How to Choose the Right Exercise DVD for You |

How to Choose the Right Exercise DVD for You

Jackie Wright / The Fitness Trail

Time is always a factor when including an exercise program into an already full schedule. Even if you are committed to your exercise program at a fitness studio or health club, there will be days that life hands you a few twists and turns and you end up at home with a sick child, car trouble or inclement weather making transportation or an outdoor workout impossible.

One effective way to adhere to your exercise program is to always have a plan “B.” Exercise DVDs can be that plan. However, there are many on the market that are either out-of-date or are produced by inexperienced instructors or celebrities who have neither the qualifications nor expertise to be teaching and coaching fitness.

There are also many programs on the market, usually featured on infomercials, that may or may not be safe and effective for you.

Consequently, follow the guidelines listed below to help you choose the right exercise DVD for you:

– Choose exercise DVDs that will address all five physical fitness components*. This may mean that you choose several different programs as most will focus upon one or two of the physical fitness components. For example, many formats are specifically for cardio, or muscular strength training, Pilates or abdominals and core conditioning. Therefore, read the description and make certain that the format will fit your needs.

– Confirm that the instructor/coach/teacher is certified by a national certifying body such as IDEA or ACSM, and that they have five-plus years of teaching experience. It does matter. Just because someone is capable of performing, does not make them a qualified instructor, coach or teacher.

– Be cautious of any exercise DVD that promises immediate or unrealistic results.

– Collage Video is one of the businesses that specifically sell exercise DVDs. They provide a description of the exercise program as well as information on the instructor/coach/teacher, the length of the program, the copyright date, and the type and intensity level of the program. They will also send the DVDs overnight so you can get started right away. You can check out their Web site,

– Ask your fitness professional which exercise DVDs they would recommend.

– Purchase a couple of DVDs that focus on cardiovascular conditioning, one or two that provide you with a thorough muscular strength training workout and perhaps a couple that concentrate on abdominal/core conditioning and flexibility (i.e. Pilates).

And, periodically purchase newer versions to make certain you have access to cutting edge exercise research and trends.

– Notice what equipment may be required to perform the routine.

– Make certain you have the floor space to perform the exercise routine safely.

– Watch the DVD first to familiarize yourself with the content. Then, give it a try.

Remember, most exercise DVDs assume that you will need to perform the routine several times before mastering it. So, just be patient and keep working at it.

– As always, if it hurts, don’t do it and check with your physician first if you are new to exercise.

*The Five Physical Fitness Components are as follows:

– Cardiovascular/aerobic endurance

– Muscular strength

– Muscular endurance

– Flexibility

– Body composition

Next week’s column will feature three dynamite ways to strengthen your back.

” Jackie Wright can be reached at her e-mail address:

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