Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Review of Keeping Fit: Strength, Pilates and Cardio

The Keeping Fit series of DVDs is targeted at women in their 40s, 50s and 60s.
   But I’m 36, and I was sweating like crazy and getting a fantastic workout with the DVDs, particularly with the one called Strength.
   I think most people will find the DVDs to be challenging, except perhaps the most advanced exercisers.
   The DVDs, called Keeping Fit Strength, Keeping Fit Pilates and Keeping Fit Cardio are available individually or in a package of three.
   Andrea Metcalf, who designed and hosts the workouts, is extremely personable and motivating.
   She offers plenty of easier and harder modifications for all the exercises, allowing beginners to give them a good try, and to challenge people who are getting fitter and stronger.
   Each DVD workout is about 50 minutes long, and is comprised of 10 five-minute segments, including a warm-up and cooldown. Beginners can sample a few segments if getting through an entire workout is too difficult.
   The Strength workout, which really got me sweating, requires hand weights.
   Metcalf uses compound movements to work the body – this is moving the upper and lower body at the same time. Examples of these exercises are squats and bicep curls and shoulder press with reverse lunge.
   She also offers balance challenges to work the core, such as balancing on one leg and lifting the arms to the side.
   The workout then heads to the mat, and includes moves such as the tuck and roll and pelvic lifts.
   The Pilates DVD was like a dream come true for me – the workout was so doable!
   It was unlike any Pilates DVD workout I have done or seen. There wasn’t a constant emphasis on keeping the legs at a 45-degree angle to the floor, and there was no Pilates 100!
   However, there are some moves that resembled classic Pilates, such as small leg circles and roll-ups.
   Rather than a full-blown Pilates workout, this DVD more like a total body toner done on a mat – and it’s challenging.
   There are exercises done from a position of lying on the ground facing up, such as tapping one leg to the ground at a time, pelvic lifts, and tricep dips.
   Other exercises face the ground. One starts with all fours on the floor, then lifting an opposite arm and leg for a balance challenge, while another is lying with the whole body on the ground, then lifting the arms and legs to work the back.
   The Pilates DVD ends with some great stretches for the core muscles.
   Keeping Fit Cardio is an easy to follow, energetic routine that features low-impact moves inspired by popular dances.

Keeping Fit - Strength, Cardio, Pilates three-pack at amazon.ca

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