By Katelyn Doggett
Living a healthy lifestyle becomes natural as long as you make time for it and stay consistent, said 72-year-old Semiahmoo resident Karen Ornelas Hawn.
“I find that the more active I am, the better off I am,” Hawn said. “Being active has become my way of life.”
Walking, running, hiking and biking are all things Hawn loves to do to stay active, but her absolute favorite activity is hot yoga, she said.
At least two to three times a week Hawn drives to White Rock to participate in a 6 a.m. hot yoga class.
Hawn has been doing yoga for more than 20 years, and only 15 of those years have been with an instructor. Seven years ago she discovered hot yoga and has been a proponent ever since.
“Not a lot of people like hot yoga because of the sweat,” Hawn said. “But I just love it.”
Hot yoga is yoga performed in hot and humid conditions, usually at 105°F, with 40 percent humidity. The formal name for hot yoga is Bikram yoga, and it consists of a series of 26 postures designed to warm your muscles and raise your heart rate.
Hawn used to follow along with a yoga instructor on television, but she finds going to a class helps push her to work harder. Yoga is Hawn’s favorite form of exercise because it provides her with a full-body workout and helps to focus her mind.
Hawn didn’t start running until she was 40 years old, and believes it’s never too late to get active, because of the benefits. Compared to other people her age, Hawn has noticed she is less stiff and isn’t as reliant on medicine.
Instead, she said, living an active lifestyle is her medicine, which provides her with both physical and mental benefits she never plans to give up.
Staying active in the Pacific Northwest has additional benefits, Hawn said. The area offers many beautiful walking and hiking trails, and caters to an active lifestyle. On sunny days Hawn notices many new faces outdoors, and she enjoys meeting new people.
When Hawn isn’t doing hot yoga or exercising outside, she makes sure to continue to live a healthy lifestyle by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and through experimenting with super-foods, such as kale and spinach, that she said she never thought she would enjoy eating.
Keeping active and eating healthy gives Hawn the energy to do what she loves – traveling and spending time with her family. Hawn now has 10 grandchildren, who range in age from 8 months to 25 years old.