Karen Applegate Explains More About Aerial Yoga at Future Fitness in Cherry Hill, New Jersey


Karen Applegate, Aerial Yoga Instructor: Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

Karen Apple gate began her fitness career began in 1982 when she took her first aerobics class. She fell in love with it and shortly after got certified to teach.

As the fitness industry evolved, she stayed up to date with the latest fitness classes and got certified to teach most of them. Eventually, she added personal fitness training and earned certifications from the AFAA (Aerobics Fitness Association of America) and ACE (American Council on Exercise).

Her love of exercise and movement kept her in the business, and the demand for both yoga and pilates professionals grew so she ventured and studied both disciplines. Applegate is now a registered yoga teacher (with the yoga alliance) and is certified to teach mat pilates and pilates on studio equipment. Two months ago she was offered the opportunity to become an instructor of aerial yoga so she joined a group of talented instructors and began the study to develop our practice.

Just recently she went back to teaching spinning classes and who knows what is next. Fitness has been an important part of my life and a career that has allowed her the opportunity to schedule her work around the job of raising two beautiful daughters.

Q. How is aerial yoga different from regular yoga?

A. Aerial yoga uses a hammock made of soft fabric as a tool to assist the participant with traditional balancing postures to deepen stretches and encourage greater joint range of motion in postures that might not otherwise be achieved in a floor yoga practice. The hammock lifts and holds some of our body weight and takes pressure out of the wrist, hands, neck and shoulders. Participants naturally move into proper alignment, achieve inversions without straining their joints and relax/surrender more effectively in the fabric. While aerial yoga shares many of the traditions of other schools of yoga it offers new options, variety and playful fun.

Q. What are the benefits of aerial yoga?

A. Aerial offers wonderful decompression of the spine and joints, it loosens and lengthens muscles, creates natural alignment with suspension, encourages deepening in postures, and the fabric leans into pressure points which activates blood flow and the lymphatic system helping to bring your body’s energy into balance.

Q.  What should a beginner bring and know about aerial yoga before they try it?

A. New participants should wear a top that covers their under arms and bottoms that cover their legs. They should not wear jewelry because it can catch on the fabric and they should know that anyone can try to enjoy aerial when it is taught properly.

Q.  What is one misconception people have about aerial yoga?

A. That they are not capable of attempting it. This, however, is not true. The method can be tailored to multiple levels.

Q. Who do you recommend can do aerial yoga?

A. Anyone who would like to reap the benefits listed above and who would like to try a very fun, safe and yet challenging variety of assisted body movement and still postures.

Q. Any other additional information you would like to add?

A. Aerial yoga classes are available at a variety of times every day of the week for both members and non-members at Future Fitness in Cherry Hill NJ.


Aerial Yoga, Best Stretch And Relaxation I Have Ever Had At Future Fitness In Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Have you ever wanted to fly or soar above the ground? Well I cannot guarantee you will fly, but you can get pretty darn close in an aerial yoga class.

( The video below is not me but it is a great visual of what aerial yoga is all about.)

I have wanted to try aerial yoga for a while. I knew of a few places in Philadelphia that do it, however, I was fortunate to find a class close to me at Future Fitness in Cherry Hill.

When I called to schedule a time, I was told to wear short or long sleeves and capris or tight pants to protect my legs and underarms. I was fortunate to be the only one scheduled for the class and I had a one on one session with the aerial yoga teacher, Karen Applegate, who you will hear more from in my question and answer session with her in my next post.

The entire class was an hour-long and as the aerial yoga class progressed so did the yoga moves. We first started putting one or two body parts in the aerial silks and then eventually we had our entire body in the silks flipping upside down and out of them.


Flipping out of the aerial silks. Photo Credit: Karen Applegate


Stretching my upper body and hovering over my mat. Photo Credit: Karen Applegate.


Downward facing dog using the aerial silks. Photo Credit: Karen Applegate

I must say that aerial yoga is a fantastic stretch and is very relaxing for the entire mind and body. I have been practicing Vinyasa yoga for many years; however, the final relaxation pose where you lie in the aerial silks like a hammock as it slowly rocks back and forth is unbelievably peaceful. I have never reached that level of relaxation in any other yoga class.

I would highly recommend aerial yoga, however, it is not necessarily a high cardio, sweaty, high calorie-burning workout. I would recommend adding it your workout routine, but also incorporate other fitness like going for a long run before hand or doing a boot camp class in addition to the yoga.

Overall, the aerial yoga class is a great  stretch and relaxation for the mind, body and soul and is a must try!


Dive in and Listen to Tammy Decker, Describe Aqua Spin Classes at the County Pool in Cape May Court House, New Jersey


Tammy Decker Aqua Spin Fitness Instructor. Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

Do you enjoy your regular spin class, but not the stress and strain that it puts on your joints? Well now there is Aqua Spin. Aqua spin takes the normal strenuous spin workout into the water, without the bikes and the pain.

Tammy Decker has been teaching fitness classes for over 30 years. She teaches yoga, pilates and aqua spin. Decker instructs the aqua spin classes on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at 8am at the Cape May County Special Services pool.  It’s five dollars for a walk-in and $80 for 20 sessions. The variety of individuals that take aqua spin ranges from teenagers all the way up to people in their eighties!

Decker puts her own twist on the aqua spin session; she teaches the class in the pool without spin bikes like other aqua spin classes. For resistance she uses hydro-fit cuffs which she says is the same as putting your bike on the hardest gear.

Decker tells clients to bring a bathing suit and a towel because you will sweat in her 45 minute aqua spin class without even realizing it due to the water.

During her interview Decker will talk about a major life event that inspired her to start teaching aqua spin classes and the shocking amount of  calories individuals can burn in one class!


The aqua spin class warming up before class. The weights are pictured in front and they are used throughout the class. Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo


Miracles Fitness of Rio Grande, New Jersey Offers Many Fitness Classes Including, FightFit

MIracles Fitness FIghtFit class is a co-ed class that includes boxing and kick boxing.

Miracles Fitness FightFit class is a co-ed boot camp that includes boxing and kickboxing.

Some students working on their fitness and kick boxing skills.

This FighFit class was at 4:30pm and they have different times throughout the week. Some of the students working on their fitness and kickboxing skills to improve their fitness levels.

Each sections had a description of the workout that we had to do for an entire minute. Great idea no pressure on having to remember the entire fitness routine from the beginning of class!

Each section had a description of the workout that we had to do for an entire minute. Great idea no pressure on having to remember the entire fitness routine from the beginning of class!

Groups of 4 go around to  every station and rotate every minute to a new exercise.

Groups of four go around to every station and rotate every minute to a new exercise.

Each station has four different exercises that you rotate to every minute before you rotate to a new station. Overall, great workout a must try!

Overall, great class love the unique twist of adding boxing and kicking boxing into a boot camp class. It is a must TRY

For information on Miracles Fitness check out their website.

5 Minutes of Grape Stomping, Surprising Workout at the Annual Stone Harbor Savor September Event

Buckets big enough to hold three people to grape stomp! Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

Buckets big enough to hold three people to grape stomp! Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

There are 36 pounds of grapes in each bucket ready to be stomped! Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

On September 21st, 2013, from noon- 8pm the Stone Harbor Savor September event offered local wine and beer tastings, native cuisine, music and more.

As I walked around I noticed an area dedicated to team grape stomping and as a fitness guru I had to give it a try. I was thinking could grape stomping be the new leg workout?

First I needed to put together a team of three to four people. My team consisted of myself, my  mom and friend Tricia Stump.  Once you get your team together you compete against three other teams and stomp grapes for five minutes straight.

My grape stomping team. Pictured: Alison Mastrangelo, Frances Mastrangelo, Tricia Stump. Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

My grape stomping team. Pictured: Alison Mastrangelo, Frances Mastrangelo, Tricia Stump. Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

According to the volunteers the rules are quite simple.  You can only stomp with your feet not your hands, no shoes allowed, and only three people in a bucket at a time to stomp the grapes. The other person waits on the side and helps get the juice out and rotates into the grape stomping bucket.

Before I jumped into the event I needed to know what my strategy should be, so I asked one of the student volunteers to give me more insight on what was involved.

“I have been told the key to grape stomping is you want to use your feet and scrape the grapes towards the grate that flows the juice out of the container. The combination of scraping, stomping and tipping the bucket helps you get the most juice out,” said Brooke Herzog, 19, volunteer and student from University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Although Herzog was not competing she noticed that some competitors were getting a workout.

“Some of the teams are getting a leg workout and even an arm workout pushing themselves and even lifting themselves off the bucket. It just depends on how much you put into it,” said Herzog.

My team stomping away! Photo Credit: Bill Stump

My team stomping away! Photo Credit: Bill Stump

I must say that grape stomping is sticky, slimy and slippery. However, I did break a sweat. My feet were constantly sliding in the mashed up grapes and I had to keep using my legs and arms to prevent myself from falling in the grape mess. If I continued to stomp grapes for more than five minutes I could definitely see it being a great leg workout.

My team did not win, but we did break a sweat stomping grapes! Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

Shape Magazine Brings Rowing Workout to the Readers

This is a rowing machine. Some use it and some do not know what it is for. But this machine has the potential to burn a lot of calories if used right! Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

Rowing classes are becoming more and more popular and are popping up in a lot of major cities. Since I am not patient enough to wait until a class will come to South Jersey or the Philadelphia area, I decided I had to take matters into my own hands and do some research.

That’s when I saw the tweet that Shape Magazine tweeted about the new rowing workout, that you can do on your own!

The workout is easy to follow and they give you a cheat sheet if you need more descriptions on the different rowing moves and techniques.

I really enjoyed it!  Some people at the gym stared as I rowed for a few minutes then got off and did weighted lunges at the side of the machine. Then I continued to row for a few minutes, and then got off again and did planks etc. However, it was a nice change to my workout routine.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Travis Dauria, Surfer, Flow House Manager and Rider: Flow House in Wildwood, New Jersey is a Must Try

Flow House 3

Travis Dauria Flowriding Photo Credit: Travis Dauria

Travis Dauria is the manager and instructor at the Flow House in Wildwood. He has loved the water and has been surfing ever since he was 14 years old. He is not only a surf instructor but he also guides American tourists through Costa Rica to surf the best waves for their skill level. Dauria has surfed all over the world including Brazil, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and up and down the East Coast. You might have seen him in Moondoggie surf magazine where he was featured in several articles.

Dauria discovered flowboarding about three years ago and fell in love with it.  He believes Flowriding is a great sport that allowed him to keep busy at night or when the waves were flat. I was able to sit down and talk with Dauria about the up and coming water sport.

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Travis Dauria Flowriding at night. Photo Credit: Travis Dauria

Q.   What is Flowriding and how is it different/ the same as surfing and snow boarding?

A. Let me say first that it is not surfing. The biggest hurdle is to get people to try it and you do not need to be a surfer to try it. It’s actually more rail to rail riding which is similar to snow boarding, but we have people everyday with no surfing, skate boarding, or surfing experience that come in and start Flowriding no problem.

A lot of people think you need to be a surfer or some surfers think that it’s not “real” surfing and do not want to try it, but Flowriding is for everyone no experience needed.

Q.   What does one need to know before they try Flowriding?

A. No matter your age or skill level you can always challenge yourself. The rider’s ages range from six to 60 years old. Some other requirements are you must be 42 inches tall to lie down and 52 inches to stand up surf. We also have everything here for you wetsuits, boards, all you need to do is just show up and have great time.

Q.   Are there any safety precautions

A. The main thing that we emphasize is to listen to the guards and pay attention to the instructors. They are the ones that are really going to get you to learn how to Flowride safely without any injuries.  The base of the FlowRider area is a trampoline, so it is soft and does not hurt when you fall off.

Q.   Are there competitions for Flowriding?

A. Yes, there are national competitions like the Flow Tour National Circuit, which goes around the country every year and a Pro/Am, which is an Amateur contest that is a fun, laid back experience for the new Flow Riders. Flow Riding will also soon be featured in the X-Games.  

Q. Would you consider Flowriding a workout?

A. Absolutely, Flowriding is definitely a workout because when you body board you are using your arms, biceps, triceps and your core to turn. You’re also using your legs to keep you centered on the board preventing you from falling off.

Once you start stand up riding you are really using your legs especially your back leg because you’re really using your quads to control your movement and turns. Flowriding is definitely a full body workout.

 Q. How much does it cost and how long can you try it for?

A. Regular prices at night in the summer are $30 per hour 7- to 11pm. Memberships are $50 per month then it is only $15 per hour once u are a member.


            Of course I had to try it too . I have to say as a surfer it is nothing like surfing. You are up against the force of 22,000 gallons of water being recycled three times every minute, which is challenging but fun at the same time. I will admit that my first few tries I got worked and thrown off the board, however, as I started to do it more I began to get the hang of it. I did not try the stand up surfing but I did get up on my knees, which I felt was an accomplishment.

          Flow House Wildwood is closed for the season but will be opening up again the weekend of April 19th, 2014 and they will be adding more to their already awesome set up so definitely check it out next year!


My second attempt at Flowboarding. I actually stayed on the board. Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo


This is as close to standing as I could get…I made it to my knees which I felt was a HUGE accomplishment. Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo