Fitness Basics: Tune In to Fitness With Exercise Videos
Fitness Basics: Tune In to Fitness With Exercise Videos Get fit in your own space, at your own pace
Choosing a Video
As beneficial as exercise videos can be, they should be selected with care,
says Edward Jackowski, PhD, author of several exercise books and creator of the
workout DVD Jump Into Fitness. That mostly means using common sense.
For starters, don't think you're going to wind up looking like the model on
the box, Jackowski says. "Those people spend their whole life exercising,
day in and day out."
And don't think that a video alone is going to do the trick, Jackowski adds.
"In theory, yes, the videos work, but ask yourself if you're also doing
everything else you need to be doing, including watching what you eat?"
Michael Spezzano, national health and fitness specialty consultant to the
YMCA of the USA, suggests trying several videos before buying. Borrow one from
a friend, preview a few online, check some out of the pubic library, or rent
some at the video store.
"Go beyond the wording on the package," he says. "See as many as
Cotton recommends asking yourself these questions before choosing an
- Am I familiar with the instructor? Is the instructor certified? Look for a
certifying organization such as the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), or the National Strength and
Conditioning Association (NSCA).
- Do the creators make any outlandish claims? "Lose 20 pounds in 2
weeks," or "Firm up in only 5 minutes a day."
- Does the video suit my specific needs?
- Do I have enough room to do the workout safely?
- Do I need special equipment or props (steps, barbells, stretching strap,
- How do I begin? Make sure you watch the video all the way through at least
once before you try the workout so you are well prepared.
Finally, says Cotton, try to build a collection that offers balance and
overall conditioning, including aerobics, strength, and stretching. Many tapes
combine all these components.
But the most important element, Cotton says, is to pick a workout that gets
your body moving, your heart pumping, and your blood flowing!