Last updated: July 17. 2013 1:38PM - 314 Views

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Chad Abshire

Staff Writer

WILLIAMSON – Get ready to get walking.

Beginning April 29, The Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease program will be offered at local churches and senior citizens centers across Mingo County.

Hosted by the Mingo County Diabetes Coalition (MCDC), Walk With Ease is a structured walking program that teaches participants how to safely make physical activity part of their everyday life. The program is designed to help people living with arthritis better manage their pain and is also ideal for people without arthritis who want to make walking a daily habit.

“Research shows that walking is not only good for joints, but also helps improve the health of the heart, lungs and bones,” Kayla Whitt, with the Mingo County Diabetes Coalition, said. “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 pain, you will most likely have success with Walk With Ease.”

The Walk With Ease program will be hosted in six locations across Mingo County, and offers support, information and tools to help participants develop successful exercise routines. Individuals can join in a six-week group series led by a certified leader at the following locations:

• Victory Christian Church;

• Little Dove United Baptist Church;

• Harry L Joyce Senior Center;

• Harry White Senior Citizens Center;

• Delbarton Area Senior Citizens Center;

• Mary E. Brown Senior Citizens Center.

Participants will learn proper stretching and pain management techniques, as well as build their stamina and walking pace during the program. Walk With Ease can also be modified to meet the needs of individual participants so that each person can develop an exercise routine unique to their personal goals.

Pastor Jimmy Maynard, a past participant, showed enthusiam for this year’s program.

“We’ve had sisters and brothers with sugar problems, knee problems, arthritis and heart problems, and we decided it was time for us to step up,” he said. “We aren’t doing this so we can be good-looking, we’re doing it so we can feel better and see our grandkids grow up.”

“The information and strategies taught in Walk With Ease are based on research and tested programs in exercise science, behavior change and arthritis management,” a release from the MCDC stated. “Updated and evaluated by the Thurston Arthritis Research Center and the Institute on Aging of the University of North Carolina, Walk With Ease is shown to increase balance, strength and walking pace, as well as reduce the pain and discomfort of arthritis. The program is also shown to build participant confidence to be physically active and improve overall health.”

Pre-registration is necessary for the Walk With Ease Program. For more information, contact Kayla Whitt at (304)-235-3400. And as with starting any exercise program, check with your physician beforehand.

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