Program Promotes Walking For Wellness

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Mary and Bruce Poage of Topeka have walked through life together for 46 years. Now, they're walking their way to better health, relaunching a regular walking routine.

Experts say their daily walk is the perfect approach.

Kelly Barnes, an exercise physiologist with Topeka's Cotton-O'Neil Heart Center, says walking encompasses all four components of good exercise - cardio, strength training, balance and flexibility.

Barnes says everyone should aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week. She says it doesn't have to be intense. She says a leisurely stroll is perfectly fine for beginners. Plus, she says people can divide up the time into smaller segments to reach the 30 minute time total.

KDHE is helping people take the first steps through its "Walk with Ease program. KDHE worksite wellness specialist Missty Lechner says it's a six-week, individualized program. It is free to sign up and participants receive a free guidebook to help them along. Lechner says the guidebook provides lots of tips and tools on how to safely increase walking pace and amount of time walking; motivational tips to keep walking; and health education information like types of shoes to wear and safe terrain for people with various conditions.

The goal is to keep moving after the program ends.

KDHE and HealthWise 55 are hosting a "Walk with Ease" group walk at 8:30 am September 18th at Topeka's West Ridge Mall. Attendees can sign up for the program, enjoy snacks and coffee, and take a walk.


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