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Cheryl Naperala says with absolute certainty that Pure Pilates has changed her life.

“Before Pure Pilates, my lower back ached every morning and it took me almost an hour to feel relief and be able to stand up straight,” says Naperala, 67, who received a diagnosis of osteoarthritis in her back and hips several years ago. “In addition, I had a great deal of pain after sitting for long periods of time.”

These days, however, she has renewed strength and flexibility.

“While I don’t ‘hop’ out of bed, I can now stand up straight first thing in the morning and am free of pain,” she says. “In addition, I can sit for a long time with no pain.”

Naperala, who lives in Traverse City, takes a mat class with a half dozen other women ranging in age from 55 to over 80. The individual attention each person receives is one reason she appreciates Pure Pilates instructors.

“They are able to adapt these exercise to each one of us. It puts them far above other instructors,” she says. “And they don’t do the same poses/exercises over and over. Each session is different and they individualize sessions to the clients’ needs.”

What’s more, the things learned in class carry over into everyday life, she says.

“They teach you so much about your body. When I am busy doing other activities, if it’s lifting something or whatever, I think to myself, ‘OK, tighten your abs, lower your shoulders.’ I think it helps protect you, leaning those little tricks.”

Naperala says she’s now “much more comfortable with everyday activities—standing for long periods in the kitchen while cooking, moving furniture in order to clean, and flipping mattresses.”

“Plus I am able to keep up with my grandchildren—swimming, playing baseball at the park and just spending time with busy kids … Overall I just feel so much better than I did 10 years ago. I always say it saved my life.”

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