Exercise Video Reviews

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 by Rachel

As an alternative to yoga and our Gazelle machine, I’ve been trying out some exercise videos on Netflix Instant Play. Here are my quick mini-reviews (in the order that I tried them) for those of you interested in exercising in your living room!


1) Crunch: Cardio Sculpt: This was a tough first video, and I would definitely not recommend it. This is the kind of exercise video that makes me think I’ll never use exercise videos. The steps were confusing at times and moved too quickly from one to the next. It was a decent workout that brought me to a sweat, but my frustration wasn’t worth it.


2) Crunch: Cardio Dance Blast: This was much more fun than I expected, considering I take myself too seriously most of the time to do something dance-y for exercise. It was 40 minutes long. The host was fun enough that you didn’t feel ridiculous doing the often goofy dance moves. Only complaint is about the exerciser in the background wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Couldn’t a producer find her some work-out clothes? She annoyed me.


3) Crunch Super Slim Down: Pilates Yoga Blend : The host was good, and she worked to show you modifications to the workout, which I really appreciated with some of the more difficult moves. This video also provided a good variety of exercises. Later this night, I thought I was having stomach problems, but realized the next morning I was just sore from the ab work out!


4) Yoga for Health: I was really excited about this video, which was the intro to a series of video, featuring special episodes on headaches, etc. But I was immediately turned off. The host’s accent was too thick to understand, especially in an echoey room. The frustration of the sound combined with amateur video forced me to shut this off within minutes.


5) The Trainer’s Edge: Integrated Strength Training. This is definitely a contender for my favorite video. Instead of most videos that have the host in front, then a random dozen people behind, this one only had 3—including the host. The three exercisers were easy, medium, and hard, so you could watch whoever you wanted to match level-wise. I felt really good doing light weights during this 40 minute workout, mostly because of the clear enthusiastic host. Note: This is my first guy host. I don’t know if some of you prefer women, but I thought this guy was nice. He made sure to say that you should do the workout that’s right for how you feel, because your body changes every day. He also emphasized that we’re working for progress, not perfection.

On Overdoing It

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 by Rachel

On Monday, I woke up energized and ready to exercise. For a change of pace from the yoga I rely on for both exercise and stress relief, I was going to try the exercise routine outlined in this month’s Prevention magazine, and I was going to work myself hard. Instead of my normal 3 pound weights, I used Derrick’s 8 pound weights for a few of the exercises. I did a good 40 minutes of weights and pilates. (I should note that the magazine recommends 16 minutes of the weights/pilates + another 20 of cardio for your first week doing this routine.)


Well, I definitely overdid it. Two days later, the tops of my legs are still in pain. I hobble my way up and down the stairs, clutching the wall for support (oh landlord, where is my handrail???). I hobbled my way in and out of Chick-fil-a earlier when I picked up some lunch for Derrick and myself (Thank you Chick-fil-a employee for holding the doors open for me!). I hobble my way from living room to computer room, groaning when I sit down and stand up.


So often, when people begin their routines or modify their routines, they overdo it, pushing their bodies too far for the first workout. This is completely normal, as we’re striving for the certain body or better blood levels or whatever our goal is for exercising. The problem is that most people give up after they overdo it, because they think that the pain is permanent. It’s not. As we get used to our workouts and become more fit, the pain goes away.


Yesterday, despite my leg ache, I managed 5 minutes of Wii hula hooping and another 21 of cardio on our Gazelle exercise machine. I took a few ibuprofen and I made sure to Bengay those leg tops before bed. Today, I have taken it easy, watching a movie (Bully, which was almost as emotionally exhausting as I already feel physically) and drinking lots of water. Tomorrow, I’ll be exercising again, and I don’t know if it’ll be yoga or Gazelle or weights (definitely the 3 pounders if I choose weights!).


You wouldn’t believe it if you saw how wussy I am, but overdoing it really isn’t a big deal to me. Finding out what hurts and why it hurts is really important as we develop a greater awareness of our bodies. Apparently the yoga workout that I’m used to hasn’t been doing much for my quadriceps, and I pushed them too far. So I’ll be jumping back on that exercise bandwagon as soon as possible. I won’t let the achey legs bring me down. I’m going to work to make my legs tougher! I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.