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.