Picture13Lisa Bradley has been an independent contractor with Plymouth Harbor for nearly two years, now teaching our Total Fitness class. She is an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified personal trainer with over 15 years of experience specializing in senior fitness.

While Lisa is passionate about her work with seniors, she first got her start working in television. After majoring in TV production at New York University, she went on to work for ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA), handling the transportation of personalities and guests that were featured on the show. When Lisa married, she moved out to Connecticut and commuted to work in New York City. Eventually, after five years at GMA, Lisa and her husband relocated their three daughters (two of which are twins) from Connecticut to Columbus, Ohio, and, ultimately, Sarasota.

Lisa and her family moved into The Landings and she began work at a cardiac rehabilitation office. While there, she took an exercise class at Bath & Racquet Fitness Club. She had only taken the class two times when the teacher asked her to substitute, as she was the only one in the class who could do all of the exercises. She enjoyed it so much that she began working on her Personal Training certification shortly thereafter. While still working at the rehab office, Lisa was featured as one of the area’s top personal trainers in Sarasota’s Style Magazine. She received so many calls that she decided to work full time as a personal trainer and started her own company, Fit For Life of Sarasota.

In the early years of Fit For Life of Sarasota, Lisa mostly trained with senior clients who also lived in The Landings. Several years ago she branched out to teach classes and work with other larger organizations in the Sarasota area. Today, Lisa holds specialty certificates in Lifestyle and Weight Management, Exercise for Special Populations (i.e. diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, etc.), and Strength Training over 50. She is an avid runner and has participated in eight marathons, including the Sarasota Music Half Marathon and the Boston Marathon. In keeping with her love of working with seniors, Lisa has been a volunteer with Tidewell Hospice for 17 years. During that time, she has been awarded three President’s Volunteer Service Awards from President Obama.

Of her Total Fitness class here at Plymouth Harbor, Lisa says it enhances endurance and balance through standing and floor exercises, stretching, and static and dynamic balance exercises. “What I enjoy most about my class here is getting to know the residents and their stories,” she says. “I love talking with them, and I find the more you take people’s mind off working out, the more they enjoy it.”

To learn more, stop by Lisa’s class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, or find her information in the Wellness Center’s Preferred Professionals brochure.


WellnessAmiAmi French has been a Yoga instructor with Plymouth Harbor for over six years. She teaches the all-level Yoga class on Monday mornings at 11:00 a.m. in the Wellness Center. Ami is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where she studied fine arts. Although she practiced Yoga throughout college, Ami first went on to a career in advertising and graphic design after graduating. After several years and a move from Massachusetts to Florida, Ami found her true passion teaching Yoga — which eventually prompted her to travel to Tamil Nadu, India, eight years ago, where she studied Hatha and Sivananda Yoga techniques.

Today, Ami primarily teaches Yoga to older adults. In addition to Plymouth Harbor, Ami instructs at other local organizations, including having taught individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease at Sarasota’s Jewish Family & Children’s Services. Her work with this population inspired her to go back to school six years ago, first to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, and later, a Registered Nurse (RN). In July 2016, Ami received her license as an RN from the Florida Board of Nursing. She plans to continue her work in the wellness industry, teaching Yoga and using her knowledge as a nurse to help others.

One thing Ami enjoys most about Yoga is taking ancient techniques and applying them to everyday issues. She discusses the physical benefits, including flexibility, balance, and posture correction, in addition to benefits that come from meditation and breathing exercises, including increased lung capacity and circulation as well as cellular repair and improved memory.

“Although Yoga stems from Hindu roots, the American version is a revision of wellness with a mix of its original spiritual elements,” Ami says. “My interest is in using traditional Yoga techniques to help people improve their lifestyle, and prevent and slow disease processes.”

Ami describes her class here at Plymouth Harbor as a hybrid class — one that is open to people of all levels, where you can participate while seated or using a floor mat. If you’re interested in learning more, stop by Ami’s class on Monday mornings.


Elsa_JimJim Helmich has been an independent contractor with Plymouth Harbor since September 2014, when the Wellness Center opened. He teaches line dancing every Tuesday from 10:30-11:30 a.m. In addition, Jim operates his own dance studio, Ballroom City, where he offers private lessons in a variety of dance forms.

It is no surprise that Jim comes from a musical family — his mother was a Sweet Adeline (the worldwide women’s chorus that formed in 1945, singing a cappella barbershop harmony) and his grandfather was a singer on early television. Jim began playing classical piano at age seven, and as a teen he sang in both the church and school choirs. After high school, Jim moved from Ohio to Sarasota to attend New College of Florida. He was a pre-med student with the hopes of becoming a veterinarian. However, after one conversation with a neighbor, the course of his career was changed for good.

Jim’s neighbor was an undefeated U.S. ballroom dance champion, and when he opened his own dance studio in Bradenton, he asked Jim to join him as a dance instructor. Although he had never danced professionally before, Jim says he was a quick learner and received a great deal of on-the-job training. The rest was history. He spent nine years working for local dance studios, including the Fred Astaire Dance Studio, and has now owned Ballroom City for 15 years. He is certified in dance instruction through the National Dance Council of America, and competes in numerous ballroom dance competitions each year.

In addition to social and mental stimulation, Jim explains that dancing offers many health-related advantages. According to a 21-year study by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, funded by the National Institute on Aging, dancing is linked to a number of health benefits and may even help reduce the risk of dementia. The study followed seniors 75 and older and showed reduced stress and depression, and improved balance, endurance, cardiovascular health, and mental capacity.

“How I’ve seen dance improve people’s lives is amazing,” Jim says. “It’s all about having fun, and I try to make each day as positive as possible.”

If you’re interested in learning more, make sure to stop by Jim’s Tuesday morning class. You can also find his contact information in the Wellness Center’s Preferred Professionals brochure.


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 www.tlsentertainmentfl.com, 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!