Archive for February, 2010

10 Minute Solutions – Belly, Butt and Thigh Blasters

I consider myself to be at an intermediate level when exercising and this video was tough for me. It is broken down into five 10-minute sections; one focuses on your butt, one on your thighs, one on your midsection, one is a combination of cardio and lower body toning, and the last one is a combination of cardio and strength to help get rid of belly flab. I did the entire workout, but let me tell you it was a challenge. By the end of the workout, I was really feeling it. It is done using a sculpting loop throughout the whole video which adds a lot of resistance to the workout. The sculpting loop comes with the video so you don’t have to purchase it separately. It’s really a good workout.  The only downsides I see to the video is there is not enough stretch. I like stretching after a workout and I felt that was lacking and the resistance band is a little distracting. It has a tendency to roll up when working out and I felt like at times I was focusing on keeping it in place.

If you are a beginner and decide you want this video, I would suggest working without the sculpting loop to start. You can always add it when your body is ready for it.

Get it at Amazon

10 Minute Solutions Pilates on the Ball

I recently purchased a stability ball and a couple of exercise videos to go along with it. The first video I tried is 10 Minute Solutions Pilates on the Ball. Wow, what a good workout for me. I have been doing pilates for a couple of years now and the stability ball adds a good level of intensity to the workout. If you have never worked out with a stability ball, you should try it. It is pretty challenging to keep the ball steady when you are working out on it.

The video contains 5 ten-minute sections that focus on different parts of your body. There is a section just for abs, one for the lower body, one for the upper body, one that combines exercises that work all of your body, and the final one is a stretch. One thing that is great about all of the 10 Minute Solution videos is you can mix and match the sections to focus on the areas you want, or if you only have a few minutes to get a workout in, you can choose just one or two sections.

One suggestion I would make to anyone purchasing a stability or fitness ball is make sure you buy the right size for your body. I didn’t do any research before buying and I didn’t realize there are different sized balls for different sized people. I am 5’2″ and the medium sized ball fits me alright. I would say if you are any taller, you may want to consider a larger ball. 

Get this at Amazon

Fats – Good and Bad

Having heard so much about trans fats lately and how New York City has banned the use of them in restaurants, I wanted to find out more about them and why they are so bad. I thought you may be interested too.

Trans fats are made by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to help make them solid. They can also be referred to as partially hydrogenated oil. Restaurants like to use them for their fried foods as they makes the food taste good, have a long shelf life, and are pretty inexpensive to make. Unfortunately, they are not good for your health, as they raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol, increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

There are four different types of fat: trans, saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. The first two, trans and saturated, are not good for you. Trans fat can be found in a lot of fried foods and baked goods, and most stick margarine has trans fat. Saturated fats can be found in red meat and dairy products. Trans and saturated fats can clog arteries and may increase your risk for heart disease.  The other two, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, are much better choices. Polyunsaturated helps to lower your bad cholesterol and is found in fish like salmon, herring, and trout, as well as many nuts and seeds. Monounsaturated can be found in oils like olive, canola, and soybean. These are oils that are recommended when you fry or saute food. Even though these fats are better for you than trans and saturated fats, they still should be eaten in moderation. There is a lot of information at the American Heart Association if you want to learn more.

We all need some fat in our diet, but when you have a choice, choose foods made with poly or mono unsaturated fat. Your body will thank you for it!

Crunch Cardio Dance Blast

If you like cardio dance than you will probably like this video. The moves are funky and fun. The instructor Maria Forleo is easy to follow as she breaks down each move at half time to begin and then puts the moves together to make a full dance routine. You may not get all the steps the first time around, but should be able to catch on after doing it a couple of times. Once you get all the moves, you can get into the rhythm of the dance and won’t even feel like you are exercising. I have fun with it and work up a pretty good sweat too!

Get this video at Amazon

Working out at home Vs. a gym

Once my workout routines became a daily habit, I considered joining a gym. As I weighed the pros – great machines, exercise classes, qualified fitness instructors, and the cons – the effort of finding a babysitter in order to leave the house, worrying about criticism, buying stylish workout clothing, and the financial commitment, I decided it would be more beneficial to me to work out at home using exercise videos.

Over many years I have accumulated an extensive collection of videos covering a wide variety of exercises. This has helped keep me going, because I can choose whatever I feel like doing on any given day and I don’t get bored.

In future posts I will share with you my thoughts on many of the videos I have experienced. I will let you know how they have helped me and maybe it will help you too!