The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and Walk with a Doc (WWAD) are proud to partner on a new initiative called A Walk in the Park to increase physical activity in communities through local parks and recreation. As part of the newly formed partnership, NRPA and WWAD are working with health care providers and local park and recreation agencies to promote healthy living and encourage participation in WWAD and Walk With Ease (WWE), a proven arthritis intervention program developed by the Arthritis Foundation.
Get the Proven Benefits of Physical Activity!
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 program’s 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!
How does it work?
Groups meet for six weeks, three times per week. Each session lasts about one hour. 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 5 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.
Who can participate?
The Walk With Ease program is designed for people with arthritis—young and old, male and female, fit and not-so-fit. It is also 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 practitioner before you begin.