The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 16 No. 38 - July 20, 2016


Find a full menu of offerings at Island Fitness

LaPensee Plumbing Pools Air


Brenda Canning, owner and trainer, offers a variety
of classes and programs.

It's July and by now you're probably ready to rip every piece of clothing off your body, and as soon as you get that exercise program going and finish eating all the diet food you bought, you're going to do just that. But just in case your plans aren't going as well as you expected, there is another way, call a fitness professional.

Brenda Canning who has owned Island Fitness Anna Maria for the past 8 seasons has a full menu of fitness programs that will fit everyone's fitness level and schedule. She is putting a special emphasis on kids' fitness training this year, an area frequently overlooked.

Relocating to Bradenton 15 years ago from the Boston area where she like so many other transplants was done with the cold and snowy winters, Canning brought her 20 years of fitness experience with her.

She is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and is an AFAA Certified Personal Trainer. She also trained for three years with the US Olympic Field Hockey Team and competed in the 1996 Summer Olympics.

The facility at Island Fitness is bright and immaculate with a separate cycle room, group fitness room with gleaming wood floors, locker rooms with shower facilities, a free weight room and, of course, the main gym with all of the circuit equipment.

There are two other personal trainers besides Canning, Tammy Bryant and Stephanie Bellil, who are all certified through national organizations and are trained specifically for balance, strength training and flexibility. Personal training can be arranged for a half hour to a full hour and is available in packages. In addition, there are eleven group fitness instructors.

Island Fitness is open 24 hours a day, but staffed according to published hours. You can sign up for many group fitness classes like yoga, group indoor cycling and other specifically targeted group classes, posted on Island Fitness's website. In addition, you can sign up for a boot camp that runs three to five days a week and does not require a membership to the gym. For six weeks you train and work out with the same group, are measured and counseled on nutrition. Also during this time, the facility is available to you.

But Canning's real passion is kids' fitness, and this is the year she is expanding programs that she has had in place putting an emphasis on activity and nutrition. Her tiny tumbling classes have been very successful, as well as her summer kids' fitness program that ran 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. five days a week. Starting during the school year she will have kids' fitness available three to five days a week after school for a one-hour class that she oversees.

The kids' programs are geared for elementary level students, and parents can work out in the gym during the time the kids are in their class at discounted, short-term rates. You would think that kids have a natural energy level and are already fit, but with today's emphasis on electronics and fast food, it's easy for them to quickly get off track.

Island Fitness has a variety of rate schedules. You can simply drop in for one rate or sign up for anything between one to six months or annually, and annual and seasonal residents do not have to sign a contract. Student and military discounts are available, as well as gift certificates and there are corporate rates available for Island businesses. You can also purchase Island Life shirts and tank tops for men, women and children.

Brenda Canning has been recognized by the Anna Maria Island Sun's Readers Choice awards for six years as personal trainer and four years for Island Fitness. She is passionate about fitness and wants you and your children to be passionate too.

Since it's always summer in Florida, you have no excuses and no hope of hiding under long pants and sweaters. Do yourself a favor and call Island Fitness and learn to love the Island life.


5317 Gulf Drive

Holmes Beach

Gym: 941-778-5200

Cell: 941-704-8858


All major credit cards accepted

Open 24 hours

Summer staffed hours:

Monday-Friday: 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Reverse mortgages worth another look

Investment Corner

I have written about reverse mortgages over the years, at least twice here in the Sun. My advice was that reverse mortgages were expensive for the borrower, but in the case where a retired person or couple had run out of assets, using the equity in their home through a reverse mortgage wasn't the worst idea in the world.

I'm bringing the topic back one more time because some changes in federal guidelines have made the reverse mortgage a more attractive option for those who are over age 62, that own their home free and clear of another mortgage and who are concerned about the possibility of running low on retirement income during their lifetime

Space limitations don't' allow us to go into a full primer on reverse mortgages, but let's hit some of the highlights.

• Fees are down: The up front mortgage insurance premium applied to all reverse mortgages was reduced from 2.5 percent of the loan amount to 0.5 percent by the Reverse Mortgage Stabilization Act of 2013, as long as the borrower doesn't tap more than 60 percent of the available credit balance in the first year. Other fees have been standardized and are roughly in line with a traditional home mortgage, but often lenders will issue credits to offset some or all of these other expenses.

• Education: Borrowers are required to attend a consumer counseling session to make sure they understand the nature of the reverse mortgage. The cost of this session is $125

• Borrowing limit: The limit for reverse mortgage credit lines depends on the age of the youngest borrower, current interest rates and the lenders margin. Generally, you can access about half of the value of your principal resident, up to a current maximum value of $625,000.

• Payments: You don't need to make payment on a reverse mortgage. The money you borrow and accrued interest must be repaid when you no longer live in the home. This can be through a move to another location, or if you pass away. The home will then be sold, the reverse mortgage paid off and any excess above that can be left to heirs.

In the past, advice was generally to take out the reverse mortgage as a last resort when it was obvious additional funds may be needed. Under current guidelines, that advice is outdated. Reverse mortgage lines of credit actually grow over time, giving the borrower the ability to borrow more. So, the current advice in most situations is to establish the line of credit in your mid-60s, when eligible, and instead of borrowing, just let the line of credit rest with a zero balance.

A line of credit for about $125,000 will grow to about $190,000 in 10 years, 290,000 in 20 years and over $440,000 in 30 years. Establishing, but not accessing the line of credit until later in retirement gives the retiree a lot of flexibility. The exact loan characteristics are influenced by the age(s) of the borrowers as well as the current level of interest rates.

In summary, for those who may find themselves real estate rich and liquid asset challenged, a reverse mortgage may be a good option.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing. Visit


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