In the current discussion of the use of public parks for private trainers, one element has, I feel, not been given enough attention: behavior is contagious (”Trainers say new fitness fees too high,” Oct. 10, page 1). If we see people exercising, working out, getting in shape, we are more likely to do it ourselves: they are role models.
I have walked in Palisade Park hundreds of times in the last two years, and I have never been inconvenienced by an exercise class. Instead, I have been delighted by the sight of 15 baby carriages being push by jogging moms, calmed by a peaceful class of tai chi students, and wonderfully amused by middle aged women working on their boxing skills — hey, why not?
Physical fitness and obesity are real problems for our society, and I think that a consideration of the positive effects of public exercise should enter into the calculus as Santa Monica deals with regulations of park use.