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How to Choose Exercise Videos


Updated February 15, 2014

Videos are a great way for weight loss "newbies" to begin exercising. You can wear whatever you want; you can do them in the comfort of your own home and on your own schedule; there are a lot of videos geared towards beginners; and you don't have to worry about going out in the heat or unfavorable weather. Here are some pointers on how to choose exercise videos:

You'll Only Do What You Like
Your first step to finding the right exercise video is to find one you are going to actually want to do. No matter how intense or fat burning your new exercise video is, if it sits on the shelf all day, it's not going to do you any good. There are many different types of exercise videos and these are some basic pointers you need to keep in mind:

The Importance of Impact
Firstly, when you are comparing aerobics videos, you should take into account the workout's impact level. The levels are high, low and mixed. Low impact is best for beginners and is considered the safest level of impact with the lowest injury risk. The main difference is that high and mixed impact videos may include jumping or hopping (Both feet may be off of the floor during some movements.).

Choose Your Style
After taking the impact into consideration, see what type of exercise the video teaches. Some examples of popular aerobics are step (you step up and down on a plastic step or a crate), sports (like the very popular Tae Bo) or dance-based (e.g. disco dancing with exercise movements incorporated or "Jazzercise"). Many aerobics fans prefer videos that include "cross-training," that is, the video offers several different types of exercise. After all, variety is the spice of exercise!

If you are interested in improving muscle tone, you may also want to invest in a toning video. If you do not wish to pursue toning at the moment, that's perfectly fine. You may feel more comfortable with working towards toning after you have lost some weight with your aerobic workout.

Some aerobics videos incorporate toning into their workout, while other videos are devoted to toning entirely. You can find videos that use rubber bands or free weights (Small, lightweight dumbbells are appropriate for exercise beginners,) or there are those that do not require any additional equipment. If you see that you will be doing a fair amount of floor work, you may want to invest in an exercise mat.

Minor Details Do Matter
Some other issues to take into account are the video's background music and the instructor's personality. While these two points may seem less significant compared to the exercise itself, they may play a part in whether or not you continue to do the video.

If the music is something you'd hear in an elevator, chances are it's not going to keep your motivation up. If you find the instructor's personality or commentary to be annoying, you will not want to encounter that person every time you exercise (...and back to the shelf the video will go!). On the other hand, if you find a particular instructor you enjoy and stay motivated with, stick with her.



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