conditioning. I’ve also had some experience in the outpatient physical therapy setting as both a physical therapy aide/exercise specialist and Personal Trainer. When not in the work setting or on the soccer field, I love to surf, hike, workout, read books on my hammock, and cook! It feels great to be back at OrthoSport!

Why You Should Spend Time in Nature

We live in one of the most beautiful and unique ecosystems on the planet. How often do you get out into nature? Are you a regular hiker, swimmer, snorkeler,  gardener, or surfer? Do you run trails, mountain bike, or birdwatch? Even in Hawai’i it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. You commute to work on packed highways, spend most daylight hours indoors at work or school,  and drive home often in the dark. Then you watch some TV and off to bed to repeat again the next day.  Weekends can fill with household chores, childcare, errands, and social obligations. It’s no wonder so many people are disconnected from the natural world, and struggle with insomnia, anxiety, obesity, headaches, and so on.

Why make the effort? We’re so busy, why find time for nature? According to the American Psychological Association exposure to nature has been linked to many benefits including improved attention, lower stress, better mood, reduced risk of psychiatric disorders, and interestingly–improved empathy and cooperation.

There is also increasing amounts of research correlating many physical health benefits with at least 120 minutes per week spent in green areas (forests, trails, urban parks) and blue areas (rivers, ocean, beaches.)  A study published in Nature describes decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, asthma hospitalizations, diabetes, and more.

Children who spend time in nature also benefit significantly. Increased physical activity outdoors improves Vitamen D absorption to build strong bones, may decrease risk of childhood obesity, can reduce stress, and improve sleep.  A study in Pediatrics found positive associations with activities such as spending time in residential or school greenspace, nature walks, gardening, and wilderness experiences.

Lucky we live Hawai’i – we can get ourselves and our families outdoors year-round with great weather and a variety of natural environments to explore. Here are a few ways to get 120 minutes a week in the natural world:

  • Walk through urban parks, such as Kapiolani or Ala Moana. Make note of the weather, (is it windy, humid, cloudy?) birds and other wildlife, trees and plants. Apps such as Seek and Merlin can help you identifity plants and birds.
  • Grab your phone or camera and find some natural beauty to photograph. Focus on crashing waves, plumeria flowers, coconut palms, lava rock — whatever sparks your interest.
  • If you have any outdoor space of your own, plant something. Take the time to really care about a tomato plant or Hawaiian chili pepper and it may reward you with a tasty snack.
  • Have breakfast, lunch, or dinner outdoors at the beach or in a park.
  • Start a nature journal. This is a great way to learn about the plants, animals, and ecosystems in your area.
  • Exercise outdoors. Take a surfing lesson, join an outdoor boot camp workout, try Yoga on stand-up paddleboards, or ask your personal trainer to work with you outside.
  • Join a nature conservation group and volunteer to watch over monk seals, weed invasive species, or help protect and plant coral.
  • Take a whale watching or manta ray snorkeling tour. Make sure the tour group is ethical, doesn’t harrass the marine life, and has a spotless safety record.Thumbs up on surfboard
  • Sign up for your first trail run. Yes it’s okay to walk!
  • Learn a new outdoor sport like canoe paddling, pickle ball, or scuba diving.

Not sure you are strong enough or fit enough to increase your time and activity outdoors? We’re here to help! We have free lectures and screenings for improving running form and fitness for court sports like pickle ball. We offer free 1 hour fitness assessments and orientations to our medical gym services. Our massage therapists are experts at helping you release tension and muscle aches. Our physical therapists are available to chat with you during a free consultation. If you’re having pain, balance issues, or signifcant weakness, health insurance may cover your treatment.

OrthoSport Hat on KayakDon’t let stress, fitness, or health issues keep you from your goals.  Call 808.373.1114 for information on medical gym and massage therapy services in our Downtown and Niu Valley clinics.  Call 808.373.3555 for information on physical therapy services in our Downtown, Niu Valley, and Kaka’ako locations.

A hui hou!












Time (and Social Media) Marches On

OrthoSport Hat on KayakAs more people shift from reading blog articles to scrolling social media, we’ve ramped up our presence on other platforms and decreased our frequency of posting content here in the blog.  It’s nice to take some time to delve into different topics, and this part of the website is an easy way to provide ongoing information about our staff and their activities. So we probably won’t be giving up this part of the site altogether. However, you may want to check out some of our other platforms to keep up with OrthoSport current events, special deals or discounts, and health-related topics. All of our social media links are posted at the top of the website home page but here they are for your convenience. Have any topics you’d like to learn more about? Contact us through Facebook or Instagram and we’ll get on it!

Facebook link




YouTube Med-Fit


Sports Are Back!  Are You Ready?  Read This First…

Thanks to the pandemic lockdowns, restrictions, stress, and lifestyle disruption, many of us have fallen off the wagon in terms of our fitness and sports activities. Golf courses were closed, tennis courts locked, and beach access was limited. Sports and paddling clubs couldn’t meet, trails were off limits, and of course, gyms and fitness studios could offer only remote online services.  Some of us persevered and we saw a jump in outdoor walking, cycling, skateboarding, surfing, and swimming.  Outdoor, socially distanced yoga and boot camp classes offered limited exercise options to the fortunate few. 

On the other hand, we also saw an increase in alcohol consumption, fast food munching, and Netflix binge watching.  These activities helped us cope with the fear and uncertainty of 2020. Some were obviously healthier than others. How did you manage in 2020?  At this point, there is no need for regret or self blame. Tiger King may not have helped you stay fit but provided some much needed distraction from negative news and dire warnings. And thankfully, it was a limited series!

But hey it’s 2021! Although we must stay vigilant with mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing, we now have a much better understanding of this virus.  The vaccine is providing hope for a better year with less risk of disease or death.  So if you gained the “COVID 19” (pounds!) and want to lose weight, now is the time to get off the couch, turn off the TV, and get back in action.

In a previous article, we talked about how to return to exercise after a layoff.  If you still  feel uncertain, it’s understandable! That’s why we created our SPORT READY program to help you return to your favorite fitness and sports activities. So how does it work?

Step 1. Think about what you want to achieve. Have you missed golfing or tennis for an entire year? Have you gotten injured trying to follow an online yoga class? Are your neck, shoulders, and back stiff and sore from hours in front of a computer, working from home? Are you lacking motivation to run or paddle with no races on the horizon?

Step 2. Call our Medical Fitness Center to set up a free, no obligation 60 minute fitness assessment with one of our Medical Fitness trainers. We offer sessions in downtown Honolulu and in Niu Valley.  Want to return to golfing, paddling, or tennis? A custom strength and cardio program could give you the boost you need. Not sure if you need new running shoes? Our RunFit assessment corrects your gait, posture, and form to prevent injury and improve performance. 

Step 3. At your fitness assessment, our trainer will help you determine if an injury could benefit from physical therapy – usually covered by health insurance. Or, our 1:1 personal training, massage therapy, and nutrition services may qualify for your FSA funds. 

Step 4. Plan a course of action — Physical therapy to address low back pain during your golf swing. Personal training to improve your trunk range of motion during paddling. Cardio and plyometrics to get you back on the soccer field. Nutritional counseling to improve diet for fat loss.  By the end of your fitness assessment you will have a good idea what you need to work on next.

So what’s stopping you? Whether it’s pain, weight gain, motivation, or simply feeling too out of breath up the stairs, we are here to help.  Make 2021 the year you achieved your health and fitness goals, no matter what craziness is continuing in the world. Take charge and call 808.373.1114 to schedule your free SPORT READY assessment today!

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