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Walk with Ease program steps off Tuesday in Charleston

The City of Charleston Parks and Recreation Department will begin a free Walk with Ease program at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 6.

Produced in conjunction with CAMC’s Walk with a Doc health program, the Walk with Ease/“A Walk in the Park!” project is designed to teach the public the benefits of walking, functional mobility and taking steps towards better living.

Walk with Ease will be held at Haddad Riverfront Park in downtown Charleston three days a week -- Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays -- for six weeks.

Participants will be provided booklets to follow, along with educational curriculum and the walking sessions.

Walk with Ease is an arthritis intervention program developed by the Arthritis Foundation. Charleston is one of eight cities participating in the launch of this initiative, which aims to increase physical activity in communities through local parks and recreation departments.

In Charleston, health-care providers from CAMC will host events where they invite their patients and other community members to go on a group walk with them at a local park. The events will include a short presentation by the provider on a popular health topic, along with healthy snacks, coffee and blood pressure checks.

Any patient with arthritis or at risk of developing arthritis will then be referred to Parks and Recreation for the Walk with Ease program.

Led by certified and trained instructors, Walk with Ease is scientifically proven to help reduce the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. The program is also beneficial for individuals of all ages looking to engage in a simple, low-impact walking program.

“As a resident of Charleston and a City of Charleston employee, it is my personal goal to get Charleston active, motivated and on track to a healthier life,” said program coordinator Kelsey Gilbert in a media release.

Twenty-eight percent of Americans, or 80.2 million people, ages 6 and older are physically inactive. Individuals looking to improve their overall health are encouraged to walk at least 30 minutes a day at their local park. Walking reduces blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, reduces strokes (up to 50 percent), reduces pain and disability and increases the sense of well-being.

To learn more about the benefits of walking, visit walkwithadoc.org.

Contact Citywide Program Coordinator Kelsey Gilbert at kelsey.gilbert@cityofcharleston.org or 304-348-6860, ext. 5124, for more information about the local Walk with Ease program.


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