A lot of people don’t like having to get in the car and drive to a fitness center several times a week. Many would like the convenience of just popping in a DVD and following along in the privacy and comfort of their own home. Late night television is full of home exercise video infomercials and equipment that promise you’ll get in the best shape of your life.
Which At-Home Exercise Video Is Best for You?
If you’ve stayed up watching late night television, you’ve likely come across a few of the home exercise video programs that are out there. Each one promises better results over other programs. But is that true? Well, exercise is exercise, and some may be more intense than others, but eventually they all reach the same destination – a leaner, fitter you – if you put in the work. That said, here are 4 of the most popular workouts offered as home video exercise – from more intense to milder. Most of them don’t require any special equipment.
1. Insanity. Shaun T’s program is one of the most popular, difficult, result producing workouts on the infomercial circuit. If you’re up to the challenge, Insanity is a no-nonsense, intense workout designed for people who are serious about getting in shape more quickly and have been cleared by their doctor to undertake a more intense program. Insanity incorporates a whole body workout that is half aerobic and half resistance training all at once. You use the weight of your own body to power through some pretzel-like body twists, turns, jumps, push ups, bounces that target your core (abdomen, torso), arms, legs, back, muscles and even those you didn’t know you had.
It also includes a nutrition guide to optimize your fat loss while doing the routines. Insanity is said to burn a high number of calories (depending on your weight) per workout. Many users have lost between 30 and 50 lbs in just 2 months time, says their promotional material. Many older people, 50 and over, have done, and liked, the Insanity workout, but it’s best to check with your doctor first. Be sure to drink a lot of water during the routine as it really revs up your metabolism to burn fat. If you haven’t exercised for a while, Insanity may not be for you yet. Start at something less intense to build your lung, heart, muscle capacity. About $120.
2. Zumba. The popular dance-exercise craze from Brazil, Zumba Fitness offers a set of DVDs that will show you how to do the well-choreographed dance/exercise routines. It also includes the toning sticks that sound like maracas when you shake them, which adds a little fun to the routine. Zumba looks like Latin dancing, but it really is specific exercises incorporated into all those moves that target your core muscles, your rear, your legs, and your arms. People who do Zumba regularly report that they’ve lost 20 to 30 lbs the first month doing it combined with the healthy nutrition plan that it offers. You don’t have to be a dancer to do Zumba, and you can be any age or fitness level. You can start off a little slower and progress to more rapid movements. You just need a big enough space, a TV monitor/DVD player, and a filled water bottle because the routines will make you sweat – and burn fat – like crazy. As the instructors say, you don’t have to get the moves perfect, but if you follow along and keep moving, you’ll be Zumba-ing. And it’s not just for women; a lot of men get into doing Zumba too. A lot of fun and you can buy the program off the Internet, phone call during infomercial, or at Bed, Bath and Beyond stores for about $60.
3. Brazilian Butt Lift. Not as intense as Insanity, but this home workout video designed by the Brazilian fitness trainer, Leandro Carvalho, is no joke. It has you non-stop jumping, Arabesque- ing, squatting, doing double-diamonds, Brazilian and African dance moves in an effort to lift and reshape a sagging, flat rear, but also gets the rest of you too. There are several DVD’s, toning bands, ankle weights, and a nutrition guide to help you lose fat. If you follow the program faithfully you will have a lot of success with it as all the testimonials before and after videos report. Like Insanity, BBL is a whole body workout that hits all your muscles at once. One of the important fitness/balance issues of people over 50 – both men and women – is that their gluteus muscles (maximus, medius, minimus) become slack from lack of targeted exercise. As a result they become flat, weak, and less able to support you correctly. Strengthening the 3 gluteus muscles can help older people maintain balance and flexibility as they get older as it is the biggest set of muscles in your entire body. Another fun one. Costs about $100.
4. Malibu Pilates Chair. Susan Lucci, in her mid-60’s yet looking svelte, toned, and decades younger, has been a practitioner of Malibu Pilates for many years. As such, she now has her own, specially designed Malibu Pilates seat that allows you to do an array of Pilates-based exercises, yet better, she says, than regular Pilates routines. It’s a chair constructed from a sturdy frame with a special bar in the front that allows you to get more cardio-action when you pump it with your feet. There are 3 DVD’s full of exercises that you do on the chair and other fitness information. Pilates exercises are great for anyone with cervical spine, back, or other injuries – they were designed by Joseph Pilates years ago when trying to recover from his own injuries. They focus on stretching your muscles and give a longer, smaller, toned look versus the somewhat bulkier, shortened muscle appearance of free weights. Older people – past 70 – love the chair as well as it helps them stay flexible and their muscles toned. Costs about $199-225 at HSN and Amazon.
These are just a few of the many home exercise video workouts that are available that you can try if you’d rather exercise in privacy at home. There are many more available out there as well that are very good. You might try out some home workouts from your local library’s exercise/fitness video collection first before you commit to buying anything. Sporting stores, as well as the sporting sections of larger department stores also carry a lot of home workout videos and the equipment that goes with them. Whichever way you choose to get fit, faithful effort is what yields the best results.
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