COM to hold Water Walk to Cure Arthritis

COM Aquatics will hold its annual Water Walk to Cure Arthritis on April 29.

The 2022 campaign theme is “Give $54, Tell 54, Move 54” in honor of the 54 million American children and adults living with the disease.

The disease limits the activities of about 1 in 4. One of the best ways to fight back against arthritis is through exercise — specifically, workouts in the water.

“Aquatic exercise, specifically for individuals with arthritis, related rheumatic diseases and/or musculoskeletal conditions, has been clinically proven in reducing pain levels, improving the ability to function independently in day-to-day life, and improve overall physical strength, balance and range of motion,” explained Rita Simmons, Aquatic Wellness director for COM Aquatics.

She’s hoping West Texas will discover more about these benefits when they participate in this year’s Water Walk.

“By exercising in the water, individuals benefit from the properties of its environment like buoyancy and hydrostatic pressure. The buoyancy of water reduces the influence of gravity on the body and its joints, allowing individuals the opportunity to exercise with greater ease,” she said . And if that isn’t enough to encourage an arthritis sufferer to get moving, the pressure of the water also reduces swelling in the legs, helps minimize pain, builds muscles and improves posture.

Last year, COM Aquatics was one of the top-three Texas fundraising teams for the Arthritis foundation.

“We raised more than $2,300 during last year’s event,” Simmons said. “And we had more than 50 members and guests participate. We hope to see even more people this year. Exercising in the water is fun, and our programs here at COM provide a friendly and supportive environment.”

Simmons said there are several ways to get involved with the Water Walk. The first is through donating to the Arthritis Foundation, and all funds raised support local arthritis education and programming. The second way is by joining her Team Wavemakers. Team members pledge to exercise Safely in the water for 54 minutes through water walking, swimming or attending an arthritis water exercise class. The third way to be a part of the event is to simply stop by COM to learn more about community resources, exercise programs and patient education materials.

Angie Billingsley, executive director of the Arthritis Foundation, will be there all day to meet with people that have questions about living with arthritis in West Texas.

Water Walk to Cure Arthritis will be held from 8 am to 6 pm April 29 and is open to all adults. A COM membership is not required for Team Wavemakers, simply purchase the $10, one-day event pass to attend an arthritis class, water walk or swim laps. Simmons said all participants will be eligible for prizes donated by local businesses, including HEB, JumBurrito, Michael’s Grill and more.

To donate or to register, visit or email

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