Aerial Fitness: Get Fit on the Fly

By: Susan Howard, Special to the Palisadian-Post, March 12, 2015

Ready to fly? Once limited to dancers, gymnasts and circus performers, aerial fitness is the fun way to exercise and feel free in the air. An aerial workout balances cardio, flexibility and strength into one program and has many options, including silks, lyra and hammock. Performing a series of exercises inspired by yoga, Pilates and aerial acrobatics, each apparatus offers a creative expression of fitness that has many physical and mental health benefits.

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FLY FIT BENEFIT #1 Benefits the Whole Body

Aerial workout is a complete body workout. Tone and redefine your body with movement that challenge your core, upper body, and legs. Each artistic exercises incorporates flexibility, strength and balance. It has benefits of assisting in regenerating and strengthening joints as well as drainage of the lymphatic system.

FLY FIT BENEFIT #2 Fun for Everyone

Although it does take time and training, aerial classes can fit the needs of any individual. Men, women, teens and young children all have the opportunity to experience fun fitness benefits.

FLY FIT BENEFIT #3 Assists in Lean Body Mass

Aerial fitness is an excellent way to burn the excess fat in your body. The cardiovascular workout increases your metabolism as well as challenges your muscles to build lean body mass. Movement also assists in the digestive system to stimulate the organs to work more efficiently.

FLY FIT BENEFIT #4 Relieves Stress

An excellent way to relax and offer relief to your stressed nerves. Performing aerial silk releases the feel good hormone in your body and rids the body of stress. This form of exercise uplifts your mood as the supply of oxygen to the brain increases. Endorphins released as you successfully face your fears of inversions and unconventional positions also heightens self-esteem and confidence.

FLY FIT BENEFIT #5 Promotes Good Sleep

As you perform aerial movement, the level of oxytocin, the sleep-inducing hormones rises which promotes good sleep. Because of this form of exercise is an excellent stress buster, it promotes sound sleep by exhausting and relaxing the body.

FLY FIT BENEFIT #6 Encourages Anti-Aging Benefits

Aerial movement involves inversions, which help with circulation, increased mobility and overall body awareness.

FLY FIT BENEFIT #7 Regenerate the Mind

Aerial movement strengthens the neural connections, strengthens memory and intelligence as well as relaxes the mind. This heightening of your senses creates overall well-being for mind and mood.

Feeling a little afraid to give it a try? It’s common to hear, “I don’t have any upper body strength, so I’m going to wait ’til I’ve worked out more.” This workout will help to get you in condition to do more. Each time you challenge your body to pull yourself up on the fabric or lyra, you are strengthening the muscles. Be prepared to work muscles you may not normally use, such as back muscles, forearms and hands.

Try new things and you will feel the freedom of flying.

Note: Remember to always consult your physician before starting any program.

Susan Howard is a Partner and Director of Lifestyle Performance Training at Studio K in Pacific Palisades. Her philosophy of lifestyle performance training is to incorporate all of the functional movements in a creative, efficient program to help individuals train for life. Contact Studio K for more information regarding training and nutrition programs: (310) 454-1048 susan@studioktraining.com

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