RSVP+ North Central North Dakota, serving Minot and surrounding communities, is looking for local partners and volunteer trainers to bring the Bone Builders Program to the area. Bone Builders was successfully launched in Grand Forks in May, and due to the increased interest, RSVP+ ND plans to expand the program to 35 sites across the state.
Bone Builders is a free, alternative exercise program that strives to combat the negative effects of osteoporosis. Participants take part in weight bearing exercises and learn about ways to combat osteoporosis during regular classes.
"The idea for the program started out when we were investigating incentives for volunteering, such as classes and trips. We also saw that there wasn't exercise facilities in many of the communities we serve, and the classes would provide exercise opportunities as well as draw more residents into community buildings," Miriam Smette, Director for RSVP+ North Central North Dakota, said.
Miriam Smette, director of RSVP+ North Central North Dakota, writes notes in a Bone Builders Program manual in her office.
Bone Builders classes can be led by trained volunteers. Trainers will visit the community and deliver the weights and materials for the class, and train community members interested in leading the classes.
Weights are provided for each participant in the class, though they don't have to use them if they aren't ready.
"Some may choose to just do the exercises without weights at first. In the class you can progress at your own pace, but you're still working together as a group," Smette said.
In addition to the exercises, volunteers would lead the class through the educational components of the program. Smette explained that volunteers would follow educational resources in the Bone Builders workbook and could also partner with local resources to provide more information.
The Bone Builders Program will be open to all ages, though bone density loss is higher for those over age 50.
"There are a lot of benefits for program participants, especially for women suffering from bone density loss. Over the course of a year with this class, you can increase bone mass by 1 percent. It's not a lot, but it's a starting point," Smette said.
"Our hope is that with the exercise and education, people can make better choices and develop good routines," she added.
RSVP+ North Central is looking for local partners that can offer space to hold the program and local sponsors that can offer funds to purchase the weights used in the exercises. They are also looking for volunteers that are willing to lead the classes. Volunteers don't have to be members of RSVP+ to take the Bone Builders training course.
Smette said she hopes to start the program in five rural communities in the counties surrounding Minot before the end of the year, and eventually expand.
"We're especially looking to put the program in rural communities where they don't already have fitness centers. We're not trying to compete with the fitness centers in urban areas. We hope it will be a benefit to the community itself," Smette said.
"Many of the rural communities have buildings that aren't used as often as they could be, and are looking for ways to make their community more alive," she added.
For more information on becoming a sponsor or a volunteer of Bone Builders contact Smette at 852-3799 or e-mail email@example.com. For additional information on Bone Builders visit (www.RSVPNorthDakota.org).