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Step One: are videos for you?

Disadvantages

There are some awful videos out there!
Though this is less true today than it was 10 years ago, many celebrities and has-beens have an exercise video out. What do celebrities know about exercise physiology and instruction? Not much, usually. The smart ones team up with an expert instructor, the less savvy rely on their name and face to sell the product. There is also a growing problem in the industry with unscrupulous marketers who repackage a 10 year old video, give it a new copyright and sometimes a new name, and sell it as new and innovative. Many such videos are dangerously unsafe and don't incorporate the knowledge that's been gained from recent research in exercise physiology. Always consult the Video Fitness reviews before you buy!

A video instructor can't correct bad form.
It's very important to listen to the video instructor's cues on form, especially if you've never taken a class with a certified instructor. Bad form can result in injury and decrease the effectiveness of the workout, so carefully view any instructional segment on proper form at the beginning or end of the tape, and try to imitate the instructor's form as closely as you can. Be aware that some of the instructors starring in outdated or "bargain bin" exercise videos could use a lesson in good form.

Video stretch segments are often too short.
Some videos (and even some live aerobics/step classes) do not allow enough time to properly stretch the muscles worked in the video. It's usually the stretch segment that gets short-changed, though some tapes have relatively short warm up and cool down segments, too. It's a good idea to stretch more thoroughly on your own after completing a tape, provided you know how to stretch properly.

Boredom.
Some people will find video exercise repetitive and dull. Others feel that a library of well chosen, varied workout videos can provide ample variety and prevent them from getting bored of their fitness program. You'll never know until you try!


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