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The University of Maine Center on Aging Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) will soon be starting a Bone Builders group in Newport. RSVP’s Bone Builders is a low impact, weight-bearing exercise regimen for men and women 50 and older. Bone Builders is designed to increase muscular strength and bone density while improving flexibility and balance.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bone density decreases. The bones become thin and brittle, and they are easily broken or fractured. One out of every two women and one out of eight men, over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. Based upon research by Tufts University and reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, RSVP’s Bone Builders program is designed to prevent and reverse osteoporosis, improve balance to protect against falls and fractures, and enhance the participant’s energy level and sense of well-being.

Members of the Bone Builders group demonstrating the importance of weight training.

RSVP Bone Builders classes are free to participants due to locally donated space at the Newport Cultural Center, support from United Way of Eastern Maine, and RSVP volunteer lay leaders. RSVP volunteer lay leaders receive an intensive initial training and annual re-training under the guidance of a certified fitness consultant.
Here are some testimonials from RSVP Bone Builders participants. These comments were part of a December 2015 survey. Joan Preble, RSVP Bone Builders volunteer lay leader from Ellsworth says, “My last bone scan showed no osteoporosis any more! Bone Builders is fun to do! Thanks!” New participant, Dee Carter of Hampden says, “This class is helping me already, even though I have only been doing it for a short time. I hurt my back last summer and it is feeling stronger as a result of these classes.”
Classes are an hour and a half long and held twice weekly. Participants are required to commit to attending 75% of classes over a 6 month period. For safety reasons, interested people are required to submit some forms to participate, including your medical professional’s consent to exercise.
Later in February, RSVP will host an informational gathering where greater Newport area residents will have the opportunity to receive and review needed paperwork, observe some of the exercises, ask questions and get more information. Class size is limited, so people should contact RSVP to express an interest in joining. For information about RSVP Bone Builders or to express interest in attending the informational gathering in February, contact Cindy Whitney at (207) 262-7924 or email