Poll: Do You Still Use Fitness DVDs?


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/9/2012 2:00 PM   :  163 comments   :  16,746 Views

In this era of on-demand entertainment, where everything (our phones, our TVs and our laptops) is connected to the Internet to stream whatever we want to watch right when we want to watch it, what does it mean for the humble little fitness DVD?
The first exercise videos were introduced on VHS in the '80s, and they revolutionized fitness. Home workout videos made exercising in your living room a regular thing—cheap, accessible and private, compared to paying to take classes at a gym. I've never known a world without fitness videos (I'll be 30 this year). But could fitness DVDs soon be a thing of the past?
But the way in which we all consume media is changing drastically. People are cancelling their cable subscriptions in favor of Internet-connected TVs, smartphones and computers that let us watch our favorite television series and movies for just a few dollars a month. With a recessed economy, many people are forgoing the gym in favor of home workouts as well, but are they still buying fitness DVDs or are they simply using the many free and low-cost workouts available online or via phone apps?
I recently read two stories that shared somewhat opposing viewpoints on fitness DVDs. The first from Reuters shared some recent trends in the $264 million-dollar fitness DVD industry. While people are buying fewer move and television DVDs, fitness DVD revenue has climbed 11.2% in the past five years and is expected to grow another 9.8% in the next five.
The other story, from CNN, talks about the growth of online or "on-demand" workouts, which are available to paying subscribers for low monthly fees. These are touted as giving more variety than your standard workout DVD, but for a similar out-of-pocket cost. "Nearly 20% of all TVs worldwide will be connected to the Internet by 2016, according to Digital TV Research, which will make it even easier for online fitness videos to infiltrate America's living rooms," says the story.
Me? I don't have cable. I don't pay for any TV or online subscriptions. But I do love fitness DVDs. I still use them and I continue to buy them even though I don't buy other DVDs (like movies or TV shows) anymore. For me, I still see a lot of value in fitness DVDs as useful products that I actually do play again and again. I can't say the same for my library of movies, which hardy ever get watched anymore. I find online subscriptions for workout videos very intriguing and might try them at some point, but I still love having the tangible product that I can pick up and play in my living room—at least for now.
How about you: Do you still buy and use fitness DVDs? Did you ever? Do you think workout DVDs will be a thing of the past in the near future, or that they're here to stay for a while?

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  • 113
    I use a few different Leslie Sansome DVDs & a Yoga for stress relief DVD along with other training. - 3/11/2012   11:03:35 PM
  • 112
    While I do use on-demand workouts on Netflix, if I really like a workout I prefer to purchase the DVD. You have much more control over a DVD if you want to create your own customized workout, fast-forward, or rewind. - 3/11/2012   8:24:40 PM
  • JESSALYN1186
    I bought the P90x system last summer, and even when I am not using it 6 days per week, I will pull out a cardio DVD and use it. We have gotten our money's worth since I no longer have a gym membership and use the apt's crappy gym along with my DVDs.
    I plan to invest in either a Jillian Michaels or Zumba video soon to switch it up. - 3/11/2012   7:56:24 PM
  • 110
    I have a lot of fitness DVDs, and did use them faithfully everyday. I've had my knee replaced, and a lot of these videos are yoga. I can't workout on my knees anymore, so I do the pool, and ride my bike mostly now. I do have one walking DVD, still to try. - 3/11/2012   5:21:55 PM
  • 109
    I love my fitness DVDs...it leaves me with no excuse not to exercise! If I can't make it to the gym, I can put in a DVD and walk away or zumba or whatever I feel like doing. I love that they are convenient and I can take them with me and put in my portable DVD player :o) - 3/11/2012   4:30:41 PM
  • 108
    Absolutely! Jillian Michaels and Zumba DVDs are major parts of my exercise regimen! :) - 3/11/2012   3:27:57 PM
  • 107
    The only fitness DVD I have bought is Zumba, but the one is _use_ is the SparkPeople ones! - 3/11/2012   2:18:48 PM
  • 106
    I have a very large fitness DVD collection. I buy them to support the trainer and with the intention of using the DVDs but when it comes down to it I'm a very bad in-home exerciser. It's too easy for me to get distracted or give up when I am in sight of my couch. I need the destination of the gym or the scenery of a trail to get me through an entire workout. I do use short free YouTube videos when I am pressed for time. I am a Netflix streaming subscriber but have never done a fitness video from there. I'm turning 30 this year too, in college I did the Dinese Austin videos on TV but again that was free with the school cable and before I discovered running and Spin. - 3/11/2012   1:26:55 PM
  • 105
    Yes, I still use fitness DVDs. I admit that I don't buy them that often (but I never have) because I crave variety in my workouts and it gets super expensive super fast if I'm always purchasing new DVDs. I like to borrow them from the library so that I get to do new workouts all the time. But I do like the advent of fitness videos online. I am using that more and more. - 3/11/2012   1:22:20 PM
  • 104
    I love my Leslie Sansone DVDs. Can't afford cable and I take care of my mother and grandmother fulltime so I can't get to a gym even if I could afford one. - 3/11/2012   11:23:08 AM
  • 103
    I remember my first copy of Jane Fonda's VHS and Richard Simmon's Sweatin' to the Oldies. Good stuff. I still use my Leslie Sansone Dvd's and a Tai Chi one once in awhile. - 3/11/2012   11:13:56 AM
  • 102
    Can't live without them! - 3/11/2012   8:04:52 AM
  • 101
    I prefer exercises from Youtube which are free and there is a lot of variety. I just bought an exercise dvd this week but it was $3 so I consider that a good deal.
    - 3/10/2012   11:18:07 PM
  • 100
    I like fitness DVDs. My favorites are your 28 day bootcamp and Body Groove Delicious Dance. I was able to try Body Groove before purchasing and I love your online workouts so I was pretty sure I would like it. I have Netflix and sometimes stream some workouts like pilates and yoga. I gave up my gym membership. I love working out at home and also going for runs, walks, and will play soccer or other games with my family. I don't think I would pay for a steaming service that only offered fitness DVDs. I like having a physical disk and I can watch it from my TV or computer. - 3/10/2012   9:49:15 PM
  • 99
    I use fitness DVDs as part of my exercise rotations. Can't live without them! - 3/10/2012   9:37:17 PM
    Yes, I love my home DVD's and Vhs tapes. I can use them any time I want and also lone them to friends. - 3/10/2012   8:39:31 PM
  • 97
    I still use my DVDs. I have a pretty nice collection with plenty of variety. I also have two applications on my smartphone that I use fairly often as well for some added variety. I don't go to the gym. I prefer to workout in the privacy of my own home so the combination of DVDs and my phone applications gives me plenty of variety and motivation.
    I have used some streaming videos, especially the ones here on SparkPeople and I like them. However, my DVDs have one benefit over both the phone apps and the streaming content online. I don't have to wait for my phone or laptop to buffer the content. - 3/10/2012   7:39:40 PM
    Absolutely!! We don't have cable or satellite and live 30 minutes from the nearest gym. Using dvds at home keep me moving through the winter to keep my SAD at bay and help my fibromyalgia. They also help me reach my fitness and weight loss goals!! They are ESSENTIAL to my healthy lifestyle! - 3/10/2012   7:10:18 PM
  • 95
    I still use the VHS work out tapes. Denise Austin and Leslie Sansone. I have 20+ of these that I use almost daily. I love Denise Austin. She has so many different types of work outs. I love Leslie Sansone's walk away the pounds for abs. I have the 1,2 and 3 mile walk. I even made my own walk away belt to use with the workout since the original one was broken. I like the privacy and versatility that VHS and DVD's offer. I make my exercise appointment each morning and my personal trainer is waiting for me. - 3/10/2012   6:30:30 PM
  • 94
    YES! I also used to use the cable on demand feature but they seem to have removed it so that is not longer an option and I am bummed! I would use the on demand to try out new workouts or just give myself some variety. I guess they weren't making enough money that way. I haven't found too many good workouts on my NetFlix subscription or on YouTube, but I haven't really explored YouTube for that yet. I love being able to work out at home and not bother to get dressed until I'm done. I can also get household chores done at the same time. Can't imagine not having them and am considering investing in P90X and/or Insanity next. - 3/10/2012   5:07:40 PM
    we use dvd's and have done the gym route and prefer to stay at home and workout. - 3/10/2012   3:50:09 PM
    LOVE my fitness DVD's, I'd never stop using them. I'm not a "gym" person....to much of an "eewwww" factor in going to a gym (on many different levels). I like using Collagevideo.com to look at clips from DVD's first before I purchase. Sometimes I can even find the one I'm interested in at the library, I'll check it out for a week to see if I really like it. If I do I buy it, if I don't I haven't lost any money. - 3/10/2012   3:25:36 PM
  • 91
    Yes, I use both DVDs and VHS tapes. I can't get out a lot because of my fatigue from my chemo, so being able to stay home and work out in my pjs is great. I also cannot afford a gym membership or on demand tv service.

    I can't be on my feet for long either because of pain from my bone mets, so right now I am doing a lot of chair aerobic workouts. - 3/10/2012   2:24:57 PM
  • 90
    I do still buy and use fitness DVDs! In fact I'm waiting for my new 28 Day Bootcamp to come in! I ordered it from Collage Video since I'm afraid I may not be able to follow it, so want to try it with the option of returning it. I have an entire cabinet full of workout DVDs and change them up regularly. Since I don't drive, it is the best option and I find it easier to work with a DVD than anything streamed b/c most things are menus on the screen that do blind people no good at all. With my DVDs I push a button and it will play! They probably will one day go out of style, but I'll still have a ton to keep me working out at home! - 3/10/2012   2:22:42 PM
  • 89
    My DVDs and my VHS tapes are the best for me for exercise. I hope I will always be able to use them. My favorites are "Walkaerobics". - 3/10/2012   1:54:09 PM
  • 88
    I am fortunate to have a gum membership and love going to spinning classes 2-3 times a week. But, there is something to be said for being able to work out when you want to ( no Zumba class on Tuesdays- oh, well...maybe next week...lol). And if you do not have an hour for the class, you can do 15 minutes at home...or 30. The flexibility and selection are what has kept me a fan. I remember what a HUGE investment it was to get the first Jane Fonda tape. And vcr's were so expensive we went to a gas station to rent one..lol...yes, a gas station. We had to leave a credit card deposit of several hundred dollars as part of the rental! Love all the ways we can access fitness info. - 3/10/2012   1:52:25 PM
    I only buy them if I can't find something similar online. (I subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Gaimtv and also enjoy some of Nicole's online SparkVideos.) We use my 24" monitor as our "TV" as well (no cable subcription; no TV antenna), so it's actually simpler to stream the video than to get out a DVD and pop it in. - 3/10/2012   1:48:49 PM
  • 86
    I think DVD's are handy to have regardless of what other equipment and other stuff you may have. It's good to have several so you never get in a rut and things become too easy for you. - 3/10/2012   12:58:23 PM
    Yes, even though we have an elliptical and a Bowflex, doing a DVD is still my favorite way to work out at home. - 3/10/2012   12:51:49 PM
  • 84
    I use both. I do not have a tv either, but I do have some online subscriptions. I love the dvd's because I know I will always have them with me and they are easy to travel with. There is not always internet access, plus for some reason putting that DVD into the player makes me feel more in charge. - 3/10/2012   12:50:56 PM
  • AMANDA_A_725
    I prefer using dvds on my tv - better sound and a larger screen. Plus easier to pause and rewind with the remote than using my laptop. Once I get internet connected tv, that may change. - 3/10/2012   12:45:38 PM
  • 82
    Yes, I still use exercise DVD's when I exercise indoors. - 3/10/2012   12:35:54 PM
  • 81
    Ha! I loved the Richard Simmons Sweatin' to the Oldies series so much that my Mom and I WORE OUT our VHS of the original. Since I no longer have a working VHS machine, I just bought it on DVD. Plan on starting to use it TODAY! Can't wait to see my Richard again! - 3/10/2012   12:08:22 PM
  • 80
    Yes. I still you my fitness DVDs. I've even made a few of my own using computer graphics and music. The problem with On-demand or other streamed workouts is one is limited to where you can take them. I've a portable DVD player that goes where I want to work out. - 3/10/2012   12:06:13 PM
  • 79
    I do both - Cable and DVDs plus my WII, classes and the gym keeping it mixed up all the time - 3/10/2012   12:06:01 PM
  • 78
    Yep, I still use my DVDs, and Don't knock it til you tried it an old Richard Simmons Vinyl Album with these little songs he wrote that get in your head to keep you from eating that second piece of pie etc. LOL

    My vote is that they are here to stay. As others have mentioned.. convenience (do it when you can and want to, turn it off when you need to, pause it, etc.) Also use them to go back and polish up on the actual form of previous exercises that with time, memory fails to deliver correctly, like remembering breathing patterns etc) And I just have my favorites, it's nice to be able to grab something that you are totally familiar with on those brain fogged days

    As far as streaming goes..it's wonderful when it's not b....bu...buff...buffering..

    As far as fitness media in the future...
    I recently bought an Xbox w/ Kinect and find that I use it strictly for the workout videos... it's a great combination of social interaction, competition,(although I am not engaged with the aforementioned, it is available for those who want to) and instruction.. It keeps me moving and helps me vary my workout. I think we will see more of this if consumers will choose to exercise something besides thier thumbs while engaged in gaming.

    I find that with Spark People video workouts, fitness and nutrition plans and my Xbox.. fitness doesn't have to be boring, repetitive or lonely...

    Thanks for keeping us moving SparkPeople and Nicole thanks for an excellent and engaging blog!

    Great Blog! - 3/10/2012   11:56:20 AM
  • 77
    I still use my at home fitness dvd's, I don't see why the already fit need to see my struggle. Soon enough, they will get to see my success! - 3/10/2012   11:48:09 AM
  • 76
    I still use them. I like the gym as well and running outside, but now that I can't afford a personal trainer using DVDs like insanity and P90X take the place of my very expensive trainer! DVDs rock! And I hope they stay in style. - 3/10/2012   11:46:30 AM
  • 75
    I have used one in the past and consider them pretty useful. I used to do the Insanity DVD work-out with a friend who brought his copy in. We would do it after work and it was a great change from my regular cardio routine. I have seen on my cable network where they do offer some work-out videos. These videos seem cheesy and funny to watch. Overall I still like the idea of having a physical DVD and not depending on the internet or my cable company for my work-out choices. - 3/10/2012   11:40:22 AM
  • 74
    I guess I'm still in the stone ages - I still use my fitness vhs tapes, lol. I just bought my first fitness dvd a few months ago! - 3/10/2012   11:13:39 AM
  • 73
    Since I've given up my yearly donation to the local gym, I do buy fitness dvds and use them, unlike my gym membership. I like being able to work out at home. The time it takes to drive to the gym and back is valuable workout time. I would use online dvds. I'd also like it if Amazon offered fitness videos in its Kindle rotation since I carry it in my bag to work. - 3/10/2012   11:13:18 AM
  • 72
    I use fitness DVD's alot. I cannot afford a gym membership right now (yes, even $10.00 a month would move me out of my financial goals right now). I do not stream data. I do have satellite TV but the basic package, my TV does link to the internet but I cancelled the subscription as a waste of money. Public television does offer some good exercise alternatives.
    But I use the fitness DVD more. - 3/10/2012   10:33:05 AM
  • 71
    I still use DVD's! You buy it once and have it to use as often as you like. I pay big bucks if I go over my allotment of monthly internet data, so streaming media is not really a good idea for me. I don't have cable, but even if I did commercial interruptions always annoyed me. I have a gym membership and use it. But there are days when the thought of driving there to work out is overwhelming (I just can't do it too much to do)! But its no big task to walk four steps across the living room to pop in the DVD and go for it. I use Leslie sansone and Shapely Girl. I got Coach Nicole's video too. - 3/10/2012   10:14:45 AM
    I love the comraderie of the gym but fitness videos have always worked better for my busy schedule. They also allow you to try workouts before you commit to joining the gym. - 3/10/2012   10:03:18 AM
    In this world of doing it yourself products - I use DVD MORE than ever! P90X saved my fitness life. AWESOMENESS! - 3/10/2012   10:02:02 AM
  • 68
    I have one VHS tape and one Jillian DVD, both still have the cellophane covering on. Also I bought a Wii sports & fitness stuff. None of these has ever been used! I only exercise at the gym with others around me, or even more common take classes at my local community college.

    While I can exercise on my own (at the gym), I haven't gone in a couple years.

    The last 2yrs I have only exercised while taking or teaching classes. I guess I just learned something about myself - I hate training by myself. I'm betting that's why I never do strength training (the time I actually did it was on the living room floor,
    and it only lasted a week).

    Since it's time to sign up for classes, I will look for a differnt class to get my strength training going. - 3/10/2012   10:01:36 AM
  • 67
    I use DVD's all the time. I feel like I get a better walking workout with the DVD than just walking. I also have strength training DVD's and tons of others. I love doing them. - 3/10/2012   10:01:02 AM
    I have 30+ dvds that I keep - Jari Love to Christi Taylor to Rob Glick, step to weights & intervals. Absolutely love working out first thing in the am in my basement. - 3/10/2012   9:58:13 AM
  • 65
    I have 3 fitness DVDs -- 2 yoga and 1 tai chi -- which I practice to at least 5x/week, primarily first thing in the AM when I get up. I'm sure the ones on my cable TV are good (my wife does try some of them), but for me, it is my AM routine. - 3/10/2012   9:47:44 AM
  • 64
    I don't like going to the gym so I use fitness DVDs instead and I love them. I would be lost without my DVDs. They give me total freedom, I can work out whenever I want and the variety keeps my workouts fresh and never boring. - 3/10/2012   9:41:59 AM

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