RiseVT-Windsor County awarded Green Mountain RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) an Amplify Grant to fund the purchase of weights for Bone Builders classes. Bone Builders strength training and balance exercise classes are a Green Mountain RSVP’s signature health and fitness program. Bone Builders was developed and tested at Tufts University and is the basis for the books of Dr. Miriam Nelson who writes, “A key to increasing bone density is participation in weight bearing exercise twice weekly for at least 6 months.”

Bone Builders program uses weight training and balance exercises to increase muscle strength and bone density, prevent falls, and decrease social isolation. All classes are facilitated by certified volunteer trainers
who have been a class member for at least three months and completed a day long training with the Vermont Master Trainer. Classes are free, open to men and women 55+, and are ongoing, meeting twice per week for about an hour.

The group that recently received the weights from RiseVT started in January with five skeptical participants and an experienced certified instructor with a vision for them. With a firm belief in the power of Bone Builders to increase strength, mobility, and improve overall well-being, the instructor was committed to making a difference for the participants. Today there are eight attendees who describe greater physical comfort, an increase in arm movement without pain, and enjoyment of the class. The addition of weights from RiseVT added new goals to work on. Some participants are taking the challenge now, others will work up to it, but everyone is engaged in healthy activity!