& Fitness Lifestyle
is for Effort
To keep track of how many days a month you exercise
put a big red "E" on your calendar
for each day that you bike,
walk or go to the gym. This trick will show you how you are
doing and will keep you motivated to increase the number of
If you are having a difficult time staying with your workout
routine, I can
highly recommend listening to Self-Esteem:
Your Fundamental Power.
Here is a collection
of Fitness Videos I can recommend with the
highest certainty that
you will also enjoy them. I'm reviewing
my way to fitness by doing workouts and
writing about the experience.
Crunch Burn & Firm Pilates
Pilates Balance Challenge with Weights, October 10, 2005
Ellen Barrett takes instruction to new levels of perfection in Crunch
Burn & Firm Pilates. I've rarely seen an instructor not only
challenge me to my limits, but also keep me informed as to the next
exercise so as to keep me in total harmony.
While doing this workout the first few times, you can modify most of the
exercises by not using weights. When you do start using the weights it
is invigorating and your heart rate will definitely be elevated to a fat
There are quite a few completely unique exercises I have never seen in
any workout. The "swan extension" is an artistic exercise you
accomplish with two weights in hand. You almost feel like you are
dancing with weights in some of the segments. Side raises with weights
and lots of raising the arms and moving side to side raises the
Previous experience with Pilates and Ballet will make this workout
especially intriguing for intermediate students of both. Ellen Barrett
will often alternate between balance and control and then at times
require you to balance while controlling the weights and movement of
your arms in two different directions. The balance challenges in this
workout are exciting and the hand-held weights make you feel much more
Standing Pilates with Weights - 3 segments
What will you need?
1 Mat or Towel
Two 3-pound weights
My only question is: "Why such a short stretching session after
such a high intensity workout?" The place I felt this workout the
most was in my lower back and the stretching seemed to mainly focus on
the upper body. My knees seemed fine during this workout even with the
lunges because Ellen makes sure to remind you to turn out your toes and
to check to make sure your knee is not going over your toes.
If you are looking for a perfect warm up, high intensity cardio routine
and progressive challenges, I think you will love this routine. The
footwork is fairly easy with the coordination level being more
challenging for your arms so you get a great arm workout.
The Ultimate Pilates Challenge, March 23, 2005
If you have been working out for years and have tried Pilates, Yoga,
Ballet and a wide variety of traditional exercises, Kristin McGee will
take you to an entirely new level of fitness. Throughout this workout
you will recognize Pilates exercises, but they have creative twists and
present new challenges for the intermediate level.
The creativity in this workout is stunning and mediocrity is not an
option. Kristin presents challenging isometric exercises to test your
highest level of patience. Yoga definitely prepared me for the
concentration needed to count to ten.
So, the first time I tried this DVD I thought for sure I would never
complete the exercises. My mind tried to tell me I was not young enough
and that I should probably go back to a milder form of exercise at a
slower pace. However, I'm back to say that you can do this if you watch
this DVD first, then try the exercises at your own pace. By the third
viewing you may find you can almost complete all the exercises with a
This workout is in a club setting. The fuchsia mats are set on larger
purple mats with white stars. The dark floor and the sapphire
backgrounds make this an aesthetically pleasing workout.
Routine 1: This is a ½ hour body shaping routine with a focus on
strengthening core muscles, toning the arms and working the abs like
never before! Combine this routine with the second routine for a
full-body workout. The beginning of this workout is deceptively easy.
You quickly warm up and then move from standing to the floor in a quick
sequence of movements you may recognize as a type of Vinyasa. Then you
spend a lot of time doing push ups without really realizing you are
doing push ups. This is wonderful because the variety helps you tone up
your arms without boredom.
Your wrists may start to tire out if you don't give yourself enough
breaks. I did wish she had alternated with exercises you could do on
your back because I started to feel that I was spending too much time
looking down at the mat. However, the bonus is a test for your patience
Due to the fast-paced style, I'd recommend this to anyone who has a
basic knowledge of Pilates and Yoga. A Yoga mat is needed, even though
this is presented as a Pilates workout. There are many Yoga postures and
while you are in the isometric positions it is helpful to be working out
on a secure surface.
Routine 2: This is a ½ hour workout designed for the legs and abs. You
will feel your entire body being strengthened and toned. The beauty of
Kristin's teaching style is in the motivational quality of her
challenge. She presents the challenge and gives you more options. You
can follow her and go for the advanced routine or you can choose
beginner or intermediate. I found I was alternating between all three,
depending on the exercise.
Bonus Routine: You could add this to the hour workout (Routine 1 and 2)
or you could use this routine when you have less time. I'd actually say
it is filled with creative interpretations of Pilates exercises.
Create Your Own Routine - Step-by-Step selections lead you to your
perfect exercise routine.
Audio Setup - Want to listen to your own music? You can select the
Instructor-Only Audio Track. I enjoyed the music on this DVD and it kept
me motivated. After exercising, you may enjoy the music-only audio track
for stretching. There is not a lot of stretching or a cool down section
at the end, so that might be an option.
This DVD is not only a true test of your physical strength, the
exercises will test your endurance and willingness to push your body to
the next level. I was very determined to make it through this workout
and on the second try I made it through most of the exercises. It
brought out an entire level of competitiveness I didn't even know I was
capable of and I was determined to make it through this DVD as if the
world would end if I didn't complete the exercises. Now I look forward
to incorporating this workout into my weekly routines.
Definitely an intermediate to advanced workout to try after learning the
exercises in the MTV Yoga, MTV Power Yoga and MTV Pilates DVDs. The
Music on this Pilates DVD is perfect and compliments Kristin's teaching
style. Whatever will she think up next? I can't wait for the next DVD
and I look forward to the challenge.
Pilates for the Lower Body
Relaxing Classic Pilates Workout, December 21, 2005
This is an excellent place for beginners to introduce themselves to
Pilates. It is also a relaxing workout for intermediate Pilates
students. Kathy Smith creates a beautiful caring environment with a
garden patio and beautiful mat colors.
The Hundred - a breathing exercise you do while you are on your back
with feet in the air. Challenging for the stomach muscles.
Roll Ups - from a completely flat position on your back, you roll up.
Once you accomplish this, the satisfaction of being able to do this is
immense! It is really challenging at first, but then you develop core
Single-leg circles - while on your back, you circle each leg
Double-leg Kick - laying on your stomach, you bend and extend your legs
Shoulder Bridge - laying on your back, you raise your hips
Shoulder Bridge with a Kick - with hips raised you raise and lower one
Side-Kick Series - a series of toning exercises for each leg
Swimming - you lay on your stomach and swim
Mermaid - a nice stretch you do side to side while kneeling
The entire experience is comforting, all while seriously toning your
lower body. There are enough strength challenges to keep you focused and
the exercises are classic. This is not fast enough for advanced Pilates
students, but could be used
for a relaxing workout in the evening.
On The Go
Altrec Camping, hiking and other
American Hiking Find out where
you can go snow shoeing. The fastest growing winter activity in the U.S.A.
the top fitness Web site last fall.
Athleta Athletic wear for the active women.
Baseball Express A huge
inventory of baseball gear.
Boater's World Boating, fishing
and water-sports gear, not to mention water-resistant stereo equipment.
Savon Health Click
on "Health Quizzes" to find your Body Mass Index (BMI)
Bowling Shirt Custom bowling shirts
and bowling-related items.
Denise Austin Blast Away the Pounds Indoor Walk
Walk Away the Pounds
Workouts on One DVD
Bustamove Animated figures
teach you how to swing, salsa, etc. Helpful for those video workouts!
Champs Sports Shop by sport!
Chip Shot Golf supplies.
How do the
professionals rate fitness equipment? Fitness
Sports Illustrated Web site.
CrossBow A new way to get
Weight loss, nutrition and diet.
Maintain Skin tone
while loosing weight...
Also see my beauty product page
Ultimate Body Firming
Discount Dance Supply
Offering name brands like Capezio, Natalie, Mirella, Danskin, City Ballet
and Baryshnikov, plus a variety of dance-related gifts,
makeup, tights and accessories. The place for dancing shoes!
Diet Smart Choose from six
customizable diet plans to help you lose one to two pounds a week.
Eastern Mountain Sports Everything
for campers, climbers and bikers.
diets and exercise. A comprehensive site with a resource center on
health. Also try: Pod Fitness
sessions onto your ipod.
Time to take a break and have some fun?
Espn ESPN sports news Web site.
Fifty Plus A site dedicated to
improving the physical fitness and promote active healthy
If you have found some great Stretching
DVDs or Videos...please write me
I am looking for the best Stretching Videos and DVDs!
Suzanne Martin Stretching
Ultimate Stretching Guide for the Body, October 7, 2005
Stretching improves flexibility and energizes the body, but it is also
important for good posture. ~Suzanne Martin
Suzanne Martin has cataloged almost every stretch known to humans in one
book. Page after page of head-to-toe stretches are shown in full-color
photography. You can either stretch during daily activities or create an
entire stretching routine.
What Is Stretching?
Head-To-Toe Catalog of Stretches
21-Day Posture Program
Basic Stretching Routines
Stretches for Sports - Tennis, Golf, Swimming
Stretches for Daily Activities - Computer use, Long Drives, Telephone
Standing, Sitting, Hauling.
Stretches for Pregnancy
Therapeutic Stretches for Neck and Shoulders
By stretching the body, you can stay healthy and supple, prevent injury
while playing sports or relieve pain and improve your posture. No matter
what you hope to achieve, Suzanne Martin's book makes it possible.
Each picture has details, like "where you will feel the stretching
taking place." There are also ideas about how stretching can prevent
lower back pain or even prevent fluids from being trapped in the lower
body (leg swelling.)
A Flexibility Test
Modifications of Stretches including how to intensify stretches
Names for all the stretches
STRETCHING is an excellent guide to more stretching techniques than I have
ever seen in an exercise routine/stretching routine DVD. The practical
stretching, for say computer use, makes this book indispensable.
Fit Now Work out with George to
get a lean body.
Fitness Online Learn from America's leading health experts.
Fitness Zone Find a health club wherever you are.
Fitter1 Look for the Tri-Level
Wobble Board used to improve equilibrium, coordination and posture.
Food Fit Includes a menu planner, recipes and advice from a nutrition expert.
KdDance Dance, Dress, Yoga, Sports,
Men, Kids. Clothes for everyone.
"Yoga is not one particular method. As soon as a
starts thinking, 'I want to be a better person, ' that's
the start of yoga." ~Baba Hari Dass
Illustrated Yoga - The Best Book I've Seen!
for Everyone, October 6, 2005
"Health is wealth. Peace of mind is happiness. Yoga shows the way."
Maran Illustrated Yoga is a complete introduction to yoga postures and styles of
yoga. Whether you are interested in Bhakti, Hatha, Karma, Jnana or Mantra Yoga,
there is something for everyone. Do you want to focus on self-discipline or
Is meditation important to you for a more relaxing lifestyle? This is the first
book I've found that covers the types of yoga and then explains the variations
within each discipline. So, Hatha yoga also has many styles - like Power Yoga/Ashtanga
or Kundalini Yoga, both of which I've tried and enjoyed.
Yoga can improve your mood, reduce stress, improve mental functions, improve
your self-confidence and reduce pain in your body. The emphasis on breathing
helps to release tension from the body, while the exercises improve flexibility
New to Yoga? There is a complete list of yoga clothes and props. There is also
advice on how to find a yoga class.
Introduction to Yoga - explains how it started
Muscular System and Skeletal Systems- pictures
Tips for Yoga Practice
Pictures of all the Poses with detailed instruction on the same page
While you may feel more inclined to do yoga with an instructor or while watching
a video, this book will introduce you to the postures. If you have been
practicing yoga for many years, you may find you can take your practice to new
depths through reading the details of each pose.
Chapter 15 gives advice on how to create a personal yoga practice, complete with
instructions and pictures.
This entire book is a beautiful celebration of yoga and all its varied
possibilities. Highly recommended to new or experienced yogis, teachers or
One of the enlightening aspects of this book is it gives names for all the
poses, which is wonderful if you have been looking for a detailed resource with
Rainbeau Mars Yoga Practice Vinyasa Flow
Revitalizing, June 23, 2006
Rainbeau Mars presents an intermediate practice session on a rocky shore in
Maui. If you enjoy exercising outdoors, this is a session with flowing postures
set amidst the ocean's power.
As waves crash behind Rainbeau Mars, she calmly moves through shoulder openers,
challenging plank poses and the traditional downward dog and cobra. Plank
becomes more challenging as you extend one leg behind you and then lower all the
way to the ground.
Moving as slowly as you are (the routine is highly focused and precise), you may
find yourself out of breath because you are truly lifting your body weight and
moving from standing to flat on your stomach to revitalize your entire body.
If you wake up and you feel tired and listless, try a bellydance routine and
then try this yoga practice. The positive narration and ocean vistas are
emotionally healing and completing the challenging exercises will give you a
renewed confidence to face the day. While many yoga routines seem to put me
right to sleep at the end, this one leaves you feeling invigorated and very
alive. You may also notice improved posture.
Special Features include working out without narration and additional bonus
workouts with front and side angle views. What I like most about this entire
workout is the focused narration and the insightful instruction throughout.
Rainbeau Mars' advice allows you to go deeper into poses than you ever thought
~The Rebecca Review
Total Yoga Level Three Fire
Warming Workout with Blissful Relaxation Session, December 19, 2005
The emphasis on breath work makes Total Yoga Fire a healing escape into
relaxation. This is one of the few portals into total bliss with an invigorating
yoga practice followed by stretching and relaxation. The entire experience can
then be enhanced by climbing into a warm bed and listening to Terri Oldfield's
Yoga Harmony after the workout. I have rarely reached such a blissful state of
relaxation, but this Total Yoga Fire is a definite portal to glimpses of worlds
yet unknown when remaining in a state of anxiety, stress and tension. To allow
yourself to be challenged by an intermediate to advanced practice session
increases your self-esteem. Then the sense of accomplishment you feel is
captured in the relaxation session.
Tracey Rich and Ganga White lead you through an advanced routine of challenging
asanas (poses) and vinyasas (series of poses). There seem to be more vinyasas at
the start as you completely heat your body. During the asanas you work on
balance and strength. The challenge is to continue through the vinyasas and to
complete the flowing series of A, B, and C salutations. The back bends can be
modified for intermediate students and the chest opening stretches feel
wonderful if you have been sitting at a desk for extended periods of time.
There are challenging balance postures and wonderful stretches. The inversions
are the most challenging I've ever seen and as an intermediate student, I won't
be standing on my head without the assistance of a wall nearby anytime soon.
There are very few modifications, if any. In fact, there are more challenging
postures shown by Ganga White that will take me four years or more to achieve.
He puts his leg up behind his back with his foot behind his neck. I've heard of
people being able to do it, but to see it is quite something else. Both Tracey
and Ganga show incredible flexibility from a lifetime of dedicated practice.
They are truly inspirational.
With the word "advanced" in mind, this will completely relax you
because you will use up every ounce of energy you had in a single 60-minute
routine. In fact, I'd highly recommend planning for an extended relaxation
session at the end. Climb into bed, relax completely, take a nap. What you will
then experience is not only the blissful elements of complete relaxation, you
will feel completely rejuvenated when you awaken. You may only drift off to
sleep for 15 minutes, but the effects are profound. You can literally feel
increased blood flow to your skin and a sense of calm engulfing you as if a
healing force is nurturing your body. You will be radiant as well as spiritually
Combine Yoga with
Cardio or weight lifting
and you can reduce muscle soreness.
Hemalaya Behl's Urban Living Yoga 3 Pack DVDs
Yoga Sites for Clothing, Jewelry and Props
(Organic clothes, handcrafted jewelry and breathable clothing.)
Yoga Props Yoga
Grip Gloves Eco
Yoga Pro Inner
Marie Wright Yoga
Yoga Zone for Weight Loss
Rebalancing Mind and Body, July 14, 2004
Al Bingham has a unique teaching style. He focuses on achieving
and maintaining the correct position for each posture. This particular Weight
Loss Yoga practice session relies on time-tested principles to achieve weight
By removing all the restlessness you experience from daily
stress, you can then start to address unconscious eating habits. Suddenly, you
are making better choices and wandering in the natural foods isle of your
grocery store. Since starting Yoga, I've rarely found myself at a fast-food
establishment and when I do happen to be there with my husband, I'm making
better choices. For example - salads or low carb options.
So, Yoga works. This I've proven to myself. It strengthens you
from the inside out and also helps you focus on your health instead of just
"exercising." Yoga actually makes you a more well-rounded person,
except you can see it toning your muscles and making your face look more
relaxed. In fact, if you skip your Yoga, you start to crave the peaceful
serenity of your daily "moment with yourself."
Al Bingham's voice is so pleasant and his instruction style is
positive and nurturing. I love how he takes a hands-on approach and really
guides you through each exercise. You can be assured you are doing it correctly
because he explains each position in depth.
This is one of the most accessible yoga workouts out there. The
exercises range from beginner to intermediate with some interesting variations
for the chair pose which made the pose less exhausting, and much more creative.
You will recognize positions like Warrior 1 and plank pose. There are yoga-style
pushups and the entire exercise routine is pleasantly paced. The Sun Salutations
are healing and teach you to breathe.
Al Bingham's calming voice makes this a favorite for late night
relaxing. The beach scenes take you out of your home environment and give you a
P.S. Also look for Yoga Zone Flexibility and Stress Release
Ali MacGraw - Yoga Mind & Body
Sands of time and time off your body April 5, 2000
Yoga has been the favorite exercise for me as long as I can remember.
Even as a child I would do some of these stretches in gym class. Later I
learned the peaceful effects of stretching and mental clarity soon
followed. To think clearly you must know yourself. To know yourself you
have to go to a place you can learn who you are. Yoga invites you to do
this. I don't get into the deeper spiritual side, but prefer to indulge
in the stretching and relaxing techniques. Light a candle and practice
this session in the evening before you go to bed. In the morning you can
push yourself a little harder and warm up your muscles for maximum
The Nordstrom of Yoga Videos, June 6, 2000
Karen's new videos will leave you refreshed and invigorated. Once I have
completed this challenging video, I feel stretched, strengthened, toned and very
peaceful. If you are just starting out, be patient with yourself. Yoga will
develop patience, character and strength. Think of each posture as a goal; by
the third or fourth time, you may achieve what you see. This video is a
combination of Pilates and Yoga. Ordering a sticky mat is essential (information
is included in video pamphlets) so you don't injure your muscles by slipping on
a carpeted surface. There are no spiritual references and Karen's calming voice
leads you through the poses in her organized way. The music is very relaxing and
almost makes this the Nordstrom of Yoga videos. I recommend walking for at least
one half hour before attempting the stretching exercises. This helps to warm the
muscles and allow for a deeper stretch.
- Natural Cleansing for your Yoga Mat and Props - contain natural essential
oils. Scents - Lavender, Tangerine, Eucalyptus and Peppermint.
Step By Step Session 1
Fitness Videos II