Unlike bears, many humans essentially hibernate year-round. Sure they leave their house to go to work or see a movie, but back at home it’s couch and computer time while they snack like grizzlies storing fat for next year’s winter. It's a common problem. The Library even contributes to America's lounging habit by providing thousands of great books for free. Who has time for a stomach crunch when there's Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove series to catch up on?
The Library also can be your partner in physical fitness. I don't just mean jogging in place while you wait for our automated book return to accept your items. No, I'm talking about DVDs designed to help you create an exercise regimen right in your living room. I've always been skeptical of such workouts until a friend gave me P90, the "easier" version of Tony Horton's more famous P90X workout. I’m a husky gentleman who’d lose to a honey-baked ham in a flexibility contest, especially if the ham has extra glaze. But I’m 10 days into the three-month P90 program and I’m seeing encouraging results. If I can get fit from at-home exercise, you can too.
Now, while the P90 series tends to have long hold lines that might discourage you, there are hundreds of workout DVDs the Library usually has on the shelf at any given time. With this much variety, you’re bound to find something you like. I wanted to spotlight a few choices here:
Leslie Sansone's "Walk Away" series - The title says it all. Leslie Sansone's various DVDs encourage power walking in place, incorporating basic aerobic exercise and the limited use of free weights. I've tried the three-mile walk and felt great afterwards.
Fat Burning Kickboxing Workout For Dummies - Don't let the word kickboxing intimidate you. There are 10 basic steps in this 60-minute DVD, which is estimated to burn 700 calories per session. Released in 2006, it was named by Fitness Magazine as the best calorie blasting DVD of the year.
Physique 57 – This series from New York City’s most popular exercise studio gives a full-body workout and requires no equipment except a ball and chair.
Exhale. Core Fusion Pilates Plus – Five 10-minute workouts mix Pilates and Yoga. A great program for people who don’t want to have to buy any gear such as dumbbells.
Tracy Anderson’s 30 Day Method – This one is particularly challenging because it’s long, to the tune of 90 minutes. It’s cardio with a lot of dance moves, so if you like to bust a move then this may be the workout for you.
No More Trouble Zones – Great mix of cardio and strength-training, like the P90 concept.
Bob Harper’s “Inside Out” – This one will make you burn for sure. You’ll need a few light free-weights as well to maximize the workout’s benefits.