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Reno County

Posted on: April 1, 2022

Walk With Ease April-May Program

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The Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease program is a structured walking program that teaches participants how to safely make physical activity a part of their everyday life. The program will be held at TWO locations in April and May.

Walk with Ease and Public Health Week

National Public Health week is April 4-10 and this year’s theme is “Public Health is where you are”. The Reno County Health Department has been offering a program for the past two years that certainly meets this theme. The Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease program is a structured walking program that teaches participants how to safely make physical activity a part of their everyday life. The program is designed to help people living with arthritis better manage their pain but is also ideal for those without arthritis who want to make walking a daily habit. Studies show that increasing physical activity reduces symptoms of arthritis, and as 25% of Reno County residents on Medicare have been treated for rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, the need is great in our community.

Walk With Ease offers support, information, and tools to help participants develop successful exercise routines. Locally the Health Educator’s at the Reno County Health Dept. have seen great success with this program! Lynn Love, a previous participant who deals with diabetes and pain from arthritis, says that her participation in the program a year ago kick started her to make changes in her lifestyle. By being more aware of her exercise activity and diet, she has seen a 15 lb. weight loss, a 3-point reduction in her A1C, and her pain level has decreased.

The Arthritis Foundation’s 6-week Walk With Ease Program will be offered at two local facilities this spring on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; 10:45 am at the Elmdale Senior Center and 3 pm at the Delos V. Smith Senior Center. Participants will meet April 11 through May 20 for 10 minutes of education, warm-up/stretching, then a 5 to 30-minute walk, ending with cool-down/stretching led by a certified instructor. During the program, participants will learn proper stretching and pain management techniques, as well as build stamina and walking pace. The program can even be modified to meet the needs of individual participants so that each person can develop an exercise routine that fits their unique goals. 

“Research shows that walking is not only good for joints, but also helps improve the health of the heart, lungs and bones,” said Diane Swinney of the Reno County Health Department. “Walking can also help manage weight which can reduce one’s risk for arthritis in the knee, heart disease and diabetes. If you can be on your feet for 10 minutes without increased pain, you will most likely have success with Walk With Ease.” 

Class size is limited and pre-registration for the Free Walk With Ease Program is required. Register for the class of your choice by contacting the Senior Center at Elmdale Park at 620-663-2811 or Delos V. Smith Senior Center at 620-662-0111. Participants must be age 60+ to participate at these facilities. Before starting any exercise program, always check with your physician. The Walk with Ease program is offered through the KDHE’s Chronic Disease Risk Reduction grant. 

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Flyer for Delos V. Smith Center Class (PDF)

Flyer for Elmdale Center Class (PDF)

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