* Did you see The Savages? With a father in a nursing home and an arthritic dog in a wheelchair, it hit very close to my home so I cried through most of the movie One of the funniest, most relate-able moments was each time Laura Linney's character did aerobics to an exercise DVD. Yeah, that's also me. I've been to a gym once in my life and while I loved the elliptical and treadmill, I just can't justify spending that much a month to sweat when I can sweat in my house or on the street for a fraction of the cost. Lately, however, I've been bored with the DVDs I have to I've bought a few new ones.
I know a workout is good when I have the exercise music stuck in my head during my lunch break and the songs are from Karen Voight's Sleek Essentials, a 3-DVD set with cardio, strength training, and flexibility workouts. The cardio includes lower body toning section that will make your butt sore the next day. Cuing in the aerobics section is good but there are enough subtle differences in the moves from other DVDs I have to keep it interesting. Her weight routines are always unique and really work. The workout uses a foam roller and it's worth springing some extra cash to get it. Doing crunches and leg lifts while balancing my back on a foam roller made my whole body shake, it's that hard.
Kathy Smith's Peel off the Pounds Pilates doesn't quite live up to its name's claim. With only 20 minutes of very light, mostly low-impact aerobics and 10 minutes each of upper and lower body toning, I don't feel like I'm working out very hard. But that's actually what I like most about it. On days when I am too tired to workout or my repetitive strain injury is acting up, I pop this one in to get my blood circulating and I always feel better than if I had just done nothing for the evening.
The last DVD I picked up is The Firm's Burn and Shape. I love The Firm so I was excited about this 40-minute mix of cardio and strength training. Emily Welsh's cuing, however, isn't the clearest during the aerobics sections (a surprise, since an older DVD of hers has excellent cuing). The moves aren't impossible but they don't flow intuitively so it takes much longer to get the hang of it. I've only done it once, though, so I'm sure I'll catch on eventually.
Collage Video is full of all the exercise DVDs you can hope for.You can watch clips, read very helpful user reviews, and can return even opened DVDs if they are not what you're looking for.
* Finally, Win a vegan cookbook at Vegan Soapbox!
(picture courtesy of CED Magic)