Women?s book club to focus on fitness


A book club8212;free and focused on fitness8212;is looking for a few more members before its Sept. 28 kick-off.

The program, called Fit Minded Coronary Artery Disease Survivors, promotes physical activity and wellness in women who have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease or a form of cardiovascular disease as well as women who have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

Fit Minded is not an exercise group or weight loss program. Rather, members will read books that inspire, inform and empower them to take charge of their health.

The group will meet from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evenings Sept. 28 through Dec. 14 at the Wellness Center at South Dakota State University. It costs nothing to join, all books and materials are free and participants need not be Wellness Center members.

“We’ll read four books, all novels8212;fun books, not textbooks,” said Jessica Meendering, assistant professor of health and nutritional sciences at SDSU and Fit Minded program coordinator. “We’ll read a few chapters each week and discuss certain topics that relate to health behaviors.”

Each book club member will receive a workbook containing exercise information as well as a pedometer that measures the number of steps taken each day.

“We want to help women learn about what barriers they have to physical activity and ways to overcome those barriers,” Meendering said. “This is a fun way to do that.”

Meendering collaborated on a similar program when she was on the faculty at the University of Nebraska. That program was designed for healthy young women by Jennifer Huberty, who continues to coordinate the Fit Minded Program for healthy young women out of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. This time around, Meendering and Huberty tailored the program to fit women with cardiovascular disease. The program is part of a research study looking at innovative ways to increase physical activity and self- worth and decrease markers of cardiovascular risk in women.

“If you’re a woman who has been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol and enjoy reading and want to increase your physical activity, I encourage you to join,” she said.

To do so, call Meendering at 605-688-5949. Spots are limited.

Fit Minded is part of a research study funded through an SDSU grant and conducted by faculty and students within the Health and Nutritional Sciences Department at SDSU.