By Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAYSunday, January 15, 2012
Many people walk for exercise. Others run or go to the gym. But for those who want to work out in the comfort of their living rooms, there are hundreds of exercise DVDs (often just $10 to $15) that feature aerobic workouts, strength-training programs, yoga and Pilates-inspired workouts.
You should find a few exercise DVDs you'll really enjoy that are led by someone you identify with, says Jennifer Cassetty, a personal trainer and exercise physiologist in New York. She recommends renting a few before making a purchase.
Jill Ross, co-owner of Collage Video in Minneapolis (collagevideo.com), identifies popular exercise DVDs whose workouts have been reviewed by the company's certified fitness instructors and categorized for beginner, intermediate and advanced exercisers:
•Denise Austin Shape Up & Shed Pounds features a low-impact cardio workout with simple choreography and a toning segment with a flowing sequence of body-sculpting classics such as planks, lunges and push-ups.
•Jane Fonda Prime Time Firm & Burn has easy-to-follow aerobic workouts plus a relaxing meditation segment. The cardio portions use simplified dance steps such as jazz squares, mambos, cha-cha and grapevines.
•10 Minute Solution: Pilates for Beginners is an introduction to Pilates with classic exercises designed to tone your core, lower body and upper body and total body. You can customize the workout to play any segment in any order.
•Ellen Barrett Live: Grace + Gusto blends the power and control of Pilates with the elegance and fluidity of ballet, plus yoga. The moves are deliberate and graceful but deceptively challenging.
•Sexy Abs With Kelly Rowland and Hollywood Trainer Jeanette Jenkins is a well-sequenced series of traditional ab-focused exercises including curls and crunches. It's filmed in black and white.
•Full Body Stretch by Karen Voight is a solid flexibility program that is mostly an athletic-style workout with a few yoga and Pilates elements. It has soothing music, an outdoor setting and calm instruction.
•Yoga-Tai Chi by Scott Cole is a relaxing blend of yoga and tai chi with gentle smoothly-transitioned motions. It includes classic poses as well as some playful variations on the classics.
•Walk It Off & Tone It Up by Leslie Sansone is 60 solid minutes of high-energy, indoor walking. The steps are basic, including kicks, sidesteps and simple dance moves.
•Kathy Smith's Kettlebell Solution is an easy-to-follow workout that helps shape the upper and lower body and abs, as well as providing an aerobic workout. It requires a kettlebell. Smith uses two — one light, one heavy.
•10 Minute Solution: Rapid Results Pilates features 10-minute segments that each target a specific area: buns/thighs, arms/shoulders, abs, total body and stretch.
•Supreme 90 Day System offers 10 no-nonsense workouts led by instructor Tom Holland and designed to reshape your body in 90 days. The toning movements include classic squats and bicep curls. The aerobic intervals are short but intense.
•Jari Love's Get Extremely Ripped! features simple moves with multiple repetitions. The steps aren't complex or tricky.
This article also appeared on the Tucson Citizen under the headline "Exercising at home? Get motivated with DVDs," and The Province (1/16/12) under the headline "Get motivated to exercise with DVDs for every fitness level,".