For 10 years, SourcePoint’s pool has been improving health and turning strangers into friends.

With all of the laughing going on, you’d never know the group was toning muscle and improving its overall cardio health.

But social gatherings disguised as fitness classes would be an accurate description of what happens each week in SourcePoint’s warm-water exercise pool, which reaches its 10th anniversary this summer.

For Jonell Arthur, wellness supervisor at SourcePoint who oversees fitness and aquatics classes, the environment in and around the pool is just what she envisioned. As a recent Tuesday evening water aerobics class concludes, class members talk about what they enjoy most about taking to the water. Not surprisingly, the camaraderie tops the list, with health benefits a nice bonus.

“Socializing is very important. If you’ve had a bad day, you can come and laugh,” said Sharon Starr, who’s been using the pool for close to five of its 10 years and who Arthur said was
the pool’s 100,000th user. “But the exercise is good, too.”

Conni Birri has been teaching the twice-weekly class for close to a year, and said there are typically seven to 12 in each session. “We work on cardio, strength, and flexibility,” she said.

Women make up the majority of the classes, but Arthur said there are men in almost every session. Joe Holehouse was in the Tuesday aerobics class, joining his wife, Rhonda, and describing himself as “the thorn amongst the roses.” A former runner, Joe said he took to the pool because it’s better for the joints.

“It provides stress reduction, plus it’s fun,” he said. “We have a good group and a great instructor that make it enjoyable. ” The joint and muscle relief stem from the fact that the pool is always between 86 and 89 degrees, which qualifies it as an “exercise pool” by Delaware County Health District standards.

The pool, which has depths of three, four, and five feet, has grown in popularity during its 10 years, and Arthur said new classes and different levels have been added to meet the demand.

“We had aquatics levels 1 and 2, then 3, and now 4,” Arthur said. Other exercise pool offerings include aqua Zumba, a water boot camp, water volleyball, pool walking, and personal training.

“To strengthen bone you have to have weight training. We have ankle weights that will help you strengthen calves, thigh muscles, and your knees,” she said. “The more intense levels give you a lot of cardio without damage to the joints. You can do squats and crunches being supported by a water noodle, and work on core strength without having to get up from the floor.”

By Jeff Robinson, feature writer for My Communicator.