The Blue Zones Project launched another round of Walking Moais on Saturday at Redondo Union High School as the healthy living initiative for Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach enters its third and final year.
"Moai (pronounced mo-EYE), which means 'meeting for a common purpose,' originated in Okinawa, Japan as a way for villagers to support each other emotionally in times of need," according to the Blue Zones Project, which was formerly known as the Healthways-Blue Zones Vitality City initiative. "In the Beach Cities, the Blue Zones Project expands the traditional definition of a Moai to include walking, volunteering or simply being active while making new friends."
At Saturday's kick-off event, volunteers created their own small groups to walk, be active and volunteer together over the next 10 weeks.
The groups will track their time spent together, in addition to their steps, for a chance to win prizes.
Attendees also participated in a free Zumba class.
Walking Moais are just one aspect of the Blue Zones Project. It also seeks to teach residents to make healthier choices; convince employers to provide healthier work environments; and generally improve the well-being of Beach Cities residents.