Friday, August 10, 2012


THE FRIDAY FIVE - The summer may be half over, but we all know that the best time to hit the beach is in the fall... when the water's warm, crowds die down, and (if you live in New Jersey) the beaches are finally free again!  Realizing that Labor Day is right around the corner... or perhaps that your first day of school is coming up... you want to feel and look good going into this new year... and especially going into the holiday season where (let's be honest now) many of us will gladly throw on heavy sweaters to cover up the fact that we're gobbling up all those holiday treats and goodies!  So, how are we going to feel and look great leading into September?  By looking ourselves in the mirror and saying, "I love you" to ourselves and then grabbing one or more of the following workout DVDs to tone up and slim down!  Seriously, I am going to do this right along with you all... I don't want to be left out of our better body renovation and fitness revolution!  So, no matter what sort of shape you are in, how old you are, or how ambitious... I have put together my top 5 DVDs for EVERY BODY.

This is a great beginner's video.  A half hour of walking... sneaking in some arms mixed with a couple of gentle kicks, lunging butt-kicks, and knee raises... is the perfect recipe for low-impact weight-loss success.  I used to do this workout a half hour a day and stayed incredibly fit by doing so.  Walking is one of the best things you can do for your body and walking the equivalent to two miles a day is amazing for your good health... but don't take my word for it, try it for yourself!  (BUY VIDEO)

Time and time again, I'd walked by this DVD, chuckling a little to myself at the idea of a Bollywood workout... that is, until I tried it.  Hemalayaa's voice over is a little bit silly sounding, but when you get down to the movies and the sequencing... you're REALLY WORKING OUT!  If you can make it through the whole DVD without your thighs burning for the next several days, then you've got some mighty special and in-shape legs... but even I found this difficult, although effective once you press through.  Lots of jumping mixed with fun Bollywood moves to keep the workout silly and fun... you can't help but laugh an smile the whole time, even if you're starting to feel sore.  Even Ellen loves Hemalayaa's workout!  Seriously, though... this is a great ab and thigh workout and is great for improving the mood and increasing stamina.  I've even taken some of the moves into my dance classes and incorporated them into the warmup workout!  (BUY VIDEO!)

#3: P90X - AB RIPPER X
Fifteen minutes (yes, 15 MINUTES) and you're well on your way to a six pack of steel!  Effective exercises for sculpting, strengthening, and lengthening the abdominal muscles will not take up too much of your time, but will change an enormous part of your life!  You are advised not to do this workout every day because (quite frankly) your body does not need to... but throw it on two to three times a week (especially in the morning if you're going out on a hott date!) and you'll see results more quickly than you'd think.  The workout moves quickly enough to keep your interested, but is challenging enough to require your  motivation throughout.  One of a long series of videos in the P90X system (including YOGA X), but definitely can stand well to supplement ANY workout! (BUY DVD SYSTEM)

Go ahead, laugh at me... but this is quite possibly my favorite workout of all time... mainly because I LOVED (and still do) to dance as a child and would pop it in every single day that I wasn't attending a dance class.  My Gram would humor me by popping the (from what I remember) PINK VHS into the VCR and sit back while I danced my little heart out.  I'm pretty sure that she was happy to have me occupied and smiling for that half hour every day... and that's if I only watched it once.  Anyway- looking back at this workout now and looking past the late 80s/early 90s outfits, music, and style of dance, this is an INCREDIBLE cardio workout that increases stamina and calls for great coordination, rhythm, and enthusiasm!  I am actually considering spending a half hour a day working on cardio with Barbie for the next month!  Hey, it's silly, it's fun, and it's effective!  Let's bring back a time when overweight children were the odd person out... NOT THE NORM!  Bring back the Barbie Basic!  Get those hearts pumping!  Seriously!  Try it out by yourself, with your female friends, and with your kids!  It's challenging... but fun!!! Oh, and have I mentioned that the little girl up front in the white bodysuit and blue leggins is none other than little Jennifer Love Hewitt?  She calls herself "LOVE" here, and since all the vocals for the music tracks throughout the workout.  Pretty nifty, huh?  (VIEW WHOLE VIDEO HERE)

This one was a given... c'mon now.  If there was ever a DVD workout to stand behind, it would be this one.  Complete with three levels of difficulty (each very different from the last), this incorporates cardio, strength, AND abs into a very fulfilling, result-producing, and challenging routine!  20 minutes a day for 30 days and you will drop weight, build muscle, and feel damn sexy.  I know this, it worked for me a few months back when all I wanted to do was fit into a dress for a wedding... I instead ended up dropping a ton of pounds, slimming down, and finding myself walking taller, smiling more, and encouraging quite literally everyone around me to join on for the 30 Day Challenge as well.  (Check out my experience HERE)  Level 1 is absolutely wonderful.  Level 3 is my favorite.  Level 2 is pretty rough, but worth giving it a shot if you want some killer legs and abs.  The woman's a beast, but she knows what she's talking about... so if there is one purchase that you are going to make, make this be it.  You owe it to yourself to be the best you possible.  Shred it and be set free! (BUY VIDEO)

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