The Group Dynamic of Healthy Living
As many of us know, having the best of intentions to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep up with our annual New Year’s fitness resolutions isn’t always enough. With work, school, family, and countless other obligations taking the majority of our time, it is all too easy to fall off the fit-track – especially if you are embarking on the journey alone. Many fitness experts agree that the motivation and support, as well as the variety of activities that fitness and health groups can provide their members with can be very beneficial in keeping them on-track with their short and long-term health goals. Lucky for us, there are many local nutrition and fitness groups here in Santa Barbara that are available to all those looking to maintain healthy lifestyles and learn more about food, exercise, and overall well being.
A popular fitness group in the area is the Santa Barbara Fit Club. The club offers free community workouts for people of all ages and fitness levels and has different workout clubs scheduled every day of the week. Zasho Donner, organizer of the club, is a strong believer that, “when you spend part of your day with a group of people who have the same goal but in numerous perspectives, everyone is able to grow and be excited about life!” SB Fit Club is determined to support all those motivated to be healthy with fun intense workouts including yoga, hiking, kickboxing, running, body challenges, and full body workouts. The club also ends every workout at Santa Barbara Active Nutrition where anyone interested in an optional post-recovery workout shake and herbal green tea (just $5) is invited!
If you consider yourself more of a foodie and are interested in learning all about locally grown foods and healthy eating, the Santa Barbara Food and Farm Adventures may be the
perfect group for you. The group meets every two weeks at various locations including farms, restaurants, culinary stores, wineries, the marina, and many more to learn all about Santa Barbara cuisine. Group organizer, Gerri French, is a long time foodie and dietician at Sansum Clinic who also teaches nutrition to chefs at Santa Barbara City College. Not only is this club organized by an expert, but it also reaches out to the Santa Barbara local experts who produce, market and prepare our food to teach members about life-long healthy eating tips and tricks.
Lastly, if you are vegan, vegetarian, or even just curious about these exotic diets, there is also a group in the area that might pique your interests. The Santa Barbara Vegan Meetup is a group that is open to all those who are not only currently vegan, but also those who are simply curious about the vegan lifestyle and up for some good food and good times! The group organizes frequent potluck-style meetings where members can share information and vegan recipes with each other, in addition to discussing the numerous environmental, health related, social, and animal welfare benefits of a vegan diet and bring these benefits to the forefront of the SB “food movement”.
Whether it is fitness, nutrition, or a more specific diet related group that you may be interested in, Santa Barbara is a great city to find support and motivation for your health goals. The wide variety of activities and opportunities for social interaction might be just what you need to keep you on track and help you reach your goals. They may even help you achieve your dream body, just in time for summer!
Image above: The Santa Barbara Fit Club posing at the peak of one of their hikes in the SB area!