The DMU Physical Therapy Clinic and Community Health Partners have teamed up to offer a marvelously moving experience – the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease Program, which is designed to help people who have arthritis as well as individuals without arthritis who want to make walking a regular habit.
Based on research and tested programs in exercise science, behavior change and arthritis management, Walk With Ease is shown to:
- Reduce pain and discomfort of arthritis
- Increase balance, strength and walking pace
- Build your confidence to be physically active
- Improve overall health
“We are excited to partner with the National Arthritis Foundation and Community Health Partners to offer the Walk With Ease Program at Des Moines University,” says Kari Smith, D.P.T., manager of the Physical Therapy Clinic. “This program is ideal for our patients after completion of their physical therapy rehabilitation to continue to work on their endurance and mobility in a group setting, where they will have the support and encouragement from the certified instructors from our clinic to continue to make this a lifestyle behavior change.”
The eight-week program begins Jan. 13 and will meet Monday and Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the DMU Wellness Center on campus, 3200 Grand Ave., Des Moines. Sessions will be taught by Sharon Johansen, PTA, M.S., ATC, and Jane Solon, both certified Walk With Ease instructors.
The cost of the program is just $5 per person, which includes a workbook to help participants increase and maintain their activity outside of the sessions.
For people suffering from arthritis pain, Walk With Ease can provide relief. “The program is evidence-based and designed to gradually increase the walking program in small increments over the eight weeks, so the participants’ arthritis remains under control and their endurance improves without flaring up their condition,” says Dr. Smith.
Walk With Ease is one of several programs offered by the DMU Physical Therapy Clinic to benefit people of a variety of ages and abilities.
“The clinic initially provided wellness classes to assist with balance and general strength and conditioning, including Active Adult Exercise for general strength, Tai-Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention, Pilates for Core Strengthening, Yoga for Healthy Aging and a new Restorative and Chair Yoga,” she says. “These programs have been very successful over the past 10 years, and we wanted to expand our programming to include another program option for our patients and the community.”
“As physical therapists and educators of future health care providers, we understand the need to start managing population health and focus upon wellness and prevention programs to get people moving and managing their chronic diseases,” Dr. Smith says. “The Walk With Ease Program teaches the participant lifestyle behavior changes that can be integrated into daily routines to make it sustainable. Our goal is to get people moving and to keep them moving!”