CaptureRobin Rosov has been a wellness instructor with Plymouth Harbor for over a year, teaching both Sit Fit and Better Balance to residents. As an independent contractor, Robin also teaches a wide variety of exercise courses outside of Plymouth Harbor, including meditation, restorative breathing, water aerobics, yoga, and personal training.

Robin has always lived an active lifestyle. As a youth, she was involved in ballet and cheerleading, and taught her first formal fitness class at the young age of 20. She later graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations. From there, Robin moved to Coral Gables, Florida, earned her real estate license, and began focusing her efforts on developing that business. She became a top producer for Coldwell Banker’s residential division, but eventually, Robin felt the pull back to the fitness industry, and became a Certified Personal Trainer with the American Council on Exercise.

Robin made her way from Coral Gables to Sarasota, and worked for some time as a Personal Trainer in a gym setting. After teaching a class at Water’s Edge (a Bradenton retirement community), Robin says she found her true calling working with older adults. “My journey has taken me from one place to the next, and I have truly found my passion,” Robin says. “I love helping others to be strong, active, and the best they can be.”

Today, Robin is a certified Senior Fitness Specialist, Healthways SilverSneakers certified in Muscle Strength and Range of Movement, and certified in water aerobics instruction through the American Sports and Fitness Association. She’s also a strong advocate of taking what you learn in the classroom outdoors. A recent study in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal showed that people who live in “greener” areas, with more vegetation around, are likely to have better health and live longer lives due to factors like improved mental health, social engagement, and physical activity that come with living near green spaces. As such, Robin encourages her students to take advantage of the surroundings we have right outside our door here in Sarasota. If you’re interested in learning more, stop by one of Robin’s classes on Wednesday mornings.


Picture2Tim Schalch has been a line dance instructor since 2012, and has been teaching at Plymouth Harbor for a little over a year now. He teaches our intermediate line dancing class from 10:30-11:30 a.m. every Thursday.

Tim originally attended Temple University in Philadelphia, where he played baseball. He later transferred to Florida A&M University in Tallahassee where he earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing and his master’s degree in sports management. Tim continued to play baseball while he was a student at Florida A&M, but he picked up another sport after visiting a country music restaurant in 2008 — line dancing. Although he had not been exposed to line dancing before, he picked it up fairly quickly.

Tim enjoyed line dancing so much that he continued to visit country music establishments to learn new routines, all the while finishing up his master’s degree, serving as a graduate assistant, and coaching baseball. After he graduated, Tim went on to play Minor League baseball for two years with the Evansville Otters in Evansville, Indiana. Eventually, he moved to Sarasota, and when the White Buffalo Saloon opened in 2012, he landed a job as an instructor.

Since then, Tim has launched his own business, TLS Entertainment, where he offers one-on-one and group classes, DJ/music services, and classes for both corporate and private events. Through this business, Tim has taught classes at weddings, business functions, and even on a country music cruise. In addition to his passion for teaching, Tim holds a full-time position as a Marketing and Advertising Account Executive at WWSB ABC 7.

Of teaching at Plymouth Harbor, Tim says, “It’s been very exciting to see how well residents have progressed from the first lesson until now. They have a great outlook, and they are always inviting new people to join the class.”

If you are interested in learning more, you can visit Tim’s website at, or you can simply stop by his Thursday morning class.


Picture7Rosann Argenti has taught Tai Chi for more than 30 years, and has been a contracted instructor at Plymouth Harbor for nearly 20 years. Today, she teaches our Tai Chi and Tai Chi Meditation classes.

In part, what’s made Rosann so successful — in addition to her passion, drive, and calming nature — is her non-Tai Chi beginnings. Originally, Rosann earned her BSW and started out as a social worker in Montreal, Canada, serving in educational and psychiatric settings. From there, she opened her own dance company and studio. She then started searching for an outlet that provided more personal growth and development and began meditating — eventually discovering Tai Chi. She enjoyed it so much that she founded her own Tai Chi school, and her social work and dance background helped her bring a unique approach and skill set to the profession.

Her school, Mountain Crane Tai Chi Tao Academy, serviced fitness and community centers in Montreal and is still in existence today. In 1989, Rosann moved to Sarasota, Florida, and passed the school on to some of her former students. Not only did she continue teaching Tai Chi in Sarasota, but she became a licensed massage therapist, and even contracted with WEDU Tampa (PBS) to produce a Tai Chi TV series that aired for nine years nationwide. All the while, Rosann taught at fitness and community centers, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, private medical institutions, retirement centers, education centers, and cancer treatment centers. She also created the continuing education course, “Tai Chi/Chi-Kung for Professionals,” approved by the Florida Boards of Massage Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy.

Rosann is a specialist in Tai Chi, Tai Chi Swordplay, Fighting Fan, and Double Daggers, and has worked with all populations — from the “average person” to professional golfers, tennis players, skiers, and more. “Tai Chi is based on martial art techniques,” Rosann says. “I teach it as a healthcare system, yet students feel the dynamic instincts of martial arts. It is slow and methodical, with virtually no risk of physical injury.”

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition and a graceful form of exercise. Whether you’re looking to advance in a specific sport or for a way to help center your life, Tai Chi is a wonderfully effective exercise. It helps train you to move to the “zone” — what Rosann refers to as “a place of inner fortitude and outer strength, where your mind is still and your body flows efficiently and effectively.”

“It’s truly a meditative relaxation process that heightens awareness and focus in everyday life,” Rosann adds. “I’ve been doing Tai Chi for many years, and each time it feels like the very first time. I’m never bored.” If you are interested in learning more, you can find Rosann’s contact information in the Wellness Center’s Preferred Professionals brochure.


Picture20Anne Foley Alper has been in the fitness industry for eight years, teaching both aquatic and land-based group fitness classes as well as individual private lessons. Since March of 2015, she has been an independent contractor with Plymouth Harbor teaching our group fitness classes Aqua Fit and Body Moves. With a background in dance, she frequently incorporates choreography, such as Modern Jazz, into her classes. In addition to teaching group fitness, she also provides private aquatic instruction to residents in the therapy pool. She enjoys her work here for several reasons, but most notably because her clients are committed to their health and happiness, and they don’t take it for granted.

Anne has AEA (Aquatic Exercise Association) certification, and earned a master’s degree in holistic counseling, giving her the ability to work with individuals managing life with chronic diseases and disabilities, such as Tourette’s syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, and dementia-related conditions. In addition to Plymouth Harbor, Anne works as an independent fitness contractor for several other local retirement communities as well as for an agency based out of North Carolina that connects her with local members of the Wounded Warrior Project who have suffered from neuro-related injuries.

According to Anne, the water provides 12 times more resistance than land work, without using equipment. The advantage of water therapy is significant as it provides a much more peaceful and safe environment — the buoyancy offers more support and less stress on joints. This allows you to explore a greater range of motion, while having 360 degrees of moving water as massaging support around you. And while older populations have always utilized forms of water exercise, Anne says that more and more people of all ages are using these types of exercise for relieving wear and tear on joints, maintaining and improving balance, and cross-training.

In addition to physical benefits, Anne explains that because it’s a relaxing environment, without any mirrors, people tend to be more open and willing to help one another. “It has properties that go well beyond the water. This is a place where the ego can dissolve and people can expand in a lot of different ways.” It’s also fun. “I don’t think the happiness factor can be overestimated — people are having fun. It’s playful,” she adds.

If you’re interested in learning more, you can find Anne’s contact information in the Wellness Center’s Preferred Professionals brochure.



By: Wellness Director, Chris Valuck

Picture3542Ok, let’s face it — many times a New Year’s Resolution is declared on December 31st, and by January 31st it’s a distant memory, partly because it wasn’t a realistic goal in the first place. Making a change doesn’t have to be an arduous task. Even the smallest changes can bring about big, rewarding results. Here are a few to consider:

Enjoy more time with family — Entertaining family doesn’t have to be exhausting by running all over town. When children and grandchildren visit, engage them in family fun right here at Plymouth Harbor. Reserve the bocce court for a fun, friendly match (you could even cater lunch courtside), or play other games like ladder ball and corn hole. Consider a family swim, or take a nature walk around campus (kids love to look at flowers, birds, and well, bugs).

If it’s a rainy day, enjoy the Wellness Center and bring your family to a group fitness class, or play ping pong or Xbox. Call me old-fashioned, but some of the best times spent with my grandparents involved story-telling and showing us old photos. Another memorable and rewarding time was spent baking and sharing recipes (keeping forever the recipes in my grandmother’s handwriting — and laminated, of course). Just don’t try to accomplish all this quality time in the first few days! Whew!

Embrace Technology — I’m not discounting the value of face-to-face time with friends and family, but to really connect with today’s younger people, you have to speak their language. Not sure how? Ask them! Or schedule time with Plymouth Harbor’s ETeam any Saturday by calling Ext. 399. They can show you how to email and text, or teach you how to use “apps” and social media, like Facebook. By doing so, interaction with the younger generations in your family will take on a whole new meaning.

Become More Active — Whether you prefer to be active indoors or outdoors, in a group setting or independently, Plymouth Harbor has a wide variety of options to stay healthy and active. Start the new year by attending a new group fitness class, or add to your existing schedule and bring a friend. If you prefer to exercise on your own in the fitness room, request a consult with me to see if you may benefit from a revamp of your existing exercise program or to ask how best to utilize the equipment. If being outdoors is your preference, consider picking up a copy of the campus map and take a walk with a friend or family member.

Improve Your Diet — Commit to improving your diet, which could mean eating more, or less, based on your needs. Not sure how to improve your dietary intake? Take the anxiety and guesswork out of the equation by consulting with a registered dietician to analyze your requirements and help you work toward a healthier diet. You’ll be amazed at how dramatically your energy and mood can change by simply taking in the nutrients your body needs.

I admit, making resolutions is the easy part. Sticking with them is a bit more difficult. But they can still be attainable with a little bit of determination!


As you may have already noticed, there is a new addition to Plymouth Harbor. On Friday, November 20, we installed our new “Wellness at Plymouth Harbor” Display Wall — located on the ground floor, near the Wellness Center between the two stairwell doors.

The wall (pictured right) depicts both resident and employee wellness at Plymouth Harbor, along with the seven dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, professional/ vocational, social, and environmental/community. The left side of the wall includes photographs of activities and programs from the OnBoard Employee Wellness Program, while the right side shows resident wellness activities through VoyAges. The center then depicts the overlap of these two wellness programs. Please note that these photos will also be swapped out periodically throughout the year.

We hope you will enjoy this new addition, and if you haven’t already, go down and check it out for yourself!



Picture1 (3)Marty (Martha) Buenneke moved into Plymouth Harbor 11 years ago, in October 2004. Prior to her move here, she always considered herself an active person. Not only was she an active member of the Des Moines, Iowa, community as a volunteer, she served as President of United Way and was a member of a number of other not-for-profit boards. Marty also stayed active by reading, writing, gardening, and exercising.

“I always had to be doing something,” she says of herself. So naturally, when the Wellness Center opened in September 2014, Marty became one of the “regulars.” And even though she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease some 22 years ago, Marty hasn’t let it hold her back. “I believe that you have to keep moving,” she says. “Exercise is one of the most important things anyone can do.”

When Marty first moved into Plymouth Harbor, she didn’t know a soul. She’s made countless friends since then, but she says the Wellness Center has provided a great way for her to meet new people. “I’m not shy, as you can tell,” she laughs. “It’s nice to see different people down there.”

You can find her in the Wellness Center almost every day, whether she’s doing her daily 45 minutes on the NuStep or attending the Body Moves fitness class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On top of that, Marty also works with a personal trainer each week to improve her swimming.

In addition to the physical aspect of wellness, Marty also embraces her artistic side, with her own station in the Art Studio. While she’s not always in the studio, she stresses the importance of staying active in many different ways. Marty is truly is an inspiration for overall wellness, and encourages others to keep wellness top of mind.

“The Wellness Center is heavily used by a lot of people, but I wish there were more,” she says. “We’re lucky to have it.”


11220073_10203851021984159_73092776949619558_nIn October, we shared that OnBoard, Plymouth Harbor’s new employee wellness program, received LeadingAge Florida’s Best Practice Award. This month, we’d like to provide a closer look into OnBoard and why it was formed.

OnBoard incorporates comprehensive wellness programs within each of the seven dimensions of wellness — Environmental/Community, Emotional, Intellectual, Physical, Professional/Vocational, Social, and Spiritual. Our inspiration for building this program came not only from our employees, but also from our residents. Building a strong sense of community and creating an outstanding living environment depends, in no small part, upon our success in recruiting, hiring, retaining, and developing the highest quality workforce. It is the combination of residents, employees, and services that makes Plymouth Harbor one of the nation’s top Continuing Care Retirement Communities.

OnBoard was implemented as a formal program in September 2014. Throughout the planning process, it was evident that many current benefits (like scholarships, complimentary flu vaccinations, volunteer programs, etc.) fell within the framework of a defined employee wellness program. But we also recognized a great opportunity for growth. Therefore, we formed a small planning group and set to work developing a program that would build asdfhkajsDF KAsdfstronger, healthier employees; encourage mentoring relationships with residents and employees; and contribute to overall employee happiness.

To do this, OnBoard focuses on achieving whole-person wellness, rather than on one specific area, such as fitness or exercise. For that reason, we offer numerous programs within each wellness dimension. Pictured right are just a few of the many programs and events that OnBoard is responsible for. We’re excited to offer this program to our employees and will strive to improve it with each passing year.


By Chris Valuck

One of the first questions I’m asked when a person finds out I’m a personal trainer is: “Why do I need a personal trainer, if I’m not ‘training’ for anything?” That’s a logical question, but it may help to know that trainers work with many different populations, from post-rehab to professional athletes and everything in between. However, not all trainers are created equal. Below are some questions that you may consider asking a trainer to help evaluate whether or not  that particular trainer is qualified to work with you based on your needs.

Before You Call a Personal Trainer.

Think about the following questions before you call a trainer:  What are your goals? What are your expectations of a personal trainer? How frequently would you like to work with a trainer, and what is your budget?

Interviewing The Trainer.

A thorough evaluation of a trainer’s credentials is critical to determine if their skills and abilities are appropriate for your needs.

Unfortunately, the fitness industry (i.e. personal trainers, group fitness instructors, etc.) is not a licensed field, nor is a trainer required to have a degree — or even a certification.  However, a trainer qualified to work with a special population, such as seniors,  should have all, or a combination, of the following: years of experience in the fitness industry working with a senior population, academic achievement in a health-related field (exercise science), and a nationally-respected certification.


There are over 300 fitness certifications, but only three to four that are respected in the industry (ACSM and NSCA being the gold standard). Be sure to ask about certification and ask to see their card. If they worked hard for it, they’ll be proud to show you.

Academic Achievement.

Ideally, look for a trainer with a degree in Exercise Science.  A degree shows commitment to the field, and a trainer with a degree is likely to have a more solid understanding of not only anatomy and physiology, but chronic diseases and disabilities.

Years of Experience in the Industry.

Years of experience is a plus, but sadly, not a guarantee that the trainer is qualified to work any special needs that you may have. So, be specific when you question them about their experience working with a senior population and discuss your specific conditions.

Ask to see it!

A professional trainer should be able to provide proof of a current fitness certification, liability insurance, and CPR certification. Also ask for a copy of their session rate, billing procedure, cancellation policy, and hours of availability.  Lastly, ask for client references (and then actually call them).  Calling a reference will help to determine whether the trainer has the experience you require for your special needs. If they can’t produce these documents or provide references, walk away. It’s a red flag.


So, you’ve interviewed them and they seem qualified, but now ask yourself: do you like them? Can you see yourself working closely with them? What is their communication style? If the trainer is super-high energy and you want someone who is low key and clam, move on, because you won’t be compatible.

The First Session.

Before your first session, your trainer should request your permission to send a medical clearance to your doctor(s). Once they have this, it’s their turn to interview and evaluate you! You should expect that your trainer will request that you first sign a consent/waiver prior to the evaluation, and that you complete a thorough medical and exercise history.  At a minimum, your evaluation will consist of a strength, flexibility, and balance assessment. The results of these tests will help the trainer develop an appropriate program for you.

The Bottom Line.

Whether you hire a trainer to improve balance, muscular strength, or cardiovascular endurance, your trainer should provide ongoing motivation, education, and regular

re-evaluations to assess progress and monitor health conditions. In turn, you will be asked for compliance, and to provide regular feedback to help your trainer tailor each session to your needs. Whether you work with a trainer short or long-term , another considerable benefit is the improved self-efficacy that results in working with a trainer to enhance your well-being.