Keeping active at every age – ‘Walk with Ease’ class offered through health department

Pam Sorensen, left; Willy Inman, Dorothy Salisbury, Francis Mitchell, Diane Norton, Connie Crawford, Lavon Smith, Nancy Maree, Anita Crowe, Maria Cuevas, Gloria Sanders and Valyn Leavitt participate in a ‘Walk with Ease’ class Nov. 12, in Richfield. Mitchell, who is 103, is one of the class’s star pupils.

Cedar Canyon’s Senior Living Apartments recently completed a ‘Walk with Ease’ class. 

The class is offered through Central Utah Public Health Department and taught by health educators Valyn Leavitt and Pam Sorensen. 

Sorensen and Leavitt both said it has been fun to teach the ladies. 

“They are all energetic and enthusiastic, you would never believe any of them are the age they are,” Leavitt said. “Class participants range in age from 69 to 103. They are all amazing women and a testament to the benefits of staying active, not only for physical well-being but also for mental wellness.” 

The ‘Walk with Ease’ class is recommended by the National Center for Disease Control as an evidence-based program proven to reduce pain, increase balance, strength, walking pace and improve overall health. 

Participating in this class helps build confidence in participant’s ability to be physically active and shows them how physical activity can be a part of our everyday lives, Leavitt said. 

“They learn the relationship between arthritis, exercise and pain; develop and implement personal walking plans with realistic goals, and get tips, strategies and resources for maintaining a long-term exercise routine,” Leavitt said. “Each participant receives an Arthritis Foundation Certification, a book filled with tips and illustrations and a six-week walking plan.” 

‘Walk with Ease’ is a six-week workshop held three times a week for an hour to an hour and a half for each session. 

In this particular class, attendance ranged from 10 to 14 people per class. 

While the workshop is completed, the participants are determined to keep walking, Leavitt said. 

“All we can say is you go girls, you are rock stars,” Leavitt said. 

Anyone who is or knows someone with an interest in participating in an upcoming ‘Walk With Ease’ class can contact Leavitt or Sorensen at the Central Utah Public Health Department, (435) 896-5451.

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