Picture yourself doing sunrise yoga with friends on a private beach. Vibrant shades of orange and yellow spread across the sky as dolphins dance among the waves and an eagle glides gracefully overhead, keeping a watchful eye. Sound a bit like paradise? Absolutely. But no, this is not a 5-Star vacation resort.
Nope. It’s just yoga on a typical day at Shell Point in Fort Myers, FL, where residents enjoy healthy living every day!
One of a growing number of certified Retirement Resorts across the country, recognized as such by Senior Hospitality International for providing Retirement Living at its Healthiest®, Shell Point is blessed with a fantastic location in an unmatched natural setting. Tucked away just before the bridge from Fort Myers to Sanibel Island, the waterfront setting of the campus is surrounded by nature. Waterways and walking paths are just a small part of the community’s active waterfront lifestyle. It’s no surprise that the focus here is on keeping residents actively engaged — mind, body and spirit. And sunrise yoga checks the box on all three!
“Our location is phenomenal,” says Jason Smith, Senior Director of Amenities at Shell Point. “I’d say that’s what really sets us apart. We have the advantage of all the natural resources, both on our campus and on the nearby islands and waterways.”
And they take advantage of those resources in every way possible. For instance, if you like to kayak, you can paddle to stay in shape, leisurely enjoy nature’s beauty, or join a group of resident volunteers who gather regularly to pick up loose fishing line and other debris in the rivers and waterways.
The waterfront provides a myriad of opportunities — from fitness to education, or maybe education while exploring nature. Invite a friend for a sunset hike. Or head out for some bird-watching and the chance to hone your photography skills. Don’t know much about birds? Well then, take a class in that — or sign up for a guided birdwatching tour. If you want to slow the pace a little, you can join a shelling excursion to Sanibel. “The list of options goes on and on,” says Smith. “If we don’t have it now, we’ll find way to do it.”
Shell Point has a number of professionally-trained personal trainers whose sole focus is the wellness of residents. Community experts and volunteers also lead some tours and activities. But according to Smith, residents are the driving force behind a lot of the classes, activities, and events.
“We have 140 clubs — all resident-run.” says Smith. “It’s amazing how the residents here all care for each other.” That camaraderie plays a big part in what makes life fun at this Retirement Resort.
And speaking of fun, Shell Point actively wants their campus events to be as exciting for visiting kids and grandkids as it is for the residents themselves. “People may live here year-round, but we still think of ourselves as a living, breathing resort,” he says.
Here’s just a partial list of waterfront activities you’ll find:
- Nature tours
- Paddle boarding
- Model Yacht Races
- Outdoor exercise classes
- Trail hiking and biking
And don’t forget the community’s five fitness pools (soon to be six) that are open — and set to a comfortable water temperature — 12 months a year. The pools (one is zero-entry) are great for mobility testing as well as physical and water therapy. And of course, you’ll find all the expected water fitness activities — along with a few more that just might surprise you:
- Water aerobics
- Lap swimming
- Water volleyball
- Aquafit classes
“We believe that keeping residents stimulated and actively engaged, leads to a longer-lasting and more fulfilling life,” says Smith. “I’ve personally seen it.”
But in spite of this amazing selection of fitness options, not everyone wants to be active all the time, acknowledges Smith. That’s probably why one of the most popular spots on campus is the community’s lagoon, were you’ll often find residents sitting under a kapok tree, watching the dolphins and manatees swim in, attracted by the abundance of fish. “Just listening to the water can bring about a sense of calmness and tranquility,” he says. “Not all fitness is active – sometimes it’s just peace of mind.”