Book Review: Fit At Mid-Life: A Feminist Fitness Journey

17 Apr Book Review: Fit At Mid-Life: A Feminist Fitness Journey

Book Review: Fit At Mid-Life: A Feminist Fitness Journey

Fit At Mid-Life: A Feminist Fitness Journey is an excellent read. The engaging writing style of co-authors Samantha Brennan and Tracy Isaacs will capture your interest from beginning to end.

With the approach of mid-life,  Samantha and Tracy hatched a cunning plan. They set themselves a FB50 (Fittest by 50) Challenge. A grand idea that led to a blog—Fit is a Feminist Issue–and eventually this book.

You experience firsthand the personal ups and downs of their FB50 journey; they ‘take up different issues in and aspects of fitness, and paint them with a feminist brush’.  Throughout (and interspersed with their delightful sense of humour) Brennan and Isaacs provide science-based facts and info.

I like the tips, strategies, and thoughts shared in their Take it away… and Try this… These are doable suggestions for incorporating daily movement into our busy lives. The authors do not intend these to be in the self-help category. (I find this approach most appealing. Think you will too.)

In keeping with the idea of Take it Away… I have collected a few of my own Take it aways… from the book:

  • Keep your routine sustainable and fun. Be realistic
  • Resilence. Resilience helps us reach within ourselves to find a way forward.
  • You’re just going to die anyway. Why work so hard? To age well—to keep mobile and active in mid-life and beyond.
  • Sign up for stuff. Signing up for stuff makes Tracy commit. (Think it does for a lot of folks.)
  • Do you ‘compartmentalize’ exercise as a special activity or do you ‘integrate’ activity into your daily life? Find a way to enjoy an active lifestyle. 

And one of my favourites: Shift away from the tired old goal of looking a certain way. (Yes…’Stop caring about how you look, or even losing your looks.’ ) Instead:


Set action-and-performance-oriented goals

that actually improve our sense of wellness and the quality of our lives.

No offence Samantha and Tracy, but everyone needs to know that you are ‘not elite athletes’. You indeed represent the common woman, the everyday female. Through your wonderful blend of believable story, information, and inspiration, you show us how to find the joy in fitness, to make it happen by marching to our own drummers.

Is this book only for women? No!  Do I recommend everyone read it? Yes. Do I recommend you get copies and give them to your friends? Yes

Why? More than ever, in this time of pseudoscience and pop culture, we need voices like Brennan and Isaacs ‘showing how women can best take charge of their health–no matter what their shape, size, age, or ability’. And, with those same voices they inspire us to live an active lifestyle–one they say can ‘give us energy and strength…and can be a source of fun and friendship’.

About the Authors:

Samantha Brennan (left) and Tracy Isaacs (right)

Samantha Brennan, PhD, is Dean of the College of Arts at the University of Guelph, President of the Canadian Philosophical Association, and a co-founder and co-editor of Feminist Philosophy Quarterly.

Tracy Isaacs, PhD, is Associate Dean (Academic) in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and a professor in the Departments of Philosophy and of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research at Western University. Fit at Mid-Life is her second non-fiction book.

Fit At Mid-Life: A Feminist Fitness Journey is now available in local Book Stores and online. Come and Celebrate:  Book Launch, Saturday April 28, 2:00 p.m to 3:00 the Landon Public Library, 167 Wortley Rd, London ON. I’ll be there. Hope to see you too…

For further reading check out:

Blog: Fit is a Feminist Issue

Article: ‘How two philosophers got fit, the feminist way’ by Adriana Barton, Globe and Mail, April 14, 2018

Cheerios, ~Linda



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