In the 1980s, Jane Fonda famously made aerobics a national craze. To whip yourself into shape, all you needed were neon spandex, a headband, and a VCR. Today, exercise is more complicated; there are myriad fitness disciplines to choose from that target specific parts of the body and achieve distinct goals. It can get pricey doing a Goldilocks to find the perfect regimen, so how do you decide which one is best for you?
Fortunately, a group of Santa Barbara folks have been working for the past three years to bring a unique exercise opportunity to town. It’s called Open Streets and consists of a whole day of sampler classes and workshops geared toward a healthy lifestyle. “It’s an initiative for public health and sustainable transportation,” explained Robin Elander, S.B. Open Streets coordinator. “The day is so people can get a feel for a sustainable future, a healthy active lifestyle, and to continue to build a better and stronger community.”
Getting fit is just one focus of the event. It is also a call to reduce our carbon footprint by using alternative transport as much as possible, such as walking and biking, rather than relying on air-polluting vehicles. For that reason, Cabrillo Boulevard, where the exposition takes place, will be closed to motorized traffic for the day. People can still park in the Cabrillo parking lots, but two-and-a-half miles of the street will be car-free.
There will be plenty to capture the attention of all ages. To get the blood flowing, there are beach boot camps, kickboxing, Brazilian capoeira, jiu-jitsu, zumba, salsa dancing, yoga, and stroller fitness. Fine tune your motor skills at the mountain- and road-bike course, or learn bike maintenance; or participate in health screenings, classes on how to eat well, and educational workshops. There will also be face painting, artwork on display, and other family-oriented events.
It takes a village to pull off an event like this — hundreds of sponsors and volunteers are helping to bring Open Streets to fruition, but more of both are still needed. There will be a volunteer boot camp with Jenny Schatzle Saturday, October 19, at 9 a.m., followed by a volunteer orientation at 10 a.m., at Chase Palm Park. As for sponsorships, a bit more money is needed to make it to Open Streets’ goal of $5,000 by October 7.
The purpose of S.B. Open Streets is summed up succinctly on the organization’s website: “By closing the street to traffic for a day and creating a space for families, individuals, and organizations to get out and move, try new fitness classes, walk, bike, or bus to the event and connect and eat in a community space, we are creating a better environment in which to build healthier individuals and a stronger community with less reliance on motorized vehicles.”
Now go outside and play.
S.B. Open Streets is Saturday, November 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Cabrillo Boulevard and part of the Funk Zone. For more information, call Robin Elander at (805) 216-1223 or visit sbopenstreets.org.