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Social Fitness and PMA in SF

May 2014

By Anna Acquistapace, San Francisco

In a world more connected than ever, communities are an increasingly important source for being healthy and feeling beautiful. It's difficult to keep up with good habits, so the support of the people around you serve as a wealth of inspiration and motivation to help individuals get up and get healthy. In turn, beauty becomes more than skin deep and health becomes fun and social. 

One of the most interesting manifestations of that trend has nothing to with a product. Instead, it’s a growing, worldwide social media-enabled movement called “100 happy days," and it’s hit SF with force. Using the hashtag #100happydays, the challenge is for users to submit a photo of something that makes them happy every day for 100 days. With more than 6.7 followers on Facebook, its website boasts results that include being in a better mood, getting more compliments from others and even falling in love. Instagram phenomenon @grandmabetty33 has garnered 600k followers with the help of her grandson using the hashtag.  As the saying goes, beauty is more than skin deep.

Fitness is also a community-based activity in SF. The newest one, called FitMob, has name that plays on the idea of a flashmob, taking direct issue with the traditional gym model as too expensive and impersonal. FitMob classes are held in parks and city green spaces sans fancy machinery or bright lights. Enabled by a convenient online platform, participants benefit not only from easy class sign-ups, but also save money if they attend more classes. Adding to the good vibes are the cheeky class names like Urban Recess, Weapons of Ass Reduction and Rock the Chakra. They even organize a combo workout followed by a happy hour called a Schmooze & Booze.

Another popular outdoor SF boot camp, Basic Training SF, explains on their website that, “Laughter is the best medicine for a tough workout. Our clients find that working out with a group inspires everyone to go above and beyond.”

Being healthy has always been about what you eat. The newest food trend in the Bay Area is fermented food and beverages. Probiotics have long been a staple of health food stores and natural health regimes, and raw, probiotic foods and beverages, like sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) and kombucha (fermented tea), have pushed yoghurt aside on supermarket shelves while promoting themselves as some of the healthiest food around. Local brands of raw sauerkraut, like Cultured, Sonoma Brinery and Wild Brine call out their naturally occurring Lactobacillus, the same cultures found in yogurt. They’ve also updated their flavors to appeal to adventurous and multi-cultural palettes. A traditional flavor, like Dill & Garlic, now sits next to Smokey Chipotle, Madras Curry, or Spicy Kimchi. For anyone who prefers to drink to their health, they can grab a bottle of the community-driven House Kombucha or refill their growler with the kombucha on-tap at Whole Foods. 

Being beautiful and healthy from the inside out is one of the ways we can make our lives better. With a positive outlook, we’re also better to the people around us. As we strengthen ourselves, we strengthen our communities and vice versa.

Health & Fitness
Food & Drink
San Francisco
@grandmabetty33 the Instagram wonder from #100happydays
A Fitmob class overtakes a SF green space
Sonoma Brinery serves up some raw, probiotic goodness with its sauerkraut

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