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Staying in shape -- at 88!


Fri, Jul 23rd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Winnie Klockeman of Fountain turned 88 in May. She works out three times a week at Fillmore Fitness across the street from her home. Photo by Jade Wangen

Hidden in Fountain is an inspiring story that reminds us that we are never too old to start a new, healthy habit. It is there, at Fillmore Fitness, that 88-year-old Winnie Klockeman works out three times a week.

Klockeman has always been active, but when the fitness center opened up in the basement of her old church, she was very excited.

"I spent fifty years upstairs trying to save my soul, and now I'm trying to save my body," said Klockeman.

It helps that the fitness center is right across the street from her home, where she lives alone and still takes care of herself. She is no longer able to drive due to macular degeneration affecting her eyesight.

Jackie Hrstka owns Fillmore Fitness in both Fountain and Chatfield. She said that Klockeman never misses a day, even in the winter, and she has been coming to the fitness center since she first opened up almost seven years ago.

"It doesn't matter how old you are," said Hrstka. "It helps her keep her flexibility, her strength, and her endurance for her heart."

Klockeman has had heart valve trouble for many years, but said she knows what she can do and what she can't. After developing arthritis about a year ago, she found she just had to walk a little slower on the treadmill than she did before. She thought it would hurt her to exercise, but it hasn't.

"If you don't use it, you lose it," said Hrstka.

When she began her workout routine six years ago, Klockeman was careful to take it easy.

"I still take it easy," she shared. "I don't add any weights to the machines. I just want movement."

Klockeman does twenty minutes on the treadmill going two miles an hour. She also works on lifting weights, and she counts her reps instead of timing herself. Her entire workout is an hour long.

"I usually go about eight in the morning," explained Klockeman. "I lose my ambition after that! But, actually it keeps the rest of the day free if anything comes up."

Klockeman stays involved in her community and really enjoys monthly shopping trips to Rochester on the SEMCAC bus. "I try to keep active and busy," she said.

All three of Klockeman's children live outside of town or out of state, but Klockeman finds there are people around to help if she needs anything.

Many people believe, Klockeman included, that taking care of your body as you age makes a big difference. It helps to keep her joints limber and her heart strong, and it does a lot of good for her mind as well. She plans to keep it up as long as she is able.

"I always wondered if there were any other 88-year-old people exercising," said Klockeman. "I love to go over there and exercise. I just have to be careful."

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