8 Tips To Make DVD Workouts Work for You

A man watching tv while doing crunches on a blue fitness ball
Not sure if you want to brave the gym yet, or ever? With a wide variety of workouts now available on DVD, you can save time and money by getting fit and burning calories in the privacy of your own home.

Before you get started, check out these useful tips:

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1. Shop around. Before trying a workout video or DVD, read the description to make sure it’s the appropriate fitness level and length for you, and that you already have or don’t mind buying any necessary equipment. If you want to “try before you buy,” check your local library or video store to see if they carry exercise videos. You can find dumbbells, aerobic steps, and other workout equipment in most sporting goods stores.

2. Clear the area. Make sure you have enough space (you might have to move some furniture) to move around without kicking anything. Be extra careful if you’re trying out a video for the first time — you need to have enough room for any unfamiliar moves.

3. Be prepared. Get your water bottle, tissues, and any workout equipment you need assembled before you start the workout, so you don’t have to stop and get something.

4. Watch out for kids and pets. If you have pets or young children, make sure they are safely out of the way. Having a cat batting your ankles during yoga is not the best path to peace of mind!

5. Stay focused. Keep a notepad and pen handy so that if you think of something distracting during your workout, like an errand you have to do, you can just write it down and continue with your routine. This will help you concentrate on the workout.

6. Mix it up. Variety is the spice of life, so if you enjoy working out at home, you can slowly accumulate more workout videos to prevent boredom. Even if you absolutely love one routine, you should still try to have at least two workouts you can alternate, to prevent overuse injuries.

7. Don’t get too eager. If the workout includes instructions on proper form, watch it before doing the workout for the first time. Unlike working out at the gym, you won’t have an instructor checking your form, so you need to make sure you’re doing moves correctly.

8. Have fun. Smile, and remember: You’re going to feel great after the workout! When you’re done, treat yourself to a healthy snack such as a piece of fruit or handful of nuts, and give yourself a hug for finishing. You’re taking care of yourself on your own terms. As you do more workouts, you will start to feel and see results, which is the best possible motivation!

Love Handles: The Real Way To Get Rid Of Them

couple working out together

Love handles. Strange name, right? No matter what cutesy names you call them, no one really loves those rolls of flab that pop over the waistband of your jeans and ruins the sleek line of fitness clothes, clingy sweaters, and tailored shirts.

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“Love handles are one of the most common reasons people exercise and hire a personal trainer,” observes certified trainer Jason Keigher CSCS, CPT, who works with clients in New York City. It’s often after an ab workout consisting of thousands of crunches that frustration finally leads people to get help from a fitness pro.

“Most people think that doing crunches will get rid of love handles, but they are misinformed,” Keigher says. When done properly, crunches do tone muscles, but the problem is, love handles don’t contain an ounce of muscle. They’re fat, and to burn fat you need a healthy diet and a rigorous cardiovascular program, he explains.

Work your body correctly, and you will certainly see results, says Sylvia Nasser, a certified personal trainer on Long Island, NY.

Getting Rid of Love Handles: The Right Strategy

Nasser recommends an overall plan for 30 to 45 minutes of cardio three to four times a week, strength training (including the exercises below) two to three times a week, and a day of rest every week so your body can rebuild muscle. She emphasizes that using a variety of cardio approaches will be the most effective — don’t just stick to only the elliptical or just a few spinning classes.

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Getting stuck in a cardio routine can lead to a plateau. Instead, you want to keep challenging different muscle groups. She’s also a fan of high-intensity interval training programs to burn fat, instead of working at the same steady pace throughout your workout. On the treadmill, for instance, alternate two minutes at your usual pace with 1 minute at a faster speed.

Your initial goals will be weight loss and trimming down the fat. Once you’ve done that — or at least made significant headway — you can start to tone the muscles underneath your love handles. As you burn fat and increase your metabolism through building muscle, that extra padding will eventually go away.

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Before you get started, Keigher has a caution for women who may have a diastasis, a midline split in the abdominal muscles around the bellybutton, usually a post-pregnancy problem. First, check with a doctor and a trainer for ways to correct the diastasis and then get their go-ahead to do this type of ab workout.

Don’t forget to incorporate ab strengthening moves, such as bicycle crunches and side planks. If you have any questions about the right way to perform ab moves, be sure to consult with a trainer.


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