Workout DVDs are popular, but do we use them well? Are the DVDs in your collection making you more fit? We buy workout DVDs with the best intentions, but DVD workout plans are easily derailed -- w do them at home, and we usually do them alone making DVD workouts subject to every little distraction and sabotage from our inner critic.
So what can we do to increase our chances of following through on our good intentions? I've put together a list of mostly common sense tips for helping you be successful with your DVD workouts. I know these tips because I've made mistakes around all of them. If you have a tip, be sure to share it in the reader's respond" option.
- Set Up Your Space
Really, it's worth moving a bit of furniture to have enough room to exercise. Think about how much space you will need in front of you, and to the sides. Most Pilates workouts, for example, are fairly stationary, but some DVDs require a lot more room. Your might want to read: Setting Up Your Home Workout Space
- Get Your Equipment
Some DVDs take you by surprise. They will suddenly say, "pick up your exercise band" or "sit on the fitness ball". Read the back of the DVD and see if you can tell what equipment you will need before you start.
- Use Pause and Go Back
Don't be a slave to the pace of a DVD. Exercise DVDs will plow ahead whether you understand what's going on or not. Do not hesitate to hit the back button, watch an exercise or a portion of a workout again, then follow along. Similarly, use the pause button to get caught up rather than skipping something just to keep up with the video.
- Don't Wreck Your Alignment
Exercising with good alignment is absolutely critical to getting the most benefit from an exercise, and to avoiding injury. It's better to watch an exercise, go back, and then do it, than to distort an exercise in order to see it on the screen. After you've done the DVD a few times you will be able to sail through without pauses.
I injured my neck by turning my head to check a video in the middle of an exercise. Believe me, I felt really stupid.
Find the Right DVDs for You
A fitness DVD should be a type of exercise you are genuinely interested in. If it isn't, it will sit on your shelf but you won't be motivated to use it. If you have, So and So's Butt Blaster and Hard Rock Abs DVD for Dummies, but you are really a Pilates or yoga type, the reality is, you aren't going to do that video -- even if it did seem like a great idea on the late night infomercial. So get real about what you are likely to do and stock up on those kinds of DVDs.
Get some assurance about the quality of the DVDs you purchase by reading DVD reviews. These exercise DVD reviews will get you started:
The Fitness DVDs you choose should also be at a realistic level for you. Too easy and you won't enjoy it. Too hard and you won't enjoy it or be able to do it. Take a good look at a DVD and see if it gives the level of the workout. Sometimes, manufacturers don't make the level obvious. Don't buy for the level you want to be at. Buy for the level you are now. You are more likely to stick with it if you have success. Once you build your strength and stamina, you can get the next level. DVDs aren't that expensive.