What is Fit Minded?

Fit Minded is a women’s book club that promotes physical activity and wellness. That’s right–a book club! Not an exercise group. Not a weight loss program. It’s essentially a book club in which members either read and discuss books or watch and listen to podcasts and webinars about health and quality of life.

Fit Minded is a program that empowers you to take charge of your health by learning about yourself and cultivating your self-worth. It’s a book club in which you read and watch or listen to inspiring material then discuss them with your peers in-person or online. The meetings and discussion boards are facilitated by a health promotion professional.

How is it different than other physical activity or weight loss programs?

Fit Minded is very different from other programs because it’s based on the theory that we first have to change our minds about physical activity before we can change our bodies. If we can change our minds, we can change anything—including our motivation for physical activity and our ability to stick with it. Fit Minded is also different because it started in a university setting and is based on ongoing scientific research

Do you exercise during meetings?

No. Our meetings are very much like other book club meetings you might have attended except that they’re facilitated by a health promotion professional.

You either join us in the comfort of your own home via a discussion board or you sit in a circle around a table and talk about the chapters or handouts we’ve read that week or what we have listened to in the podcasts.

As we share our thoughts and feelings about the material, we’re also supporting each other and thinking and talking through the individual barriers that often prevent us from being active.

Do you talk about diet and nutrition during book club meetings?

We don’t focus on diet and nutrition, although the topic does come up sometimes at book club meetings. We know that if women can support each other and learn to think of themselves differently, they’ll start to take care of themselves better—and that includes both physical activity and diet.

How do you utilize podcasts and webinars?

As we discuss the books or podcasts/webinars we’ve read or watched, participants support one another in revealing and breaking down our barriers. Fit Minded enhances feelings of self-worth, which motivates women to be more physically active, which in turn leads to better health and quality of life–and even more self-worth!

Does Fit Minded work?

This is the really exciting part. Because Fit Minded is based on research*, we know a lot about what works and what doesn’t. We continue to collect information from participants who volunteer to allow us to include their data in our ongoing research.

After completing Fit Minded, our alumni:

  • increased their self-worth.
  • increased their level of physical activity.
  • learned to think of physical activity and themselves as a priority.
  • found ways to make physical activity fun for them.
  • developed strategies to overcome barriers to physical activity.
  • learned to use self-monitoring tools (such as a physical activity tracker and diary) to make physical activity a habit and to set and achieve goals.
  • gained confidence in their ability to become more physically active and take responsibility for their health.

Many also lost weight, although we do not focus on weight loss.

Next step

Learn about Physical Activity.