Arthritis Exercise Programs

Walk with Ease (WWE) Group or Self-Directed

Walk with Ease is community-based, group walking program offered by the Arthritis Foundation. The Walk With Ease (WWE) arthritis self-management program was developed by the Arthritis Foundation to be used in a community setting with individuals who may be either self or medically diagnosed with arthritis. Participants meet three times a week at regional sites in groups of up to 30 participants under the direct supervision of a walking leader trained according to guidelines of the Arthritis Foundation. Each meeting begins with a pre-walk discussion covering a specified topic related to exercise and arthritis, followed by a 10- to 40-minute walk that includes a warm-up and cool-down as described in the Walk With Ease leader’s guide.  This program meets for six weeks. 

The Walk with Ease Self-Directed Program is an ideal worksite wellness walking six week program.  This program is specifically designed to help individuals start and maintain a safe walking routine.  Trained walking instructors will communicate with participants by email once a week to provide on education on walking and health topics, as well as encouragement.  Participants will walk a minimum of three times a week on their own, and report their walking activity to the instructor the following week.  

Participants completing either of these programs report experiencing:

  • Improved functional ability
  • Decreased depression
  • Decreased pain
  • Increased confidence in one's ability to exercise

Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program (AFEP)

AFEP is a community-based recreational exercise program developed by the Arthritis Foundation. Trained AFEP instructors cover a variety of range-of-motion and endurance-building activities, relaxation techniques, and health education topics. All of the exercises can be modified to meet participant needs. The program's demonstrated benefits include improved functional ability, decreased depression, and increased confidence in one's ability to exercise. Classes typically meet two or three times per week.  This program meets for eight weeks.  

Enhance Fitness (EF)

The Enhance Fitness program is an evidence-based group exercise program that helps older adults at all levels of fitness become more active, energized, and empowered to sustain and independent life.  Trained instructors cover cardiovascular exercise, strength trainings, balance and flexibility.  This program is 16 weeks.

Participants that have completed the program report experiencing:

  • Increased strength
  • Boosted activity levels
  • Elevated moods
  • Improved balance
  • Increased limberness

Where can I find these programs in Montana?


Anaconda-Deer Lodge MSU Extension
Walk with Ease
(406) 563-4036


Mission Ridge & The Vista
Arthritis Exercise Program
Erin Adams, (406) 655-5250

Billings Family YMCA
Enhance Fitness
Kassia Lyman, (406) 294-1624

Walk with Ease
Melissa Hollenbeck-Wilson, (406) 294-5208


Powder River County, MSU Extension
Arthritis Exercise Program and Walk with Ease
Julie Riley, (406) 436-2424


Butte-Silver Bow Health Department
Walk with Ease
Theresa Dennehy,  (406) 497-5085

Public Housing Authority
Arthritis Exercise Program
Clarisa Hogart, (406) 782-4436


Stillwater Billings Clinic
Arthritis Exercise Program
Tasha Hajek, (406) 322-1070

Stillwater County, MSU Extension
Arthritis Exercise Program
Lisa Terry, (406) 322-8035


Stillwater County, MSU Extension
Arthritis Exercise Program
Lisa Terry, (406) 322-8035
Carla Buell, (406) 328-4589


Valley County, MSU Extension
Arthritis Exercise Program and Walk with Ease
Roubie Younkin, (406) 228-6241


Big Horn County, MSU Extension

Holly Jay, (406) 665-9770


Down Under Fitness Center
Arthritis Exercise Program
Tami Nystrom, (406) 265-4805



St. Peter's Hospital
Arthritis Exercise Program
Jaime Larese, (406) 444-2130


Summit Medical Fitness Center
Walk with Ease
Christelle Parker, (406) 756-7395


Miles City

Custer County, MSU Extension
Arthritis Exercise Program and Walk with Ease
Tara Andrews, (406) 874-3370
Betty Vail, (406) 234-0505


Missoula Family YMCA
Arthritis Exercise Program and Enhance Fitness
Keri McHugh, (406) 721-9622
Kara Tuttle, (406) 721-9622


Sheridan County, MSU Extension
Arthritis Exercise Program and Walk with Ease
Sheila Friedrich, (406) 765-3406


Daniels County Health Department
Arthritis Exercise Program
Lois Leibrand, (406) 783-7310
Teresa Danelson, (406) 487-5560


Richland County Commission on Aging
Arthritis Exercise Program
Jodi Berry, (406) 433-3701
Felicia Iverson, (406) 433-3701