What Is It?
The Walk With Ease group walking program encourages people with arthritis to start walking and stay motivated to keep active. Educational materials and tools supplement the group classes, and are used for the self-directed version of the program.
Online support is also available and includes video instruction, a message board, and an automated e-mail service alerting participants when milestones are reached.
Who should attend Walk With Ease Programs?
The Walk With Ease program is designed for people with arthritis who want to increase their physical activity levels and are able to be on their feet for at least 10 minutes without increased pain. The program may also be appropriate for people with other chronic health conditions — such as diabetes and heart disease—who want to be more active.
The research for the program found that both the group and self-directed versions of WWE can:
- Reduce arthritis symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and fatigue
- Improve strength, balance, and walking pace
- Reduce disability
- Increase confidence in the ability to manage arthritis
What are the components of Walk With Ease Programs?
Walk With Ease sessions are designed to help people reduce pain and discomfort of arthritis, increase balance and strength, build confidence in the ability to be physically active and improve overall health among older adults. During the 6-week program, participants meet three times a week in groups of up to 15. Each class begins with a health education session on an arthritis- or exercise-related topic, followed by stretching activities and a 10–35 minute walk.
Class discussion and supplemental materials cover topics such as:
- Managing arthritis pain and stiffness
- Stretching and strengthening activities to support the walking program
- Self-monitoring for physical problems while walking
- Anticipating and overcoming barriers to being physically active
- Getting and staying motivated to exercise