Many people, especially those with arthritis, don’t participate in regular physical activity, despite the health benefits it would offer. The Arthritis Foundation Walk with Ease Program was developed to help people with or without arthritis form walking groups whose goals are safety and success. The programs’ three major objectives are to provide participants with:
•Education about successful physical activity for people with arthritis
•Education about arthritis management
•Opportunity to begin and develop an ongoing aerobic fitness program.
Walk With Ease’s information and strategies are based on research and tested programs in exercise science, behavior change and arthritis management. Sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation and based on work done at Stanford University’s Center for Research in Disease Prevention, the Thurston Arthritis Research Center and Institute on Aging of the University of North Carolina have developed Walk With Ease as a program with proven benefits.
Groups meet for six weeks, three times per week. Each session lasts about one to one-half hours. The length of each session depends on how long your group decides to walk. At the start, some people may only be able to walk five to 15 minutes, but the program will help you gradually build up to at least 30 minutes of walking three times a week. The program can be modified to meet the interests and needs of participants, who walk at their own pace.
Each session begins with a brief discussion of a topic important to successful walking or arthritis management. After the discussion, the group will warm up, stretch, walk, cool down and stretch one last time. Walking with a group is fun, and groups often spend additional time socializing.
The Walk With Ease program is designed for people with arthritis – young and old, male and female, fit and not so-fit. It is suitable for people without arthritis who would like to begin a regular walking program to gain the benefits of regular aerobic exercise.
If you can be on your feet for 10 minutes without increased pain, you can probably participate successfully and the program can be modified to meet your needs. If you want to participate but have concerns about your health, consult your health care professional before you begin.
This class is being brought to Nevada by the Healthy Nevada Project, Osage Valley YMCA and University of Missouri Extension. Enrollment is limited to 15 people. Participants are accepted on a “first come, first served” basis. The class is free, however registration is required. The six week class will meet on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the Osage Valley “Y” beginning on Monday, April 1-May10. All participants will receive a Walk With Ease textbook. Registration is due by March 28. Call the University Of Missouri Extension Center in Nevada to register at 417-448-2560 or if you have questions, called Saralee Jamieson, Human Development Specialist in Osceola at 417-646-2419.