It's raining excuses: too cold, too dark, too wet. Studies show that lousy weather is one of the biggest reasons for not exercising, so Prevention developed a plan to keep you going no matter what's happening outside. It's got structure, flexibility, and motivation--and it produces results. All you need is a VCR and a videotape or two.
Videos? you may think to yourself. Not for me--I don't believe they really work. We had exactly the same reservations. So we put seven women to the exercise video test. Our volunteers included stay-at-home moms, working mothers, and a group of coworkers who wanted to exercise together. They used their own videos, plus two new Prevention tapes--Walk Your Way Slim and Flatten Your Belly with Pilates--for an average of 4 or 5 days a week for 3 months.
The results: measurable success, both in pounds and inches lost. And the real proof the experiment worked: Everyone is still using the videos 6 months later. Here are the 10 reasons why our test team said videos worked for them.
Not a fan of running in the rain? Look no further than your TV! Photo by: Flickr user antony_mayfield
What do you want to work on-your belly, thighs, arms, all of the above? We've put together the 5 Best Workouts For Each Part Of Your Body.
Exercise Anytime, Anywhere
"The biggest benefit of exercise videos is that you can use them anytime. You're not locked in to a class schedule," says Mimi Jackson, 42, an administrative assistant from Sherwood, AR. "The only free time I have is after 9 pm, when my husband goes to bed and I'm still wide awake. It's too late to walk outside, but it's a perfect time for a tape. The walking video helps me burn off the stresses of the day. Then I read and fall fast asleep."
New mothers especially appreciated the flexibility. "I always thought I had to go to the gym to get a good workout," says Nanci Ferrari, 36, a stay-at-home mom of four young boys in New York City. "But these days, just getting out of the house eats up precious time. Instead, I do a video at 6 am, before the family wakes up. I have so much energy all day, it's worth the effort."
If you stock up on videos of varying lengths (taped workouts range from 10 minutes to more than 2 hours), you can squeeze in mini sessions, says Carol Isom, 54, a retail sales manager in Little Rock, AR. "Short workout videos are perfect when you're time crunched."
Exercise is a sure-fire way to cheer yourself up and keep your spirits high. Click here to see 10 Happiness-Boosting Yoga Poses.
Got a TV? You've Got a Gym
With videos, anywhere you have a TV, you have a workout at the click of a remote, says Lea Fortunato-Baudille, 42, an executive assistant from Haddon Heights, NJ. "I got permission to use an empty room in our company gym to work out with the tapes during my lunch hour," she says. "Sometimes other employees joined in. Afterward, I'd just eat at my desk.
"When I go on vacation," she adds, "I take tapes along. They help me stay on track regardless of my circumstances."
Starla Haley, 42, a sales manager in Sherwood, AR, asked her manager if she and her workout group could exercise in a conference room that had a giant TV screen and plenty of space. He agreed. Now they meet at 5 pm for their daily exercise extravaganza. "It's great--our boss even joins us sometimes."
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