Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Review of Leslie Sansone's "3 Mile Calorie Blast" on Vimeo

Today I am reviewing Leslie Sansone's "3 Mile Calorie Blast" on Vimeo.

3 Mile Calorie Blast from Walk Productions, Inc. on Vimeo.

Unfortunately, you can't watch it on my blog, but you can pop on over to Vimeo and watch it there! Personally, what I do to watch Vimeo videos on my TV is I use my Roku (affiliate link). I have the Vimeo channel on my Roku, and if I am browsing Vimeo and spot a video I want to play on my TV, I "like" it, then go over to the Roku and play it from "My Likes". It works out pretty well for me. Besides Leslie, I really haven't found much in the way of fitness channels on Vimeo. I looked once or twice to try to find some workouts, but found some pretty foul stuff. I wish Vimeo would filter that better! I haven't bothered to try to find any more workouts on Vimeo for that reason.

I needed a low impact workout today, and I was willing to do a workout that was a little bit longer than my usual 30 minutes or so. I chose this one because I already had it on my likes. I'm pretty sure I have done it once before. I do not own the Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds belt (affiliate link). It seems a little gimmicky, and I substituted something like this resistance band (affiliate link), then, finding it too unwieldy, substituted something like this stretchy resistance band (affiliate link). Of course, it took some adaptation, but I think it was a minor inconvenience. If you already have the Walk Away the Pounds belt, fine, but if you're asking yourself, can I do the 3 Mile Calorie Blast without the Walk Away the Pounds Belt, I would answer, "Yes!"

Besides the belt, this was a fairly normal, low impact, 3 mile walk with Leslie. She did throw in an optional grapevine, and sometimes the arms were going at a different, slower pace than the feet, but it was very doable. If you are familiar with the Leslie workouts, you will feel right at home. I would definitely do this again, as proved by the fact that this is the second time I've done it!

As this is the last post of the year for me, I bid you a Happy New Year's Eve! If you are new here as you work on your New Year's resolution to get in shape, welcome! I hope you like my reviews. I would love to hear how you work out!

Monday, December 30, 2013

What YouTube Fitness Channels do you use to exercise?

I thought I would pass along an article I found on of a list of YouTube fitness channels:

I hadn't heard of about half of them. I've already tried some from BeFit, Blogilates, SparkPeople, and SarahFit. I don't think I would recommend all of them, but I think that some of them are worth a second look. I think that Jessica Smith's channel should have been on the list, most definitely!

What exercise oriented channels on YouTube do you use to exercise? I try to only post channels where the content owner is the one who posted them - there are a lot of YouTube videos that have been posted by others who don't own them. I don't link to those because they have a chance to be removed, and it just doesn't seem respectful to the content owner. So please keep that in mind with your recommendations.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Review of Jessica Smith's "Total Body in 10 - Full Length 10-Minute Total Body Workout"

Here's another great workout from Jessica Smith - "Total Body in 10 - Full Length 10-Minute Total Body Workout" on YouTube.

This was a nice workout to do - I felt so strong! I was so happy that I was able to do leg lifts from a plank position. I haven't been able to do that before. It is so satisfying to improve, even a little bit. You do need weights for this workout. I used my 3 pound weights as they are my heaviest for now, but I am hoping to get 5 pound weights soon. As Jessica did not repeat sets, the sets seemed super long, but it was an interesting change.

Since I have watched so many Jessica videos lately, it was funny to see Peanut chewing on the mat and making some shenanigans today. I imagine it might be hard to film with the dog around, but it does add some "real life" to her videos!

I love getting so much exercise in so little time! I would definitely do this one again.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Review of Jessica Smith's "Barre: Full Length Ballet Workout - Sculpt Your Hips, Thighs and Butt in Less Than 15-Minutes!"

I guess I am on a Jessica Smith kick! I have reviewed a couple in the past week, and I'm scheduled to review another one tomorrow. I suppose it's my prerogative! Today's workout is for the lower body - it's Jessica Smith's "Barre: Full Length Ballet Workout - Sculpt Your Hips, Thighs and Butt in Less Than 15-Minutes!"

Today's workout requires a chair, and I did this one barefoot, as suggested. It was QUITE a workout for the lower body. Let me tell you, I was sore for a couple of days afterwards. It really worked out muscles I don't apparently use very much! I have never done a barre workout before. I am glad that I started with this one. It was difficult, but I was able to get through it. There were a lot of times where my muscles were screaming at me, but that's when she would start counting down to the end of a set and I'd be able to get through it.

I would like to do this workout again, if only to get stronger and to check my form on the moves. But it is not a workout that I love because of how hard it was to get out of bed the next day!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Review of Jessica Smith's "Belly, Buns, and Thigh Walk" on YouTube

I've had this workout on my "to review" list for a while. It's stayed there for a while because it is a longer workout, but I finally made time for it and did Jessica Smith's "Belly, Buns, and Thigh Walk".

This workout was a really nice intensity. It was good to have a moderate workout that didn't twist my knee. This was a great way to start the day. If I had never done a workout video before, this might have been a little hard to follow. That is, you tend to learn a few moves that are used in many workouts. If you haven't worked out too much before, it would be easy enough to pick them up without it feeling "dance-y" - you might have picked up that is a negative in my book!

I seem to be having an audio problem with some of Jessica's workouts on my TV. On this workout, I could hear Jessica's voice in my left speaker, and the music in my right speaker. The music mostly drowned out her voice, so I couldn't hear her very well. At times, I felt like I was missing out on important info, but I was able to complete the workout nonetheless.

At the end of the workout, I did have to hold onto the wall for stability - the last part required some balance.

If I had 40 minutes, I would definitely do this again. It was a great walk!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Review of "Get Fit: Cardio Kickbox Burn Workout" by Denise Austin on YouTube

I am reviewing Denise Austin's "Get Fit: Cardio Kickbox Burn Workout" from YouTube today.

This is actually a 12 minute workout ("your daily dozen", Denise calls it), but I'm labeling it 10 minutes because it seemed fair enough to round down. :) I have decided that Denise must have good knees that never have had a problem with jumping, because it seems like she designs workouts that my knees have problem with! I have to watch that one particular knee doesn't twist too much or too hard. And again, this particular workout got a little tricky for me in that way. There are jumping jacks where you travel - I've never been a fan of those. It seems like I always have to watch out for those and do them carefully.

If you've done a kickboxing workout before, you will be familiar with many of these moves, and it won't seem complicated. I did enjoy some of the moves, and I modified them as necessary.

This is not my favorite workout, and I probably wouldn't do it again, but I'm glad I gave it a try. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

My Favorite Workouts is taking the day off to celebrate Christmas with family!

One of my favorite Christmas videos talks about the real reason for Christmas.

May you have a blessed Christmas day!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Review of "150-Calorie Cardio Fat Blast - Full Length 11-Minute High Intensity Interval Training Workout" by Jessica Smith on YouTube

I wanted to get in a really good workout but was short on time. I did this one and a slightly lower impact workout and had a great workout today!

Jessica Smith's 150-Calorie Cardio Fat Blast - Full Length 11-Minute High Intensity Interval Training Workout  is a challenging but good workout! It does not need a lot of space, and no equipment is needed. She shows the low impact version of the move first, which I appreciate. I mostly went for the lower impact version of the move! She included floppy (sloppy?) jacks, double butterflies, and squat-type moves. These were all very difficult, but there were easier recovery moves in between that made this workout achievable. It really got my heart pumping! While it is called "150-Calorie Cardio", I would really doubt that I personally burned 150 calories during it given the intensity of my workout, but it was definitely harder than a Leslie Sansone mile. :)

I would definitely do this one again! It's a great workout in a short amount of time.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Review of "Denise Austin: Sports Bootcamp Cardio Workout" on YouTube

The week that I was doing the SparkPeople New You Bootcamp, I was also trying to fit in 30 minutes of other exercise a day. One of the workouts I did that week was "Denise Austin: Sports Bootcamp Cardio Workout", another workout on the BeFit Channel.

This is from Denise Austin's 3 Week Body Bootcamp on Amazon (affiliate link).

As I've mentioned before, I review quite a few of Denise's workouts as Lionsgate BeFit has featured so many of her workouts on their free YouTube channel. As usual, Denise goes a little too fast with the moves, not usually explaining them before she does them. I had to modify some of the moves - she offered some of the modifications, and I made up others on my own. She recommended knee modification for the plank move if needed, and encouraged the viewer to go at own pace (especially for the pass through with the weight - so important not to rush that one!)

I just had to try my hardest to do the best I could do. It was difficult, but no move lasted long enough that I couldn't complete a set (or my version of that set!).

I would do this again if I were feeling up to a challenge! But it doesn't make my favorite list. (I should really start a favorite list on the blog!)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Review of "10 Minute Jump Start Cardio Workout" by SparkPeople

Want to know a secret? I take notes on workouts I do and write them up at a later date with the right formatting and embedding. This is a workout that I actually did the day after Thanksgiving - or maybe even Thanksgiving Day! I was traveling and wanted to try something new that hopefully didn't need equipment. I settled on Sparkpeople's 10 Minute Jump Start Cardio Workout.

I did take a lot of notes on this workout, and am currently half-watching it while I write up the review. I thought this then, and I still think it - I wouldn't want to be jumping over something I could actually trip over - even a jump rope. I would rather use masking tape than a jump rope that my two left feet might get tangled in. To be clear, this workout has A LOT of jumping. If your knees aren't 100%, you might want to steer clear of this one. I know I wanted to! While it does offer modification, it still was a little too much for me. There were a lot of side to side jumps and little jumps over the "line". It wasn't repetitive, but I wasn't enjoying it too much and was wondering when it would end.

I think others might enjoy this workout, but it wasn't for me. I probably won't be doing this workout again. I do like the SparkPeople workouts enough that I'll keep checking for workouts from their channel.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Look what Santa brought me!

Actually, it wasn't Santa, it was my mother-in-law giving me some cash for my Christmas present! I ordered this a couple of days ago and got it yesterday in the mail from Amazon.

It's the Fitbit Flex! Or more technically, the Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, Black (affiliate link). I had earned some gift certificates through Swagbucks (referral link) and had other gift certificates in my account, and a little bit of extra money, so I treated myself to this for Christmas, and to review it here on the blog. I love data - I am kind of a data geek - so I'm really happy to try this out.

I hope to bring you an initial review soon, and other reviews as time goes on. Do you have a Fitbit or a similar device? What do you like about it? Has it helped you with your fitness goals? I'd love to hear what you think about these types of gadgets!

Review of Leslie Sansone's "So Fast" 1 Mile on Vimeo

I have been working out some muscles in recent days that haven't been worked out too much before. I am sore! I declared today an emergency "easy" day, and went to Leslie Sansone's channel on Vimeo. I chose the "So Fast" 1 mile. It was perfect for today.

"So Fast" 1 mile from Walk Productions, Inc. on Vimeo.

This is a little different than Leslie's usual steps. She does throw in a little more jogging than normal, especially right off, and she puts in a grapevine, and some atypical step and taps. I actually enjoyed the variety of these moves in additional to her usual moves (kickbacks, walk up and back, etc.). While it might be hard for someone for their very first workout, I think Leslie fans will enjoy the change and have a nice workout.

The camera work and editing were bad in at least 3 places, and I think it's why it ended up on Vimeo and not on a DVD. When Leslie introduced a new step that involved a different movement with her feet, YOU COULDN'T SEE HER FEET. That seems like a pretty basic camera direction. And speaking of cameras, I saw one at least twice. It just doesn't seem like that's up to Leslie's usual standards. But I'm not sure why I'm complaining about a free workout! :)

I would definitely do this again. It was nice to not be doing pushups or squats or using weights. I love having these workouts to come back to so I can simplify workouts on the days I need to take it easy.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Review of "10 Minute Solution: Ultimate Bootcamp" DVD, Part 2

I recently picked up the "10 Minute Solution: Ultimate Bootcamp" (affiliate link) DVD, led by Jessica Smith. I reviewed 2 of the segments yesterday, and I'm reviewing the remaining 3 today.

Here is Anchor Bay's preview of the DVD on YouTube:

To be honest, I took a few days off between the first 2 segments and the last 3 segments. I had really worked my lower body in a barre workout (to be reviewed later), and I thought my body needed the rest with some easier workouts. I mixed in some walking workouts and some easy runs. It was exactly what I needed! However, now my lower back is sore and I had to work around that today. I think that there will always be something! But I think that if I weren't working out, that my body wouldn't be feeling as good as it does.

I first did the Ultimate Total Body Training. This workout used weights. I have to say, this is my least favorite of the DVD, and the least doable for my fitness level. I am not advanced nor am I intermediate, but I'm not a total beginner. This segment made me feel like I was. I couldn't keep up with some of the moves because of my strength level and lack of flexibility. It was a good challenge, but I didn't even get a good workout because I couldn't keep up or understand how to do it fast enough. 

The second workout I did today was the Ultimate Lower Body Training. After the barre workout the other day, that scared me a little bit! I didn't want to make myself sore for days. But this one was much more doable. There were a lot of squats and lunges, which I don't mind. This was my favorite workout today, and maybe my favorite workout from the DVD.

The last workout from the DVD I did today was the Six Pack Ab Attack. As I imagined, it was a little intense, but it wasn't the hardest ab workout I've ever done. There weren't modifications offered, but I made my own, especially for the planks. I will be feeling this workout tomorrow in my abs, for sure!

So, would I do the "10 Minute Solution: Ultimate Bootcamp" (affiliate link) DVD again? I would say, probably. There were portions I liked, like the Ultimate Lower Body Training and the Ultimate Upper Body Training. I wasn't crazy about the Ultimate Total Body Training or Fat Fighting Skills & Drills, and I could take it or leave it on the Six Pack Ab Attack. I would pick this DVD up again if I felt like a change and a bit of a challenge. However, I'm glad I got it on sale for about $2.50.

I'll be reviewing a Leslie Sansone video tomorrow, so come back to see where you can stream it and what I thought of it!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review of "10 Minute Solution: Ultimate Bootcamp" DVD, Part 1

I wanted to pick up a couple of exercise DVDs when I was shopping a big sale, and I picked up two from the 10 Minute Solution DVD series. One of them is the "10 Minute Solution: Ultimate Bootcamp" (affiliate link) DVD, led by Jessica Smith.

Here is Anchor Bay's preview of the DVD on YouTube:

I did two of the segments today - Fat Fighting Skills & Drills, and Ultimate Upper Body Training. I had recently done a lower body barre workout that really worked some muscles that hadn't been worked very hard, so I was sore. There was no way I was doing a lower body workout today!

I can sum up a lot about each segment in one word. For the Fat Fighting segment, it is JUMPING. There was a lot of jumping type exercises in this segment. It wasn't too much to hurt my knee, but it was enough for me to not be thrilled about it. There were lots of jumping jacks. I felt like I got a good workout, but I didn't enjoy it very much.

For the Ultimate Upper Body Training, the word is PUSHUPS. It wasn't ten straight minutes of pushups, of course, but there were plenty of pushups mixed in. There were even some pushups where you moved one arm out, alternating which arm you move. It was difficult, but I really felt like I had worked out at the end of it.

I would do the Ultimate Upper Body Training again, but I might skip the Fat Fighting segment. I'm hoping to choose at least 3 from this DVD that I love so I can get in a 30 minute workout that is fun and challenging.

I hope to do the next 3 workouts tomorrow. Come back tomorrow to read my review!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Review of "Denise Austin: Bootcamp Body Blast"

Today's review is of "Denise Austin: Bootcamp Body Blast". It is from her "Boot Camp: Total Body Blast" DVD.

This workout does not require any equipment unless you want a mat for some of the floor exercises. I want to say that the first half of this workout was not my favorite. After some thought, the most likely reason was that they were moving too fast for me. I was feeling neither fit enough or fast enough to get the moves done the same way the people on the screen were. This usually doesn't bother me, but today it did. I think it also has to do with the lack of explanation that Denise gives before the moves, so I am always feeling two steps behind. I did enjoy the second half much more, maybe because they were more familiar moves to me.

This workout includes planks (with modifications), jumping jacks (which I modified myself), and lots of kickboxing moves. There were enough kickboxing moves that I wondered why it was labeled a bootcamp DVD. I would rate this workout more towards intermediate than beginner.

Would I do this one again? I might, just to see if my first impression of it was fair. If I owned the DVD, rather than watching it on the BeFit channel, I would probably do it again just to get my money's worth. But this is not going on my favorite list.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Review of "Express Cycle class 3; FULL 30 minutes" from eFit30

I was getting ready to workout but didn't really feel like doing anything that I had on my playlist. I was also trying to challenge myself to do a video from a content provider I haven't seen before. This is why I chose "Express Cycle class 3; FULL 30 minutes" from eFit30.

Obviously, you will need a stationary bike. I picked mine up off of Craigslist a couple years back and it sits in the corner of one of the bedrooms. It doesn't get a ton of use, so I was glad to actually use it! I have done longer rides on this bike (for me, anyway) - a typical ride has been 8 or 9 miles. This workout really changed my idea of what a workout on a bike can be like. It was very difficult for me to do, but it made me feel like I want to get good enough to do this workout without modifications.

During much of the ride, there is a "picture in picture" of a cyclist's view who is actually riding a bike. I must admit that I get motion sick easily from watching quick movement on TV or a movie screen. However, I did not feel sick at all from this video, and I was pleasantly surprised. I did watch that part of the screen sometimes, but it was easy to not focus on it, too. I'm sure there are people that really enjoy the cyclist view.

I realize that spinning / cycle classes have been around for a while, but this was my first introduction to this fitness genre. I first had to figure out the tension knob on my bike, and I stayed between level 1 and 2 for my particular bike during the workout. It was still very challenging. I also did not understand the difference between some of the standing positions, but a little research could take care of that. It was a great experience for a first-timer to this kind of class.

Would I do this one again? Maybe! I think I would look around for a class geared a little more towards a beginner to cycling class.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Review of "SparkPeople Stability Ball Workout"

In my quest to find the *perfect* stability ball workout and stretch, I tried "SparkPeople Stability Ball Workout" on YouTube. It wasn't perfect, but it was worth trying!

The workout included planks, pushups, rolling out the ball, and bridges. The planks were too hard for me - I just can't do the ones demonstrated here yet. I did enjoy the pushups (never thought I'd hear myself say that!). The last 3 minutes of the workout did not include the ball, but it was a great, refreshing stretch. The workout did not have music. It was more of a core workout than a cardio workout.

Would I do this again? To be honest, probably not. While it was a really nice stability ball video, it wasn't the one I was looking for. It was a good video, but it wasn't great. And I didn't think I would miss the music so much, but I did. You can give this video a try to see if it is the right one for you.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Review of "Calorie Burning Cardio Workout | Full Body Fitness | Class FitSugar"

Today I am bringing you a review of "Calorie Burning Cardio Workout | Full Body Fitness | Class FitSugar" from YouTube. It is another no equipment workout (unless you want a yoga mat - affiliate link), and I thought it was a lot of fun. It keeps you moving - A LOT - and keeps your interest. I didn't even look at the omnipresent timer until 4 minutes in! While I couldn't do all the moves - the double-time hopscotch was a bit much for me - I wasn't discouraged by it. I can't remember if this was in this video or the last one I reviewed by POPSUGAR Fitness, but they mentioned, and showed, not everyone has to keep up with each other. You can go at your own, try to challenge yourself, pace. So not all the participants in this video matched all the time, and it didn't bother me one bit. It helped me feel better about going at my own pace and trying to match up with the ones go faster - maybe not at first, but one day! I much prefer not having to match up with complicated choreography or routines.

This is a great workout that will make you feel like you accomplished something when you are finished with it. I loved doing it, and would definitely do this one again.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Review of "SparkPeople New YOU Bootcamp: Day 7 Tummy Toning Workout" from YouTube

It's my final day of trying out the 7 day bootcamp, and I'm almost sorry to see it go! I may keep this one in the rotation. It is easy enough to do when I get up for the day or in a few minutes in the afternoon or the evening. Yet it has enough moves that I can't quite do that I hope to work up to, and that helps keep me motivated.

I think they should have included "CRUNCH" in the title! The first half was variations of crunches. I don't hate crunches, but I don't love them either. This was challenging, but I was able to do these. But one of the next moves was one I've only been able to do a few times - sit up from a fully lying down position. I can only do it if I tuck my feet under a couch to give me some leverage. So I just did what I could and didn't worry about it.

I would definitely do this again - if only to get better! And I am considering continuing on with the prescribed program - do this for 3 more weeks, coupled with 30 minutes of aerobic activity most of the other days.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Review of "SparkPeople New YOU Bootcamp: Day 6 Arms & Back Workout"

Hi! I'm back again with another review of a SparkPeople bootcamp workout. This is the "SparkPeople New YOU Bootcamp: Day 6 Arms & Back Workout". 

So this was another SparkPeople fitness ball workout where you need to use part of a blank wall. This is somewhat inconvenient for me, and may be impossible for others. For me, it means I have to go fairly far away from the TV, which is at a low volume because it's so early in the morning. Therefore, I can't hear everything that is said, and I just try to follow along by sight and hope for the best. But, I did like the workout. It went by quickly, and nicely blended doable moves with challenging ones. And I always appreciate the nice stretch at the end, which seems to address the muscle groups used rather than just a standard set of stretches that you are tempted to skip. 

I would definitely do this one again, even if I have to be so far away from the TV!

Stay tuned for the last installment of my reviews of SparkPeople's New You Bootcamp!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Review of "SparkPeople New YOU Bootcamp: Day 5 Hips and Thighs Workout"

Let me tell you, workouts with the word "hips" in it can scare me! I did a hip workout/stretch a few months ago that left me sore for days. I think it's because a lot of workouts don't address the hips. It left me uncomfortable (just shy of pain) for days. I am glad to report that this workout is NOT like that. It was a good stretch and workout that won't leave me hobbling around through the weekend.

I found the workout enjoyable. I didn't even have to modify any of the moves! The only downside of the workout was my family laughing at me (in a good natured way, thankfully), when I was throwing the ball with my hands and catching it with my feet! I'm sure it looked silly. 

I would definitely do this one again. It was fun! Stay tuned for tomorrow's workout - day 6!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Review of "SparkPeople New YOU Bootcamp: Day 4 Abs & Core Workout"

Another SparkPeople Bootcamp workout! Today is "SparkPeople New YOU Bootcamp: Day 4 Abs & Core Workout" from SparkPeople's YouTube channel.

Here we are in the middle of the week. We continue with more work on the stability / fitness ball, Coach Nicole, and a lack of music. I am not complaining about these things, just making an observation. It is a little odd to workout without music, but it's not a big deal. As usual, Coach Nicole does a great job of explaining the moves and the form you should have while you are doing the moves. That is so appreciated!

With the plank move, I did move to my knees. A mat would be useful if your floor were especially hard, but that depends on your preferences. There were a lot of crunches that I am sure I will feel tomorrow! And I will warn you, with the last move, I had to be careful not to roll off the ball! :)

I would definitely do this again, along with the whole series. Stay tuned tomorrow for my review of Day 5!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Review of "SparkPeople New YOU Bootcamp: Day 3 Upper Body Workout" from YouTube

Today, I am reviewing "SparkPeople New YOU Bootcamp: Day 3 Upper Body Workout" by SparkPeople's Coach Nicole, on YouTube.

So we continue with the SparkPeople New You Bootcamp series. I can tell you that I genuinely am looking forward to these workouts each day. I am thinking about continuing on with them when I am done with the 7 day series. So, I enjoyed today's workout. A lot of these moves are moves I have done with weights, but I usually don't do them while laying on a fitness ball! She did a great job of explaining the moves while still cueing the moves at the right time. This is so important when you can't look at the TV when you are trying to do a workout move!

I would definitely do this one again. I wouldn't even mind do this one a few days a week!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Review of "SparkPeople New YOU Bootcamp: Day 2 Lower Body Workout" on YouTube

Today's review is of "SparkPeople New YOU Bootcamp: Day 2 Lower Body Workout" on YouTube. It features Coach Nicole and is part of the "New You Bootcamp series" from SparkPeople. It does require some equipment: a fitness or stability ball, and some hand weights.

I have to say I enjoyed it, but there was something that I wasn't crazy about that shows up today, and also in day 7. You have to use a wall with the fitness ball to do some of the exercises. This can be difficult. For me, I have to go to a far corner of the room to get a blank wall. Some people might not even have some blank wall to work with. It was a little difficult for me to hear as it was early in the morning and I can't crank the volume on the TV, but even with these drawbacks, I thought it was a good workout. This workout length (short) and intensity (not super easy, but not hard) makes it more of a "taste" of a workout. And I liked the stretch at the end.

I would definitely do this again! It was a nice workout, and sometimes I like knowing there is a schedule to working out, that I don't have to think too hard about what workout will come next.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Review of "SparkPeople New YOU Bootcamp: Day 1 Cardio Workout"

I often look at the "recommended videos" that YouTube displays for me, and "SparkPeople New YOU Bootcamp: Day 1 Cardio Workout" was one of them the other day. It is an older series meant to be part of a 28 day plan. I decided that I would review the 7 workouts. The first day is cardio training, and the rest of the days are strength training. In addition, you are supposed to do 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week if you are following their instructions. I am going to follow this plan for the next 7 days so I can review it and also maybe recover some from the holiday calories I have been ingesting.

One thing I didn't notice until I was setting up my playlist for future workouts is that all of the rest of the workouts require a stability ball. I think that would be discouraging to their original audience - people that have started their New Year's Resolutions and might not have a lot of fitness equipment on hand.

I had just finished the Get Running app's Week 5, Run 3, with some friends. Walk 5, Run 20, Walk 5. So I was a little tired going into this. However, it felt really good. I think it would be a decent intensity for someone starting out. However, there is a lot of jumping - it hurt my knee a little bit. That could be harder when you are not used to exercise.And the moves are simple enough for someone who has done a kickboxing workout before. However, it might be on the complicated side for a newbie.

I am looking forward to reviewing the rest of the series this week. See you tomorrow!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Review of "10 Minute Abs and Core Workout Without Crunches | Class FitSugar"

Crunches - I don't hate them, but they are not my favorite. Maybe that's why "10 Minute Abs and Core Workout Without Crunches | Class FitSugar" caught my eye.

So obviously, there were no crunches. It also didn't use any equipment except a yoga mat (affiliate link). I would say that this workout was difficult, but doable. Modifications were offered for more challenging moves, but I felt that I could at least try some of the moves. I really wasn't able to do all of the bird dog moves, but I think I could if I practiced, over time. I think that's important - to feel like it is within reach and not feel totally discouraged by the workout you are doing. It was a great core workout that didn't last too long. The cueing was OK, even when the move takes you away from looking at the TV.

I would do this again, even if just to see if I can get all the moves done without modifications.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Review of Leslie Sansone's "Belly Blasting Walk" DVD

This is another DVD from the stack of DVDs (and a few cassettes that I don't know why I'm keeping!) that I call on when I want to do a workout I already know and don't want to think about too hard.

The Leslie Sansone: Belly Blasting Walk (affiliate link) is somewhat like the Leslie Sansone workouts we have come to know and love (walk in place, sidesteps, kickbacks, walk up and back, etc.), but it also adds a few other steps. I noted that she also included squats, a jumping jack-type move, leg swings, punches, and twists. These are not incredibly difficult, but they are harder than her "easy mile" type walks, so it is worth mentioning.

She also includes 20 minutes worth of toning exercises. I did not do these today, but I believe I have done them in the past. I always appreciate when these are included on a DVD I would have bought anyway.

I would definitely do this one again. It is a good walking workout with a lot more variety than Leslie's usual walking workouts.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Review of 2 YouTube Denise Austin Resistance Band workouts

These two Denise Austin workouts use a resistance band and were a nice change from high intensity workouts and from walking. First up: "Denise Austin: Integrated Pilates Workout- Upper and Lower Body". It looks like this is from her Pilates for Every Body DVD (affiliate link).

It's funny - the few times I remembering twinging my knee during exercise this year have been during Denise workouts. She just must have a way of transitioning certain moves that bothers me! I felt it again today, but I was very careful with my movements and didn't feel any lasting affects. I felt like that this was a good way to get in a challenging stretch. There was a part of the workout where you could also balance on one leg while doing the move with the arms - that was a no-go for me, but it is something I could work up to one day.

I'd do this again if I came across it, but it wasn't my favorite.

The second video was "Denise Austin: Fat-Burning Power Cardio Workout". This workout is from Denise Austin - Power Zone - The Ultimate Metabolism Boosting Workout 1-3 Version 2 DVD (affiliate link). It also used the resistance band.

I did break a sweat on this almost 25 minute workout. However, I had been already working out for that long the morning I did this workout, so that might be a factor. It's a hard workout, but it isn't TOO hard. I know that some people have complained that Denise doesn't cue her moves very well or all the time, and I would have to say that I agree for this video. I had to catch up at times. This is another one that I would do again, but only if I came across it and felt like it.

Tomorrow's workout needs to be quick with how much I have going on tomorrow, so I'll be back with a quick workout for tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Review of Jessica Smith's "Stability Ball Abs & Core Workout -- On the Ball: Core Stretch"

I am still in search of my perfect exercise ball stretch workout. I decided to try Jessica Smith's "Stability Ball Abs & Core Workout -- On the Ball: Core Stretch" 

I think I've mentioned before that I workout in the morning, usually before anyone else is awake in the house. So it was a little disappointing when I couldn't hear Jessica talking over the music. I couldn't raise the volume higher because I didn't want to wake anyone up. I had to do my best to cue from what I could see she was doing, and from the few words I could catch. However, I just tried the video on my computer and the sound is perfect. I don't know what is wrong with my TV setup and this one video.  Actually, whenever I do Jessica's videos, I can only hear here from the left speaker. All the others are fine. But I digress. It will probably be OK on your device, so let me tell you about the workout. 

Jessica's workout was a lot of fun. I did have to do a lot of modifications. I wasn't able to hold all the poses or do as many reps as she did, but I tried, and that's all I can do! My muscles really burned during the reps. I feel like if I did this workout consistently, I would improve on the moves. 

Would I do this one again? If the sound worked on my TV, I would probably do this one again. However, in my quest to find the one perfect exercise ball stretch video, I will have to keep looking. This one is too challenging to provide the relaxing stretch that I am looking for.

I followed this workout with two videos by Denise Austin that used a resistance band. I'll be back tomorrow to talk about those workouts. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Review of Jessica Smith's "Indoor Walking Exercise - Full Length 30-Minute Power Walk (fat burning, walking workout)"

I try to figure out what workouts I will be doing in the morning before I go to bed. It gives me one less thing to think about with morning brain. :) But I woke up with really sore shoulders and didn't want to do the high intensity interval training I thought would be so wonderful today! Plus, I have a run planned for this afternoon, so I wanted to save some energy for later. I chose Jessica Smith's "Indoor Walking Exercise - Full Length 30-Minute Power Walk (fat burning, walking workout)" on YouTube.

Since I write reviews, I try to have a notepad nearby to jot down something to tell you about the workout I'm doing. I was able to take some notes during the warm up, but after that, I had to just remember what to tell you, because there just wasn't time to write any notes! Since this was a walking workout, I naturally compared it to a Leslie Sansone workout. I would say that most of Leslie's workouts can be done by beginners, and it is OK to be a bit clumsy (like me). Jessica's walking workout require a bit more coordination. They are not dance routines, thankfully, and with practice, you could get all the moves down. I'd also say that Jessica's walking workout steps it up in terms of intensity compared to most of Leslie's walking workouts. There were several moves that required balance. She would provide modification for these, and other moves, so I would think that this would be a doable workout for most beginners.

I liked how she talked about posture and form at the beginning. These are things I didn't used to care about, or listen to, but it makes SO much difference! And most of Jessica's at-home workouts are in a fairly limited space, so I am tagging this a sort of small space workout.

Would I do this again? Definitely! In fact, once I started the workout, I thought, "Oh man! I've done this before! Now I can't review it!". Yes, I have done this one before, but no, I haven't reviewed it.

This afternoon's run will be a more challenging couch to 5K run with the Get Running app, so I might mention how that went tomorrow. Hoping it goes well!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Review of "Mini Walks - 1 Mile Brisk/Fast Walk" by Leslie Sansone on Vimeo

Walking workouts are simple. Everyone knows how to walk, right? Leslie Sansone (affiliate link) keeps walking simple and interesting. Here's another review of a Leslie Sansone video, hosted on Vimeo.

Mini Walks - 1 Mile Brisk/Fast Walk from Walk Productions, Inc. on Vimeo.

This is one of my favorite 1 mile walks on Vimeo by Leslie. It features Leslie by herself, in what I think of as one of her newer studios. (I'd have to get out my latest DVD to see if it is the newest studio). She doesn't add in any of her optional equipment (boosters, she calls them), but there are parts of the walk where you could actually jog if you wanted to. I did work up a sweat with this one, but I think that mostly had to do with the fact that I had already been exercising for 30 minutes when I started this. She features her usual steps, but the faster pace makes it a decent part of a workout.

I would definitely do this walk again! Leslie's 1 mile walks are part of my regular routine.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Review: "10 Minute Solution: Fitness Ball Workouts" DVD

Hello, December! I love Christmas, so this is one of my favorite times of year! It's really good to stay on top of your exercise routine to help beat the inevitable stress that comes from being so busy this month.

I did 2 fitness ball workouts yesterday - one I didn't like too much because of my fitness level/clumsiness, and one I liked. Today, I'm reviewing the one I liked - 10 Minute Solution: Fitness Ball Workouts (affiliate link) DVD.

I have had this DVD for almost 2 years. I haven't done this one for a while, but I believe I have gone through all of the segments of the DVD, and I really like it. Today, I am reviewing the Lower Body Workout section of the DVD. It is 10 minutes long, naturally, and it is interesting and challenging.

The YouTube video I reviewed yesterday was challenging, and I felt like it was impossible for beginners (without being labeled such). This workout was challenging also, but it was better suited to beginners. The first part of the workout feels repetitive, but it gets you warmed up for the later moves. The second half of the workout felt like it moved quickly. Towards the end of the workout, my muscles were burning with the repetitions of the exercises! But I loved how I felt when I was done.

I would definitely do this again. I hope to add it to my regular rotation.