Walk With Ease

Can Walking Really Be That Good?

Walking is the most studied form of exercise, and multiple studies have proven that it’s the best thing we can do to improve our overall health and increase our longevity and functional years.” Dr. Robert Sallis Source

For healthcare providers who would like more information to help in referring their patients into the Walk With Ease Program

Walk With Ease Program (WWE)

The Arthritis Foundation developed WWE to encourage people with arthritis to start walking to better manage their pain and stay active.

It has been found to be a great exercise program for a broader audience as well:

  • Individuals with health risks or chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes
  • Sedentary individuals or beginners to exercise
  • Individuals who are interested in weight management
  • Individuals who enjoy walking and would like to join a group to make it more social

No matter if you need relief from arthritis pain or just want to be active, the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease program can teach you how to safely make physical activity part of your everyday life.

Studies by the Thurston Arthritis Research Center and the Institute on Aging of the University of North Carolina show that Walk With Ease is proven to: 

  • Reduce pain and discomfort
  • Increase balance, strength and walking pace 
  • Build confidence in your ability to be physically active 
  • Improve overall health

Research Links on Walk With Ease

Walk With Ease Self-Directed Program

“Walk With Ease helped me restart my walking program after hip surgery. Probably the biggest benefit was that being active helped to relieve stress and improve my mood and just feel better. ​

I also recommend urban pole walking. My back tends to hurt when walking, but using the poles makes that much better.​”

Marilyn Jones, WWE past participant

Step One

Participants are assisted by our Navigator in getting started. Medical clearance from your doctor is necessary, but we can help with that process.

  • Send us a message here Contact Us, if you are interested in getting started with the WWE program
  • Medical clearance or referrals from providers can be faxed to 515-635-1286

Step Two

The cost of the program is the cost of the WWE guidebook.

  • Participants use WWE guidebooks to work on goal setting and learn to be an independent exerciser.
  • We are able to provide our participants with a discounted price of $4.78 + ~$4.95 shipping = ~$9.73. We will connect you with the link and promo code to make your order online.

Step Three

If interested, participants are connected with an Iowa State University trained student health coach who checks in 1x/week through the duration of the program. As a reminder, the student health coach is intended to assist participants in being successful taking on a healthier lifestyle.  A health coach complements the Walk With Ease program to increase its effectiveness by helping address barriers for making walking for exercise a regular routine. Health coaches do not prescribe or treat but instead support individuals in developing new, health-supported habits that stick. Health coaching can be done by phone, virtually or even through emails.

Step Four

The Walk With Ease self-directed version is a 6-week program with a goal for participants to walk at least 3x/week following your walking plan from the guidebook and using the tools and resources available from the book and your health coach. Your health coach will encourage plans for next steps upon successful completion of the program.

Our partners at Iowa State University are helping us evaluate and improve upon the program so more people in Iowa can experience success with the Walk With Ease program. In order to do that, we encourage our participants to complete a short pre, post and 6-month follow-up questionnaire.

More ISU information

If you are 60+ years of age and live in Boone, Dallas, Jasper, Madison, Marion, Polk, Story or Warren Counties, you can have your fee reimbursed when you complete the WWE program. This is due to funding from the Aging Resources of Central Iowa.

Walk With Ease Group Programs

The Walk With Ease Group program is led by a certified WWE instructor. Programs are provided either 3x/week for 6 weeks or 2x/week for 9 weeks for a total of 18 group sessions.

Each session is 50 – 60 minutes in length and the curriculum includes:

  • How to build stamina and walking pace​
  • Self-monitoring for physical problems while walking​
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises to support the walking program​
  • Managing pain and stiffness​
  • Anticipating and overcoming barriers to being physically active​
  • Getting and staying motivated to exercise​
  • Goal setting
  • Go on a group walk to end the session

Currently WWE Group programs are put on hold due to COVID-19. But check back on our Calendar of programs and events for programs near you.

If you are an agency or community-based organization and interested in offering the WWE program, CONTACT US and we can help you get started!

WWE guidebook – also available in Spanish!