About FIT Together
FIT [Functional Improvement after Treatment] Together became a nonprofit organization in 2014 under the leadership of Dr. Kerri Winters Stone and Jessica Dobek. The mission of FIT Together is to provide evidence-based, professionally led, group exercise classes designed to meet the health abilities, needs and goals of men and women who have been treated for cancer.
FIT Together evolved after many years of research conducted by Dr. Winters-Stone and her team at Oregon Health & Science University that has been published in numerous scientific journals but which failed to reach the people it was intended to help – cancer survivors struggling with the lingering side effects and symptoms that made it more difficult to return to the lives they led before having cancer or leading an even healthier life. Dr. Winters-Stone’s studies showed time and again that specifically designed exercise programs could restore bone and muscle health, physical functioning, and healthier body composition (less fat, more muscle) that was made worse by cancer treatment. In all of her studies, men and women exercised together in group exercise classes, and this seemed to add an extra benefit for participants. Participants enjoyed the camaraderie, inspiration, and support gained from exercising with others who have also battled cancer. Many socialize outside of classes and carpool to training sessions. Unfortunately, despite Dr. Winters-Stone’s research and others’ across the country, very few exercise programs are available for cancer survivors who aren’t enrolled in a research study. Knowing how many more cancer survivors could benefit, Dr. Winters-Stone and her project director of 8 years, Jessica Dobek, finally decided to take matters into their own hands and start FIT Together as a way to deliver research-based exercise classes to cancer survivors throughout the Portland metro area.
Our mission is to offer evidence-based, professionally led, group exercise classes designed to meet the health abilities, needs and goals of men and women who have been treated for cancer.
WHAT IS FIT TOGETHER
FIT [Functional Improvement after Treatment] Together offers evidence-based, professionally led, group exercise classes to men and women recovering from treatment for cancer. The group exercise classes are evidence-based and use specifically designed programs that have been shown to effectively combat the side effects and symptoms that linger after cancer treatment through several randomized controlled trials conducted at Oregon Health & Science University [For more information about these research studies, click HERE to read the published manuscripts].
FIT Together is founded on the belief that exercise, along with traditional medical treatment, can be used as medicine if it is also effectively prescribed to meet the patient’s needs. For example, aspirin is recommended as a general type of medicine to lower the risk of several conditions, but it isn’t what your doctor would prescribe to control your blood pressure. Similarly, while we think all exercise is good, we firmly believe that there is a right type of exercise to address a particular set of symptoms or side effects caused by cancer treatment. We have designed several types of exercise programs to address different types of side effects and concerns faced by cancer survivors, so we offer different classes to meet each person’s needs.