Getting Fit, Staying Home

As the result of the unusually cold and wet winter in LA, I've frequented the gym and fitness studios much less this past season. So, in order to maintain an active workout regimen, I've purchased and have been working out to fitness dvds. By incorporating the dvds into my strength training workouts, (yoga, pilates, weights)  I've been able to maintain my fitness level without even stepping outside the front door.

My favorite workout dvd is Jillian Michael's "Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism." This 40-minute circuit workout will increase your heart rate with seven challenging intervals promised to turn up the burn and peel off the pounds. It's a cardio workout with no weights and incorporates a lot of explosive pylometrics and compound bodyweight exercises. Jillian is a tough cookie and does not let you rest so you're guaranteed to be breathing hard and sweating profusely through the 40 minutes. Because no weights are used, a lot of jumping is incorporated into the workout so I wouldn't recommend doing it if you have hardwood floors and sensitive downstairs neighbors.

I've also started working out to Physique 57's "Classic 57 Minute Full Body Workout." The concept behind Physique 57 is similar to cardio barre/bar method classes. The focus is on isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches that tones your seat, abdominals, thighs and arms; strengthens your legs and back; and improves posture. The instructions are pretty simple to follow while the intensity is definitely on par with my bar method classes. I find isometric toning to be much more effective than pilates and have been gradually replacing mat pilates classes with this dvd.