All Entries For home workouts
As a busy mom, my free time is limited and very valuable. So if I’m going to spend it exercising, I want the workout to be something that really challenges me. I love running, so that’s my primary form of cardio. But at the beginning of this year, I made a real commitment to focus on strength training. Even though I’m a personal trainer and know what kind of exercises to do, I prefer to strength train using videos that tell me what to do and when to do it so that I don’t have to think about it too much. Read More ›
Adopting my dog a few months ago has changed my life in many ways, and that includes my exercise routine. While I'm even more active than before since I share dog-walking responsibilities with my fiancé, I'm not able to spend as much time at the gym. That means at-home workouts make up the bulk of my routine now, so I've been strength training at home, usually with a few of my favorite workout DVDs.
When Amy Dixon's "Give Me 10!" workout DVD showed up on my desk at work, I was excited to try it. Amy Dixon may look familiar to many of you who are avid readers of women's fitness magazines. She's a regular contributor and fitness consultant for magazines like "Self," "Shape," "Women's Health" and more. She knows her stuff, too. With a bachelor's degree in exercise physiology and a boatload of fitness certifications, she's been training and designing workouts for 15 years.
This DVD features a nice mix of six 10-minute workouts: Fat Blasting Cardio, Upper Body Sculpt, Lower Body Firmer, Core Makeover, Yoga Stretch & Flex, and a bonus Kettlebell Tone Up. So are these workouts for you? Read More ›
I like to do Pilates twice a week. That's the minimum amount of core training I need to keep my persistent back problems at bay and to feel centered and limber. Fortunately for me, I've been teaching two mat classes for the past several years—until recently, that is. One of my classes was recently canceled, so I've been on my own to fit in my mat exercises…only I've been a little lazy about doing it on my own.
Last week I dug through my library of workout DVDs searching for a good Pilates DVD to plug the hole in my routine. The folks at 10-Minute Solution sent me the Quick Sculpt Pilates kit (which contains a DVD and a toning ball) a while ago, and now was the perfect time for me to try it.
I've said it before, but I LOVE doing Pilates with the mini ball. I use it in my classes all the time, and my students really enjoy using it, too. I tested the Bender Ball a couple years ago and loved it, so I had high hopes for this DVD. Still, I was a bit skeptical, because it's not easy to find quality instruction on Pilates workout DVDs. Here's what you need to know about trying this Pilates workout set. Read More ›
I can't remember how I first heard about the TRX suspension trainer, but this portable piece of workout equipment caught my eye a few years ago. I continued to see it make appearances on shows like "The Biggest Loser" and in my fitness magazines, so I figured it was time to give it a try. When I contacted the company about receiving a product to review, they were happy to indulge us. (Hey, this job does have a few perks!)
It's difficult to describe the TRX to someone who has never seen it in action. It look like nothing more than a big band with handles and loops on the ends. So what's the big deal—and how do you use it? Read More ›
One of my fitness goals this year has been to incorporate more strength training into my routine. I've found that if I'm going to push myself, it doesn't happen with a bunch of exercises I just do on my own. I need a video to follow. So far this year I've tried some short and long ones, good and bad ones, and some that are more challenging than others. A few weeks ago, I tried one that was such a good balance of difficulty and length that I wanted to do a review of it. Read More ›
SparkPeople.com is the most highly trafficked weight-loss website in America. Needless to say, we know a thing or two about helping people lose weight. Our members have lost more than 10 million pounds to date by following our fun and healthy nutrition and fitness plans, but we wanted to learn more about what really worked for them, so we conducted a huge survey, asking the most successful "losers" what they really did to reach their goals.
We recently shared several of their secrets to weight-loss success with you, and included even more of their strategies in our book, The Spark, which we released last year. Soon after, SparkPeople asked me to create a workout plan based on the book, so I turned to the strategies of our most successful members for help. After all, I wanted this DVD to be more than just another workout DVD. I wanted it to incorporate tactics that were proven to help real people lose weight and reach their goals.
The result, Fit, Firm and Fired Up in 10 Minutes a Day, is a no-brainer workout plan that's fun, easy to follow, and truly effective. I believe it can help you learn to love exercise (if you're not there yet) and totally change your attitude about fitness. Read More ›
Like many of you, I'm a busy mom who tries hard to balance work, family life and my own priorities. One of my personal goals is to stay healthy and fit. That's not easy, especially on those days when I barely have enough time to brush my teeth, much less find time for a long workout. That's why I was excited to check out the DVD our friends at SqueezeItIn.com sent us to try. It sells for $14.99 and can be purchased on their website.
SqueezeItIn.com is a website full of exercises that you can do anytime, anywhere. The exercises don't require equipment and often use everyday movements to create a workout. For example, countertop push-ups can be done while making dinner, and hot squats can be done while blow drying your hair. The program suggests dividing your workout into three 10-minute segments throughout the day. The DVD contains many of the exercises that are found on the site, as well as a longer workout and more tips for how to fit exercise into a busy day.
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A few months ago, I had the amazing opportunity to interview Leslie Sansone for the dailySpark. Sure, I knew who she was and that our members love her, but I had never actually tried any of the "Walk Away the Pounds" DVDs that made her the famous fitness guru she is today.
Leslie was kind enough to send me a free copy of her newest title, Leslie Sansone Walk At Home: Walk Your Belly Flat, a 3-mile walk you can do from the comfort of your living room. I busted it out on a cold day that I didn't want to head outdoors for a walk. Want to know what I thought about it? And more importantly, whether it'll help you lose that stubborn fat around your midsection? Read More ›
Are you having trouble squeezing exercise into your busy days? Do you need a workout plan that is simple to follow, yet effective? Are you thinking about making fitness a part of your life, perhaps as a New Year's Resolution? Whether you need help starting a consistent fitness program or just want new ideas, my newest workout DVD, The Spark: Fit, Firm and Fired Up in 10 Minutes a Day can help!
A couple months ago, I told you how you can get a free workout from this DVD by preordering The Spark. Today, I'm happy to share that this DVD is now available! Read More ›
When economic times are tough, consumers have to find ways to tighten their wallets and trim spending. Although gym memberships and fancy home equipment are nice to have, often they become something we can no longer afford. According to new research, Americans have been trimming their workout budgets and opting for cheaper ways to get active. Read More ›
A growing number of people are overweight and obese, but you wouldn't know it by flipping through a magazine, watching TV or going to the movies. Thin is still "in" when it comes to models, actors, advertisements and yes, even exercise. We've known for a while that you can be overweight and fit at the same time, and certainly, many overweight men and women work out and live active lifestyles. Unfortunately, the world doesn't cater to the overweight. Airplane seats are too small; fashionable clothes are harder to come by; and most fitness programs don't offer the specific instruction and welcoming environments that many full-bodied people need in order to be successful. It's no wonder that 1/3 of SparkPeople members felt the need to lose weight before joining a gym in the first place!
Research from 2007 found that people who follow workout videos that prominently feature the instructor's thin or toned physique feel worse about themselves. Talk about low motivation to continue a program! Another recent study found that women who read fitness-related magazines while on an exercise bike exercised for a shorter duration than those who read general interest magazines that focused less on body shape. Apparently, all of this "thinspiration" isn't very good for us. So wouldn't it make sense that we'd all be more successful if we worked out with trainers or exercise instructors who looked more like us (and less like a seemingly unattainable ideal)? I think so.
A few fitness pioneers are paving the way for people of all sizes and ability levels to get fit without pressuring them to change or making them feel out of place or bad about themselves. We recently told you about Debra Mazda, founder of Shapely Girl fitness DVDs, which feature curvy women (including 165-pound Mazda herself) and back in June, I had the pleasure of reviewing Abby Lentz's DVD, HeavyWeight Yoga, which is specifically designed for overweight and obese individuals. I immediately fell in love with the DVD and everything that Abby represented. Soon after, she sent me her newest DVD, HeavyWeight Yoga 2: Change the Image of Yoga. I had the opportunity to try her new title a couple weeks ago. Want to know what I thought about it? Read More ›
Leslie Sansone really walks the walk. For 27 years, she has helped people get in shape by putting one foot in front of the other. Best known for her "Walk At Home" and "Walk Away the Pounds" fitness DVDs, she truly is America's fitness-walking authority. I recently was given the opportunity to interview Leslie via email, and the passion in her answers jumped off the screen.
Read on to see Leslie's answers to member-submitted questions, her #1 secret to keeping her walks fun and interesting, and her top 5 tips to starting a solid walking program. Read More ›
I'm a big believer that you don't have to belong to a gym or buy a bunch of fancy equipment to get a great workout or lose weight. But some small fitness gadgets and tools can be fun! These affordable pieces of equipment can help you freshen up your fitness routine (to stay motivated and prevent boredom) and take your workouts to new levels.
Some of the most versatile and effective pieces of home fitness equipment—resistance bands, stability balls and pedometers, to name a few—are also the least expensive. My new favorite toy is no exception. Read More ›
As many times as I've received requests to create a cardio dance video, I have to assume that our readers love dance workouts. I do, too, but unfortunately, I'm not very good at creating or leading these types of workouts. I danced throughout my childhood and I still miss it as an adult, so I rely on cardio dance DVDs to get my dancing fix. Sometimes they can be disappointing. Other times they're too advanced. It isn't easy to strike the perfect balance of teaching fun dance moves without going over most people's heads, so I applaud those fitness instructors (or dancers in some cases) who can do it right.
Recently, I received a package from the folks at 10 Minute Solution. They make a wide variety of workout DVDs— toning, cardio, Pilates and more—that each include five 10-minute workouts, allowing you to choose a short workout or a longer one. Their DVDs have impressed me 95% of the time in terms of quality instruction, value, and workout variety. (So far, the only title I've tried that I would not recommend is their Kettlebell Ultimate Fat Burner, but we won't go into that here.)
Two newer releases of theirs impressed me all over again. If you're looking for fun, short cardio dance workouts that you can actually keep up with, look no further. Read More ›
When I heard the story about Mike Tyson's 4-year-old daughter dying in a freak treadmill accident, I assumed this kind of thing was pretty rare. I was surprised to learn that thousands of young children are treated in hospitals for treadmill-related injuries each year. Although most injuries are minor, some are very serious. That got me to thinking about the safety of home workout equipment, especially in my own home where my young children could be at risk. Read More ›