Weight Loss Plans: Are Exercise Videos And Dvds Effective Ways To Get Fit?

Working out at home along with an exercise video or DVD can be a great way to get in shape, so long as you do your research first and go about it the right way.

Every fitness regimen has its advantages and disadvantages, and exercising at home with exercise videos and DVDs is no exception.But if you do your research in advance and go about it well-informed and well-prepared, home exercise to video is an excellent way to get fit.

First, the advantages.

You can set your own schedule.If you're a morning person, you can exercise first thing in the morning.Or you can exercise as an unwinding activity when you get home from work.Or whatever schedule works best for you.

The convenience of not having to travel to the gym or class location should make you more likely to stick with the program.

It's inexpensive. You can buy quite a few videos for the cost of one exercise class at most gyms.

Your choices of type of exercise are much broader than they would be with exercise classes.Very few localities offer classes in every type of exercise, but you can probably find a video for it.Aerobics in every music style you can imagine, yoga, tai chi, pilates, kick-boxing, belly dancing, there's sure to be something that sounds fun to you.

If you're shy or self-conscious, you'll appreciate exercising without an audience.

But, the disadvantages.

You're on your own.With no set schedule to follow, it's up to you to set your own and make yourself stick with it.

No one is watching you to make sure you're using proper form and not overdoing it.This could make it more likely for you to injure yourself if you're not careful.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to minimize the disadvantages and making a home workout work for you.It just takes some thought and preparation.

First, where are you going to work out?Living room, bedroom, family room?Make sure you'll have enough space to do the moves.What is your floor surface?Carpet over wood is good, wood is okay, but concrete or concrete under carpet is too hard and could be damaging to your feet and joints.A padded exercise surface can help here.

Now determine what exercise seems fun to you; an enjoyable workout will make you more likely to stick with it.

Once you've picked a type of exercise, you need to select your video or DVD.This can be tricky; there are many exercise videos that call themselves "for beginners' that are actually too challenging for a true beginner.Here's where you need to do your homework.Look up the reviews in a fitness magazine such as Shape.These reviews will be by fitness professionals who assess the workout for safe moves and skill level.

Another useful resource is the customer reviews on commercial sites like Amazon.com.At first glance, the reviews will be bewildering.For any exercise video, there are customers that loved it and others who hated it.Don't just go by the numbers, but read the comments.The longer comments are the most useful; the customer-reviewers will get into specifics about why they loved or hated this particular exercise video.Don't assume that every review is accurate, but read them all to get the broad range of opinion.

Be honest with yourself about your fitness and skill level!If you're starting a workout program from a lengthy period of getting no exercise at all, don't be too proud to buy a video billed as 'a gentle introduction'.If you're a long-time runner and proud of your fitness, don't assume that means you can buy and work out to an advanced yoga tape if you've never done yoga before.

As all videos warn in the beginning, 'check with your doctor before beginning this or any other exercise program'.I suspect that few exercisers follow this advice, but if you have known health conditions, concerns about or family history of serious medical conditions, do check with your doctor!There are some yoga postures, for example, that people with high blood pressure simply should not do.

Make sure you have the right clothing for the exercise, and the right shoes are crucial.Running shoes, for example, are designed to provide stability in forward motion.If you try to do sideways aerobics movements in running shoes, you can wind up tripping over your own feet!

So now you have the right place, the right clothes, the right video, and your doctor's okay.It's time to get started.

First watch the video through once or twice before you begin to perform the exercises.When you start to exercise, ease into it.Don't feel that you have to make it all the way through the tape the first time, or perform the exercises with the same vigor as the exercisers on the tape.You don't have to stretch as far as they do, or lift your knees as high.Pay attention to your body, and don't continue if you're feeling pain or are red-faced and out of breath or dizzy.If your exercise is aerobic, though, don't just stop exercising and sit down without a cooldown.Walk in place or walk around the house until your heart rate returns to normal.

If your exercise is one that emphasizes form, this can be difficult to learn on your own because you can't see your own posture.You could be developing bad habits and performing the moves wrong without realizing it.If you have a full-length standing mirror, you could move it to beside the television during your exercise session, so you can see what you're doing and compare it with the instructor's moves.A smaller mirror placed further back might also give you a view to allow you to check your form.Or you could ask a family member to come watch you perform a particular move along with the video and tell you how you're matching up.

Exercise with your video regularly, at least three times a week.It will get easier over time.When it starts to become too easy, or you're getting tired of that routine, you can start looking for another video, a more difficult one or one at the same skill level that's a different routine for a change of pace.Keep it interesting, don't let yourself become bored, and it won't be long before you begin seeing the results in your stamina and your figure.

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