Turns out Sarah Palin is running for something this year. Just not an elected office. It seems the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate and former governor of Alaska is writing another book.

This time, she’s tackling the subject of fitness.

Palin broke the news to People magazine in an e-mail when questions were raised about photos of her appearing so thin that concern was expressed she might be ill.

“Our family is writing a book on fitness and self-discipline focusing on where we get our energy and balance as we still eat our beloved homemade comfort foods!,” Palin wrote.

She called the work “our unique and motivating book,” adding, “We promise you what we do works and allows a fulfilling quality of life and sustenance anyone can enjoy.”

The family likes writing books, apparently. Palin is the author of “America by Heart: Reflection on Family, Faith, and Flag,” released in 2010, and “Going Rogue: An American Life,” in 2009. “Our Sarah: Made in Alaska,” by her father and brother came out last month.

No word on the publisher for the latest tome on fitness and diet, but the idea has provided plenty of fodder for comedians.

Whatever you may think of Palin’s politics, though, you have to admit that the woman looks good for a 48-year-old mom of five.

Sarah Palin looks fit as she campaigns for candidate Sarah Steelman for the Senate primary race in Missouri. (Diana Reese — For The Washington Post)

Bill Maher pointed out her attractive figure in a segment in his Oct. 12 show, using a photo I took last summer when Palin was campaigning for candidate Sarah Steelman, a fellow “mama grizzly” who lost the election to Todd Akin. (Maybe the voters should have listened to Palin?)

“She looks very fit…look at that, the Superman T-shirt, the hooker jeans,” Maher said to laughter. (The Superman shirt was actually Steelman’s campaign shirt, which Palin donned to show her support.)

Joan Rivers tweeted, “Sarah Palin revealed that she’s writing a fitness book. In it she claims she can jog to Russia from her house.”

You get the idea. Plenty of people tweeted “you betcha” she’s writing a book along with comments that she’ll advise readers to quit halfway to their weight-loss goal.

But Palin may be on to something. In a 2008 interview with The Wall Street Journal, she revealed some of her health habits.

She’s the daughter of high school cross-country and track coaches, so she’s been a runner all her life, she said, racking up 7 to 10 miles almost every day before her fifth pregnancy.

Her diet would please the lean-protein, low-carb crowd. “My family and I eat a healthy diet heavy in wild Alaskan seafood, moose, caribou and fresh fruit,” she told The Wall Street Journal. Nutritionists would probably recommend adding vegetables to her diet, but applaud the lean protein and seafood, especially salmon, rich in omega-3.

She did admit breakfast was her “biggest pitfall” and can only down “a skinny white-chocolate mocha.”

I say more power to Palin. The woman has a loyal following, as I discovered after writing about her this summer. Maybe this mama grizzly, as she refers to herself, can inspire others to eat healthier and get active, regardless of politics. After all, Jane Fonda moved on from her reputation as Hanoi Jane and anti-war protester to sell millions of exercise videos.

Perhaps first lady Michelle Obama might even endorse Palin’s book. And remember: You’ve gotta stay fit if you want to avoid those death panels.

Diana Reese is a freelance journalist in Kansas City and contributing author to The Duke Encyclopedia of New Medicine.