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December 24, 2012 06:13 PM

Exercise To Stay Young

Exercise is something many of us view as a way to build muscles and look more attractive. Val Putnam sees it a little differently.

"Probably a decade ago, I would've said exercise is to lose weight and look better. Now, I say it is to feel better and be healthy," Putnam said.

Putnam didn't start working out until she was already in her golden years, but a little push from a loved one has her hitting the gym.

"I turned 60. And my husband has been encouraging me for many years and I decided it was time to take it seriously," Putnam said.

After trying to workout on her own and injuring herself a few times, it was suggested by the staff at the Sanford Wellness Center that she get a trainer.

"I started with Kim about three years ago. And she's really spent time strengthening the core, helping me to not hurt myself as I exercise. Plus tremendous encouragement to just keep at it," Putnam said.

“Within weeks, you know a week or two, we started seeing improvements and it's just been going wonderfully ever since," senior exercise specialist Kim Donalen said.

Donalen has Putnam using Functional Exercise methods to give her strength for every day activities.

"We're mimicking exercises and activities that we do every day. Whether it's bending down to pick up a laundry basket and putting it up on the top shelf," Donalen said.

"I find I don't have low back pain. I have a lot more energy, a lot more flexibility. I get more mileage out of my day so to speak. I just feel better," Putnam said.

One of the big motivations for Putnam to continue working out was a trip to Rio De Janeiro, where she wanted to try out para-gliding. A few weeks ago, her hard work paid off and she was able to soar the skies of Brazil.

"You got to go over Christ the Redeemer. You got to go over the slum areas, the city, the ocean. You saw the city and all of creation from such a different vantage point. It was magnificent," Putnam said.

Putnam goes into the gym about four times a week, in addition to time with her trainer.

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