Posts tagged ‘fitness gadgets’

Try This At Home

During my attempts to straighten up my apartment at the beginning of the year, I realized that I have a heck of a lot of fitness DVDs and tapes. I also realized that I can’t remember the last time I actually did one of them. Some of the seals are still intact on the cases, indicating that though I might’ve thrown them into my shopping cart during a post-holiday-eating guiltfest best-intentions impulse at Target, they never actually made it into the player. For the ones that had been used, I couldn’t even recall whether I’d liked them or not.

So in the name of resourcefulness, re-committing to goals and the recession, I’ll be your fitness guinea pig. Every week, I’ll do one of the workouts from my stash and then tell you what I think. If you’ve done that particular DVD/tape before and have some input, I’d love to hear it in the comments section. And then I’ll let you know what workout I’ll do in the following week, so you can join me in a virtual class if you like. We’ll save money. We’ll be productive. Most importantly, we’ll try these things in the privacy of our own homes where no one can gawk.

First up, Prevention Fitness Systems’ Dance Yourself Thin with Marie Forleo

Format: Warm-up, isolations, 30 minutes of cardio dance and a cool-down

Instructor annoyance level: Very low. Forleo isn’t too perky or chirpy, and her breakdowns of the steps are pretty easy to follow if you’ve ever taken any kind of choreographed class. (If you haven’t, there’ll be a bit of a learning curve.) I kept staring at her abs, though. They’re very nice. If I had abs like that, I would probably bare my midriff to anyone who passed by. “Here’s your mail, ma’am.” “Why thanks! Look at my abs!” or “How would you like your coffee?” “Skim and Splenda, and take a look at these abs!” But I digress…

Sweat factor: Low. I was warm and slightly glistening during the two dance segments, but nowhere near as sweaty as I get during my regular workout. The steps were fun, particularly in the Afro-Latin segment. Lots of big arm swoops, hip rolls and tush pops —  my default club moves. I didn’t feel silly until the reggae-funk segment, where my white-girl coordination made it hard to get up the proper Rasta swagger, but I kept at it anyway.

Worth it?: Dance Yourself Thin is a perfectly lovely way to spend  half an hour, but like most dance dvds, it’s difficult to sustain an increased heart rate throughout. If you want to try out a few moves before making your Zumba class debut, though, this may be the disc for you. And if I were going for a real burn, I might use it as an extended warm-up for a toning workout

Next week’s workout: Fat-Blasting Yoga: 21 Days To A Yoga Body with Denise Austin

January 14, 2010 at 10:06 pm 1 comment

In Your Off-Hours…

Hmm… When it’s rainy and blech outside — as it is at this very moment in northern New Jersey — how does a Haul Buns girl pass the time? After all, you can’t be running/walking/swimming/biking/dancing/sculpting/group fitnessing every moment of the day…

Shopping can provide something similar to that exercise high, especially when you take advantage of the fabulous online discount Reebok is offering to its friends and family until Sunday. And since you’re all my friends, go ahead and use code REBOKFF at discount to receive 30 percent off your entire order PLUS free shipping! I may or may not have been checking out their hot pink yoga bag, or this classic blue number…

If you’re looking for a little inspiration,  watch Spirit Of The Marathon, which is now available for free online at This awesome documentary is all about the Chicago Marathon and a few runners — some amateur, some elite — who are preparing for it. Really cool, totally inspirational. And best of all, it’s free!


A good diversion at work way to spend your time is to calculate your health footprint at the Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield site. Answer a bunch of questions about your lifestyle and your fitness routine, and the site will tell you how many people you affect through your healthy choices and activities — similar to a carbon footprint, but this one won’t make you feel guilty for opting out of the work carpool. Even The Biggest Loser’s Trainer Bob is doing it!

That should keep you occupied until the sun shows its rays again…

August 13, 2009 at 8:48 pm Leave a comment

The P90X Files

That's Kel on the right (and Momma in the middle)

That's Kel on the right (and Momma in the middle)

Editor’s note: You’ve seen the P90X workout system on TV. Ever wonder if it can live up to its claims? A few weeks in, guest blogger Kelley (who also happens to be my lovely sister) gives us her take in the first of several reports. Take it away, Kel!

You know that person who loves hitting the gym everyday? Who has their circuit planned out before they even get to the gym (30 minutes on the elliptical, followed by medicine balls, followed by 25 minutes on the treadmill…. You get the idea.) Most days I wish that person could be me. It’s not.

I grew up playing sports. I never had to worry about staying in shape. This plan took me all the way through college, where I was captain of my softball team. All throughout this time, I always had my coaches or teammates driving me to workout and I always hit the gym, mainly for two reasons: 1) I knew it would make me a better player/swimmer and 2) I didn’t want to let my teammates, my coaches or myself down.

After I left college, I had to find new ways to motivate myself to workout. I coached swimming while I lived in New York City, so it was easy to keep myself on a regular workout schedule because I always worked out with the kids. However, once I stopped coaching, my workout routine came to a screeching halt. With no one else to push me but myself, I had to find a workout routine that I would enjoy so that I would stay with it.

Skip to a year down the road. I had been trying out a number of workout routines with nothing really sticking. I left for work one morning, leaving my fiancée laying in bed. He was watching the infomercial for the P90X workout system. This, in all honesty, was probably about the 50th time that Derrik had sat down to watch this commercial. I watched part of it as I was getting ready for work, excited about it, yet very skeptical as I usually am with almost anything that can be bought via infomercial. To my surprise, Derrik called me about an hour after I got to work, so excited because he had just purchased P90X.

When the materials came in, we both saw that one could choose different workout plans based on what your needs were. Derrik chose the “Classic” and I chose the “Lean” plan. (The system comes with a nutritional guide which has what looks like really yummy recipes. I, however, can’t tell you that we have been following the nutritional plan. Derrik and I eat pretty well already at home, so we weren’t as concerned with the diet portion of the system.) What I can tell you is that this program is like having a personal trainer in your home. For me, it is nice to have someone lay out everything that you need to do and then you just have to set your mind to doing it and giving it your all for one hour each day.

The Lean program has a good mix of yoga, cardio-kickboxing, weight lifting, core exercises and combined cardio. Each workout is intense but really fun to complete. Also, the workout plan changes every month, so the system really keeps you on your toes. Derrik and I purchased the program to get healthy and stay in shape. We have a wedding coming up too, so it is also helpful for that! I am a few weeks into the program and absolutely love it. It helps as well that even though each of us are doing the different workout plans, we each push each other on the days when it is hard to make yourself show up to work out. I will definitely check back in as I progress in the workout plan to let you all know if I have made it through and how I feel about my results. As for right now, I can tell you that only being a few weeks in, I feel stronger, I feel like my cardio capabilities have increased, and I feel like my muscles are getting a lot firmer.

That said, I will leave you with two last things until we talk again. This program has two sayings that really put things into perspective. The first is “Do your best and forget the rest”. The second is “Don’t ever say that you can’t do something. Instead, say that you currently struggle with it.” I started this program not being able to do all of the reps that the people on the video do. My form isn’t perfect yet and sometimes I have to do the modified moves. All I can do is my best and make sure that I show up everyday. That is what matters. I figure the other stuff will eventually fall in line. — Kelley Roots

July 6, 2009 at 8:51 pm 1 comment

Tuesday Morning Smorgasbord

ist2_6148437-i-love-healthy-eatingA few quick hits for your Hauling pleasure this morning… Women’s Wear Daily has an interesting article on the ways shoe stores are helping people understand the new kinds of fitness footwear, like MBT sneakers… Thanks to Britain’s Got Talent, Greek dancing is apparently on the rise in the United Kindgom… And American kids seem to be making better choices at fast-food restaurants. Now if only their parents would follow suit…

June 16, 2009 at 12:03 pm Leave a comment

Do These Pixels Make My Butt Look Big?

wii-fitForget Nintendo Wii’s Mii figures: Pretty soon, the little dude or dudette hopping around your videogame screen will actually be you.

Devotees of the Nintendo Wii are familiar with the system’s Mii avatars, little virtual figures each player creates to represent them in various games. Now, a French videogame company is creating a game that actually shows your own body on screen. The Your Shape game, designed for the Wii, “uses a camera to scan players’ bodies and replicate them on screen, where a virtual trainer coaches them through exercise routines,” writes the AFP. Going even farther along the path Nintendo forged with its Wii Fit program, which has gotten company lately in EA Sports Active for the Wii, Your Shape players will get feedback in real time and can see results on screen — which might be even more incentive to get healthy than looking in the mirror.

Your Shape is set for an end-of-the-year release.

June 2, 2009 at 12:26 pm Leave a comment

Go-go Gadget Gym Gear!

The International Health, Racquet And Sportsclub Association — a fitness trade group — just wrapped up its international convention in San Francisco. The event allowed participants to preview a lot of gym equipment that may be making its way to a health club near you in the future. Some were just updates on popular equipment, some were totally and completely whackadoodle. Cnet has a cool slideshow of some of the show’s highlights. My favorite? The anti-gravity treadmillhealthgadgets011_540x360. It’s like The Jetsons at the gym!

March 20, 2009 at 2:21 pm Leave a comment

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