To stay strong, mobile and upright!

Osteoporosis is commonly called a “silent disease.” 54 million Americans have low bone density or osteoporosis. The disease causes an estimated two million broken bones every year among those 50+.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, there are two types of exercises that are important for building and maintaining bone density: weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises. Also important are balance, posture and functional exercises which decrease the risk of falls and broken bones.

Trained Greater St. Cloud Area RSVP volunteers are leading their peers through a series of just such exercises free of charge on a regular basis as a part of Bone Builders, creating access for those who may not be able to afford group exercises any other way.

When surveyed, 100% of the participants who had been attending Bone Builders for at least a month agreed that, because of Bone Builders, they are stronger, can do everyday activities with greater ease and have an improved sense of well-being. 82% indicated improved balance, the rest were unsure or indicated that they felt they didn’t have impaired balance before Bone Builders. Many quick to list the personal benefits of participation that they have experienced: “It surprises me sometimes the things I can do with greater ease”; “It has increased my strength and balance”; “I feel better overall, mentally and physically”; “It has built up my stamina”; “(It’s) easier to take stairs instead of elevator”.

During 2013 in Elk River and Zimmerman, volunteers lead 178 Bone Builders classes. 74 different individuals participated in the classes for an average of 20 classes each. All the necessary equipment and space is provided by the Elk River Activity Center or Guardian Angels Housing. During 2014 classes will be starting in Becker and at a second location in Elk River.

One of the leaders summed up the benefits of Bone Builders: “We come to stay strong, mobile and upright!”

-Charlotte Strei