Carole Rooker took her seat at the hospital’s admitting desk a year ago. She was preparing to undergo abdominal surgery, and she was nervous.

Beginning a battery of pre-entrance exams, the nurse commented that Rooker’s blood pressure was unusually calm for someone so nervous. “Aerobics?” she asked.

“Praise Aerobics,” replied Rooker.

“More people should,” answered the nurse.

“No…Praise Aerobics is my exercise class,” Rooker said.

Literally and figuratively, it’s Praise Aerobics three times a week for Rooker and more than 30 other Lake Highlands residents.

Today, Rooker attributes her quick recovery from surgery to aerobics. But her exercise class is unique, says Rooker and other class members, who are of all ages and careers.

They say it is anything but jazzercise or disco dancercise. And it is nothing like a rock ‘n roll routine.

“We exercise to Christian music,” says instructor Kay Morton.

Already a diverse group, Praise Aerobics members are people of all religious denominations. Or not. They gather at Scofield Memorial Church, 7730 Abrams.

“This is a non-denominational Bible church,” says Morton of the unusual gathering. “There is no prayer or service, just joyful exercise to beautiful and inspiring music.”

Morton says approximately 35 members attend the classes, and they do so for various reasons. Some social. Others health-inspired.

But what they all seem to share is a heartened experience. Instilled, they say, through the encouraging, spiritual lyrics of Christian music.

“This is a ministry for me,” says Morton, who has been choreographing and teaching routines for five years. Four to five other class members choreograph as well, and others are welcome to try their hand at it, Morton says. She provides the musical library and equipment.

“The advantage is mine because my family can listen to the music at home,” Morton says.

There is no fee for Praise Aerobics. Donations are not solicited, but welcomed and accepted.

“The money goes for baby-sitting,” Morton says. “We have two sitters each session to lead children of all ages in various activities.”

“There’s nothing like exercising to Christian music.”

Classes are held Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:20 a.m. Evening classes are offered Monday and Thursday at 8 p.m.

For information, call Morton at 234-1210.