For Immediate Release
September 10, 2012

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Free Walking Program Kicks Off at West Ridge Mall

TOPEKA, Kan. - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), in partnership with the Arthritis Foundation, Stormont-Vail HealthCare HealthWise 55 and West Ridge Mall, is hosting an event to kick off a free individual walking program, Walk with Ease. On Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 8:30 a.m. in the West Ridge Mall Food Court, people can meet with an instructor, receive free materials to get started in the program, enter to win a bonus kit and join the Healthy Steps mall walking group in stretching before a walk inside the mall. Coffee and snacks will be provided.

“Walking can help manage weight, reduces your risk for arthritis in the knees, heart disease and diabetes,” said Robert Moser, M.D., KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer. “Walking also helps reduce the pain and discomfort of arthritis, increase balance and strength and improve overall health.”

The Arthritis Foundation Walk with Ease program is a six-week, structured walking program that teaches participants how much they should walk, how to increase walking pace and endurance and how physical activity can be a part of daily life. After the Sept. 18 kick-off event, the Healthy Steps group will meet again at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25, Oct. 2, Oct. 9, Oct. 16 and Oct. 23. To sign up for the Sept. 18 event, call 785-354-6787 or email wwe-kansas@kdheks.gov.

Walk with Ease offers information and tools to help people develop successful walking routines and stay motivated to continue walking. The Walk with Ease guidebook includes warning signals a person is exercising too hard, tips on when to increase the intensity of a workout, stretching and strengthening exercises and information on building stamina and walking pace. Walk with Ease is available to anyone (with or without arthritis) and can be modified to meet individual needs, so each person can develop an exercise routine that fits his or her unique goals. Information and strategies taught in the Arthritis Foundation Walk with Ease Program are based on research and tested programs in exercise science and behavior change.

KDHE’s Arthritis Program works to improve the quality of life of Kansans with arthritis through the promotion of proper self-management to prevent or delay the potential joint destruction associated with the disease. For additional information on the Kansas Arthritis Program, visit www.kdheks.gov/arthritis. For more information on Walk with Ease or to register for the free individual program, visit www.kdheks.gov/arthritis/wwe-overview.htm.