BY KALISHA MENDONSA
Exercise Specialist Heather Mielke is happy to be hosting the Bone Health Primary Care Network (PCN) program, starting just ahead of Osteoporosis Awareness Month in November.
The fall session will kick off Oct. 29th, with six weeks’ worth of classes each Thursday at 11 a.m. Classes are free to attend, and take place at Dancer’s Edge Studio.
Classes are designed to help people learn preventative measures and skills that will strengthen their bones, muscles and overall health.
Mielke said osteoporosis – thinning of the bones – is more common than most people think. She said many times, people will receive the diagnosis after a fall or fracture that seems unusual, such as falling from standing height and breaking a wrist.
The classes focus on several fitness factors, mainly balance and posture to improve strength in the core and spine.
“One of the biggest ways to address bone fitness is by working on posture,” Mielke explained.
“People who are osteoporotic are at a higher risk for spinal fractures. We’ve all heard of someone who has rolled over in bed or sneezed or something small and ended up with a fracture in their back – that’s something we’d want to work on. Having good posture can often be very preventative in that regard.”
She said the class addresses what are called spine-sparing strategies – skills on movement, weight transference, lifting and other day-to-day activities that help strengthen bones.
“We talk a lot about basic health and fitness principles, focus on posture and work into extension of all of the muscles in your spine that hold a person upright. The other major element is balance. People who are osteoporotic and are at risk for fractures should certainly try to decrease their chances of falling. Anything we can do to train to have better balance would be beneficial for sure.”
Classes are free to attend. Registration can be done by contacting Mielke at 403-782-1408.