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An arthritis water workout
Splash in the Boro class targets arthritis sufferers
W ARTHRITIS EXERCISE 2
Delora Schnorr, 54, bottom, and Gloria Brum, 82, follow the lead of instructor Christa Campbell during an Arthritis Foundation-certified water exercise program at the Splash in the Boro indoor pool Tuesday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
      When people think of Mill Creek Park, a number of things come to mind: sports fields, Splash in the Boro, the pavilion, even the walking path. But under the dome, in the warmth of the therapy pool, the Bulloch Recreation Department now offers an afternoon water exercise program for arthritis sufferers.
       Based upon the Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program, the class provides a number of benefits to its participants: decreased pain, reduced reliance on pain medications, increased flexibility and range of motion, better sleep, increased energy and improved health.
      Bulloch Recreation Aquatics Coordinator Steve Brown said they were looking to expand the class offering at the winter building.
       "Basically, we were trying to offer more aerobics programs and we looked into the arthritis foundation class," Brown said. "We got two instructors to go down and get trained (to teach the class)."
Christa Campbell, one of the instructors for the arthritis class, described how the class is different from water aerobics.
       "The best way to equate it: It's like a combination of water walking and water yoga. We work on doing positive posture, taking nice deep breaths. We do a slow loosening of the joints," Campbell said. "Just the fact that you go in the water, you will always feel better."
       The arthritis class was partially funded by a grant administered by the Southeast Health District out of Waycoss, Ga. Anne Wheeler, director of health promotions, said she obtained the grant from the Georgia Public Health Arthritis Program - a program sponsored by the Georgia Division of Public Health that receives its funding from the Centers for Disease Control.
       Melissa Moore is one of the participants in the class held under the dome. Though she doesn't have arthritis, she still receives health benefits from the class, just in the last couple of weeks.
       "Well, my blood pressure has gone down 10 points. My doctor was getting concerned so I've been watching it and it is down into the healthy range."
       Laughing, Moore said she gets some side benefits as well.
       "I like to get away from my kids for a little while and do something just for me, and Christa's class feels just like a big massage. Afterwards I feel like I can conquer the world," Moore said. "There's no stress and it's wonderful."
       What about the class makes it so relaxing?
       "I think it's the movements Christa has us do in the pool. She has us work every joint slowly and precisely and it just feels so good afterward."
       The arthritis class is offered at the Splash in the Boro bubble dome every Tuesday and Thursday from 1-1:45 p.m. Anyone interested in participating in the class can just show up and pay the small fee. Each class costs $5, or people can obtain a pass for $125, which is good for 30 visits. Passes can be purchased at Splash or the Honey Bowen Building.
       Campbell said just getting to the dome is half the battle.
       "The hardest part is coming to the pool. I never heard anyone say, ‘Gosh, I wish I hadn't gotten in the pool.'"

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