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‘So much more than a bicep curl’

Devonshire personal trainer brings a holistic approach to fitness

Created date

February 23rd, 2015
resident using gym equipment

Bobbi Stern moved to at PGA National, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Palm Beach Gardens, five years ago. 

“The best thing about living here,” she says, “is I no longer have to do the mundane things that come with owning a home. If a lightbulb goes out in my master bathroom, I make one call to maintenance and someone comes up to change it for me.”

Her carefree lifestyle hasn’t turned Bobbi into a couch potato, however. “You can partake in everything Devonshire offers, or you can be a hermit,” she says. “I choose to partake.”

Bobbi chairs the welcoming committee, serves on the activities committee, and gets together with former neighbors from The Island, where she used to live. 

With Devonshire neighbors, she takes advantage of the superb transportation services to attend cultural programs at local theaters and concert halls.

Her secret to an active lifestyle

Bobbi says her energy springs from her commitment to physical fitness, little things like taking the stairs instead of an elevator to and from her third-floor apartment home and the clubhouse.

Or ballroom dancing twice a week at a Palm Beach Gardens dance studio. “When you move at a steady pace for 45 minutes, that’s quite an aerobic workout,” she says. 

Or twice-weekly strength training at the campus gym, a spacious area with state-of-the-art equipment. Bobbi trains with a certified personal trainer, Devonshire Fitness Supervisor Lori Klein. Klein also monitors the gym. 

“Workouts with a trainer are more effective,” Bobbi says. “Lori adjusts the weights for me and changes the exercises to keep things interesting. Because I’m meeting her, I can’t say I’ll put this off until tomorrow.”

Bobbi’s workouts also help manage her weight, an important benefit considering Devonshire’s daily selection of sinfully rich desserts.

No better way to start the day

Recent studies show that sitting for extended periods can shorten your life. But just 20 minutes of walking each day can help prolong it. 

Walking is built in at Devonshire. Its three residence buildings all connect via interior, climate-controlled hallways that radiate from the clubhouse; community members needn’t venture out in hot weather.

“Walking is so convenient here, and it works your whole body,” says resident Wayne Pierson. 

Wayne and his wife Phyllis moved from Tallahassee because they have family in the area, but Devonshire’s fitness opportunities reinforced their decision. Wayne makes ample use of them. 

Every weekday after breakfast, he heads to the gym for a two-mile treadmill walk. Then, depending on the day, it’s Lori’s stretching class or her aerobics class. 

Phyllis, a long-time fitness buff, attends the classes, too. 

But when she goes home to the Piersons’ two cats, Wayne returns to the gym for a mile-long stationary bike ride. 

A smorgasbord of healthy options

Devonshire’s fitness center provides an expansive list of classes to peak residents’ diverse interests.

Klein also experiments with unique or short-term classes because, she says, “Fitness competes with lots of social activities, card games, and off-campus trips.” 

Most classes convene at he Stratford Performing Arts Center in the clubhouse. 

Current choices include Balance, Strengthen & Stretch, Heart Smart Aerobics, Meditation & Breath Work, Aquacise, Yoga, and a health lecture. 

Fitness looks different through the age span, says Klein, so she continually reinvents class objectives to best benefit the participants. Attendance at Meditation & Breath Work exceeded her expectations. 

“I come from a holistic place and outlook,” she says. “People are craving something that’s so much more than a bicep curl and is even more than just the body. Their goals are different from someone younger.”