During my last post about why exercise dvds are a cheap way to experiment with exercise, I mentioned that there are many types of workout dvds out there that can match up with whatever fitness fetish you might have. This post is a discussion of the advantage of an exercise program with a pre-designed eating plan and workout sessions.
Exercise dvds are not for people with discipline problems or need to be in a group environment when exercising. If you always need someone in your face to motivate you, then working out at home with dvds are not you.
The advantage of an exercise program
There are all kinds of exercise programs in the market — like P90X, Turbo Jam, Gilad Quick Fit System, and ChaLean Extreme. Their advertising is attractive and shows normal people in a tighter and smaller package after following their exercise program for the prescribed time period.
When I first started with exercise dvds, I was confused by the selection and how to put together a well rounded rotation for my weight loss goals.
An exercise program takes the thinking out of exercising. It is Tuesday, in this dvd package I brought, I am suppose to lift weights for 60 minutes and eat 1800 calories. Follow the program and I bound to see a change in my body (of course the reason why I cannot follow an exercise program religiously is a whole other story).
Why are most exercise programs either 30, 60, or 90 days long?
Most exercise programs are either 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days long. According to Franklin Covey, it takes 27 days to change a habit, so a 30 day program is just about enough time to change your sedentary lifestyle to something a little more active.
You will notice an immediate feeling of euphoria from exercising (it might take a few days if you have been sedentary all your adult life), but after 30 days of exercise, you will notice that your body start to crave movement when you stop working out. In terms of body transformation, you might see some weight loss if you are also following the exercise program’s diet, but you will not see the swell of beautiful biceps and flat abs in the commercials unless you are within 5 pounds of your vanity weight.
However, 60 and 90 days are when you will see results. This is why I think the really good exercise programs are usually more than 30 days long. Most of the time, you will see a steady decrease in your weight when following an exercise program (sometimes there is an initial weight gain in a strength intensive program due to muscle gain). But in an exercise program there is always a point when you wake up one day realizing that you shrunk several sizes overnight — your face looks puffy, your waistline is more defined, and you look like you have more muscle tone.
Remember how I talked about the advantage men have over women when it comes to weight loss in a previous post? Most men will see a difference in their body shape at the 1-1.5 month mark when following an exercise program. Their quicker body transformation is due to their larger muscle mass. It might take some women closer to 2.5-3 months to transform their bodies when following an exercise program. I know it is unfair, but that is just the way we are made.
An exercise program targets a specific training philosophy
If you spend any time reading fitness magazines or blogs, you will notice terms like aerobic weight training, HITT, heavy weights with low reps, etc. Whatever your training philosophy, there is an exercise program designed around it in a nicely packaged dvd set.
I believe that your body shape determines how well your body responds to an exercise program. For weight loss, I find that my body response very well to aerobic weight training (low weights with high reps). With the little extra padding I gained since my car accident, you cannot easily tell that my natural body shape is a ruler. Most of my excess weight ends up in my waistline. Being female, of course some excess weight end up in my hips and thighs too, but I am still a ruler because I still maintain the overall the ratio of approximately 2-3 inches differences between my hips and waist no matter how much weight I gain or lose.
I can do squats and lunges holding heavy weights and still not have a noticeable difference in my lower body (even though I joke about my bulking thighs). My sister, on the other hand, who has a more pear shape, does bulk up visibly on her thighs area when she uses heavy weights in her lower body exercises.
Can you design an exercise program on your own with individual dvds instead of paying for a pricey dvd set?
Of course you can. Because of my inability to religiously follow an exercise program, I have never been able to finish any program that I brought. I usually get close, up until the last two weeks, before starting a new routine or program. If I really want to over analyze my behavior, I will have to say it is my unconscious desire not to fail. If I don’t finish, I can never fail. Blah, blah, blah. Over analyzing anything is the path to destruction, let’s leave it that.
Here is an article from the Mayo Clinic about starting an exercise program. You can always read my post on how to starting exercising in your 50s and 60s for ideas on how to start an exercise program on your own.
Next time I will spend some time talking about some basic equipment everyone should have for home workouts.
Until next time and thanks for stopping by Small Steps to Health.
Photo by: dicktay2000.
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