An exercise program is good if the fitness instructor, trainer or physical therapist asks you to 1) complete a health questionnaire before starting the program, 2) perform a personal fitness assessment, and, 3) discuss your concerns and goals. This tells you that the program is individualized to your exercise goals and health needs.
If you have low bone density or osteoporosis, ask your instructor the following questions:
Question 1: What certifications do you have? The following fitness organizations are the only organizations that are 3rd party accredited and meet the standards for the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE).
- American Council on Exercise (ACE)
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
- National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA)
- American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
Question 2: Are you CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certified?
Question 3: Have you had special training in working with people who have low bone density or osteoporosis?
Questions specifically about osteoporosis…
- Do you know how to interpret a bone mineral density report? This very important question indicates the instructor’s knowledge about osteoporosis. The answer should be YES!
- Will my program include: spine flexion exercises? forward bending? hip rotation stretches? These movements are dangerous to people with low bone density or osteoporosis. The right answer is NO!
- Will balance, strength and posture exercises be included in the program? Good programs should include all of these. The answer should always be YES!
- Will “transfer training” (moving from chair, bed, car, stairs, etc. with appropriate alignment and posture) and “activities of daily living” be addressed? These dynamic movements are important to do everyday. The answer should be YES!