Senior Center starts Walk With Ease program

Published 12:01 am Thursday, May 28, 2015

Members of the Elizabethton Senior Citizens Center are putting one foot in front of the other toward a more comfortable life.

Several seniors signed up to take part in the Walk With Ease program to help incorporate more daily walking into their lives to help improve fitness and general well-being.

The program, approved by the Arthritis Foundation, has been proven to help ease the aches and pains associated with long-term chronic conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, said Tracy Buckles with the First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability.

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“The biggest thing with Walk With Ease is getting people moving,” Buckles said.

The 8-week program started at the senior center two weeks ago, director Kathy Dula said. The program meets at 9 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and will continue until June 29.

“It really is a fantastic program,” Dula said. “It is based at each person’s level. They do what they are comfortable with, and then they continue to increase as they go along.”

Walkers started by making laps around the track near the senior center. As they start to improve their stamina, they can go on longer and longer walks. The goal for this session is to take their walking to downtown Elizabethton.

Wylma Wagner leads the classes. Each participant gets an instructional book, a T-shirt and a bag. The Agency on Aging and Disability is funding the program, so there is no cost to participate.

“Walking is the best thing in the world you can do when you have aches and pains and can’t do anything else,” Wagner said. “We break it down to what is comfortable for them. In the short time we have done it, we have people who have gone from watching to walking.”

Vanessa Coffman joined the program hoping to see some relief from joint pain.

“I do feel better after I walk,” she said. “It helps me with my joints, which is one of the biggest health reasons I am doing this. I think I will keep it up after the program is over because it gets me up and gets me moving.”

Linda Guess was looking for a new activity to take part in when she joined Walk With Ease.

“I like trying something new,” she said. “Walking helps me feel better. I did walk a little before but I am moving more now.”

For more information, contact the Senior Center at 543-4362.