Community Fitness Today (CFT) is a non-profit, community based organization whose mission is to improve the health status of minorities through education, fitness, and prevention programs. Our goal is to address underlying causes of health risks through culturally specific programs that will modify behaviors and educate people to make healthy lifestyle choices. Principles of history, heritage and culture are used to inspire individuals and families to maximize their potential for wellness and personal growth. Community Fitness Today, inc. (CFT) was founded to address behavior related risks facing people of color, specifically African Americans. CFT designs educational intervention programs for individuals with African American cultural experiences in mind. Messages on health and wellness are still not reaching minority people. This communication gap is one of many contributing factors to health disparities experienced by minorities.
The organization focuses on HIV education and prevention, advocacy and support services for individuals who are HIV positive. Our Twin Cities African American Church HIV/AIDS Prevention Project is one of the programs we use to reach churches through HIV prevention workshops and presentations. There is no location off limits when it comes to doing HIV prevention workshops; such as prisons, chemical dependency treatment facilities, individual homes, community centers, schools, etc. Our aerobics program highlights the need for education and prevention of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, weight loss, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. CFT provides hard-to-find culturally appropriate services and programs that are rooted in history, heritage and culture. For example, African American women are able to socially identify with fitness instructors and other participants from their own community, and HIV instructors are individu als who are apart of a church as well as members from the target community.
CFT’s core fitness program include three aerobic exercise and nutrition education classes every week, serving approximately 15-20 people per class, of which 91% are African American. Certified fitness instructors conduct low-impact aerobics, step aerobics, and muscle pump classes. Cholesterol and blood pressure screenings are checked at the annual, family-friendly “Gospel Aerobics Power Jam” hosted on the third Saturday in May.