Feb 4, 2009

Taking Advantage of Your Cable TV Services


In today’s economy every penny counts, which is why some people may be reluctant to spend extra money on gym memberships and fitness DVDs.  Also, even though walking and running around your neighborhood are good free alternatives for working out, right now in most parts of the country it is very cold outside. 

That is why I am happy to report that Comcast Cable offers exercise programs on their On Demand Channel.  If you go to the On Demand Channel and click on Sports and Fitness, you will see a variety of exercise programs available; including an exercise program by Jillian Michaels (fitness trainer for the television show Biggest Loser).

So the next time you want to work out, but don’t want to step out in to the cold, or spend money on expensive gym memberships, turn on the On Demand Channel instead and check out all of the exercise programs available.

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Feb 3, 2009

Review of Workout and Dieting Products


Have you ever found yourself sitting on your couch at midnight, eating a pint of ice cream, while watching skinny people prance around in leotards, promising that you can too lose 20 pounds in 20 days for the special price of $29.99? 

Yes, infomercials, the promise of flat stomachs and smaller jeans, but do these products really work?  I must say I have a sore spot for infomercials and advertisements that give me the illusion of becoming fit and slim again; so I have bought, tired, and reviewed the following items and diets:

1.      Mari Winsor Pilates;

2.      Yoga Booty Ballet;

3.      The Firm Total Body TransFIRMation System;

4.      The Jack La Lanne Power Juicer Classic;

5.      Acai Berry Juice;

6.      Atkins; and

7.      Weight Watchers.

Read the articles below for my personal experience with each item listed above.

Please note, I am not a doctor, or health professional, and these reviews are based on my own personal experience.  Individual results may vary, and you should consult with your physician before beginning any diet, or exercise plan.

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Feb 3, 2009

Review of Mari Winsor Pilates Workout DVDS


This by far is my favorite workout DVDs.  There is a 20 minute DVD, which I highly recommend for beginners, and there is a 50 minute DVD for advanced and quicker results.  I can do both DVDs with ease, and after each workout I do feel tighter and more toned.  I really like the 20 minute DVD because it gives me a quick workout and I barely break a sweat, but I can feel it working.  However, you should be warned that some of the moves are intense, especially in the 50 minute DVD. So, if you’re not flexible, you might want to start out with the 20 minute DVD and take it slow. 

My mother, who used to teach aerobics and goes to the gym every day, hurt her back while attempting the 50 minute DVD (it should be noted she never even tried the 20 minute DVD first).  This is how I inherited the Mari Winsor Pilates DVDs for free, because my mom was in too much pain to ever use it again.  However, I decided not to follow in my mother’s footsteps, and completed the 20 minute DVD for several weeks, before I advanced to the 50 minute DVD. 

The Winsor Pilates website and infomercials promise results in several weeks by only working out 3 times a week for 20 minutes a day.  While, I am sure you will see results by taking this route, I do recommend working out at least 4 to 5 times per week, from my own personal experience.  I also noticed that since my mother purchased the DVDs several years ago, the Winsor Pilates website now offers additional products, such as a 10 minute Sculpting Blast Workout, and a bonus Sculpting Circle.

All in all, I really like these DVDs and feel tighter and more toned after I workout. I also feel that the exercises in this collection help ease tension and stretch out your body, providing greater flexibility.

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Feb 3, 2009

Review of Yoga Booty Ballet Workout DVDs


I received these workout DVDs, also compliments of my mother for Christmas.  I like that the DVDs come with a schedule for your workouts and also come with a small exercise ball.  However, my system didn’t come with weights, and weights are used in some of the workouts.  The instructors had a lot of energy and you were on your feet and moving around a lot. I found most of the moves pretty easy to follow, although at times a little challenging. 

I definitely felt the workout in my body and lost about 5 pounds my first week using this system.  My favorite DVD from the work-out collection is the Total Toning Basics, which is 45 minutes long.

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Feb 3, 2009

Review of the Firm Total Body TransFIRMation System


I bought this system myself for about $70.00, with shipping.  I thought it was a little overpriced, and was upset when I found it in stores several months later for about $30.00.  I originally bought this system because it comes with 2 sets of weights, so my boyfriend and I could workout together. I think if you can easily grasp aerobic moves and have a lot of energy, this system is right for you.  I, however, do not grasp aerobic moves easily, and was literally running around in complete confusion trying to do these moves. I was completely exhausted and couldn’t wait for the DVD to be over.  I believe the DVD in the collection that left me wishing for a refund, was called Cardio Party and possibly Cardio Overdrive (I tried to erase the painful episodes from my memory). 

There is however, a weight lifting DVD called Hi-Def Sculpt that I was able to follow along with.  I really liked this DVD and how it provides toning for my arms and chest, but the aerobics/cardio DVDs are too fast and complicated for me to grasp.  I would save your money, buy a set of 5 pound weights and do the Yoga Booty Ballet DVDs instead, or I would just purchase the Hi-Def Sculpt DVD.

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Nov 14, 2008

Helpful Hints For Weight Loss

You Can Do It!

You Can Do It!

The best thing to do when you’re thinking about loosing weight is talking to your doctor or a dietitian about a healthy weight loss program.  You can figure what weight is healthy for you and set realistic goals.  Being safe is important when you start your journey towards weight loss.  Too often you see commercials for fad diets that may make you loose weight quickly but can be dangerou to your health and are not proven to keep the weight off in the long run anyway.  Loosing weight is not only about how you appear on the outside but the mental and emotional changes are very profound as well. Also, if you are overweight you have more of a risk for heart disease or high blood pressure, just to name a few conditions, so cutting down on your weight is a very healthy life choice. 

Here are some tips to help you:

Try to start of with small changes, such as shrinking your portion sizes or cutting your soda out of your diet. You would be surprised at how many calories are in sugary drinks.  Taking out just one of those a day can save you between 100-200 calories.  Try and substitute water or other sugar free drinks instead of sodas and drinks like that. 

Don’t starve yourself, studies show-skipping breakfast does not cut out calories it actually can lead to gained weight.  Eating small healthy snacks such as fruits or vegetables can make you eat less during major meals.  This may help you decrease in calories throughout the day without making you feel hungry.  Fruits and vegetables work in two ways, they not only help you loose weight but are good for the overall health of your body.  Five servings a day is the recommended amount.  Also some other tricks to help you cut back the calories are switching your bread and milk.  Changing from white bread to whole wheat and also your milk from whole milk to non-fat milk will help as well. 

Slow down your eating.  They say it takes your brain about 20 minutes to realize that you are full.  Just slowing down your eating my help you put down the fork and not automatically go for that second helping.  Other things may make you eat as well as being sad or boredom.  Try to avoid this type of eating and replace it with another activity such as reading, drawing, or taking a walk.  AFood Diary is helpful to some people.  That way you can notice trends of when you’re eating and why.  This may help you substitute your behaviors with something healthy.  A dietitian would be a very good person to talk to that may help with starting your diary. 

Start exercising.  If you don’t exercise now it is ok, you can start gradually.  Maybe walking around the block a few times or work in your garden, just something to get your level of fitness on the upswing.  Your goal is to work up to having 30 minutes of exercise a day.  Muscle burns more calories then fat so working on this in your exercise routine will be a plus to you and your weight loss.  Try to have a well-rounded workout, include muscle building, aerobics, and stretching. 

Be nice to yourself.  If you fall off the horse just get back on.  Start your weight loss routine again as quickly as you can.  Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Loosing weight is very difficult and won’t always go perfectly.  Just don’t give up!

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