One of the things I've missed these past two weeks that I've been sick has been working out. Ever since early last spring, when I first discovered Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred, working out has been a regular, refreshing part of my week. And after finding and using that one, I branched out and found more workouts that made me want to pick up my weights, rather than making me want to pretend I didn't own a dumbbell.
Since what really changed me from someone who worked out occasionally to someone who worked out regularly was finding the right DVD, I thought it would be useful to have an occasional feature on the blog where I reviewed exercise DVDs I've used and liked. I'm not going to review the ones I tried and disliked because, well, I've forgotten about most of them.
I often get DVDs through our library system, but when they're really good, I end up buying them. It's cheaper to have a DVD library than a gym membership!
Oh, and maybe I should offer a bit of an apologetic for DVDs as a basis for a good exercise routine. For me, they're what makes working out a realistic proposition. As I said, a gym membership is out of my budget, and not just my financial budget, but my time budget. With DVDs, I don't have any travel time. I just pop it in the player and start working out. I don't have to find a babysitter (I usually work out during my twins' naptime/big kids' quiet time). Working out with my kids doesn't make much sense at this point, though I'm hoping when they're older we'll do lots of family hikes and bike rides and swim sessions. So DVDs really fit the bill. Affordable, quick and super-local.
When it comes to these reviews, I should give fair warning that I tend to like DVDs that lean more towards vigorous, muscle-building activity like weights and plyometrics, just because my body responds best to that kind of activity, and also because I find that working out hard gives me more bang for my buck, i.e., less time equals more results when you use that time working really really hard. Just wanted to be clear on my bias, because I know some people like longer, more time-consuming workouts (that would be you walkers and joggers. ;) ). What works for me might not work for you, but it might still give you an idea of what's out there. After all, you might like what I like for entirely different reasons than I like it.
But I also have a fondness for fun workouts that will tempt me to go ahead and exercise on days I don't feel like it, so there'll be some dance DVDs in this series as well.
Hope you enjoy the reviews! I'll try to post at least one a week for as long as they last. I'm hoping it'll help you find something that you'll like, if you're in the market. Sticking to a workout routine really seems to be a matter not just of finding something that's good for you, but of finding something that you like enough to keep doing it. Other people's reviews got me started on this track, so I thought I'd try to pass on the favor.
Plus, it's just fun to write about something I enjoy. :)
Peace of Christ to you,