*I AM VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS VIDEO!* I am thirty and just previewed this with another friend in her thirties, and we both agree that this is Kathy's BEST VIDEO YET! There are three twenty minute workouts: floor aerobics (that look like FUN!), toning, and yoga. I will be recommending this to all beginning exercisers~it is a very rounded workout. Intermediate exercisers can easily add more impact, heavier weights, ankle weights, or elevate the feet during bridge work~there is plenty of room to grow with this tape! If you are crunched for time, do one twenty minute segment, or you could do a morning, afternoon, and evening workout. You could also do a full hour at once if preferred~that's GREAT versatility! The set is very pleasant to look at. Kathy looks wonderful as always and is a fun partner in fitness. There is a LOT of information about menopause throughout the video (before, after, and in between workouts), and you know? It's never too early to learn about life and our bodies!
Mrs. Eric Lowery
January 19, 2002
Kathy Smith is wonderful as always. I bought this video yesterday, and what happened next was so weird. I recieved two calls from two worried and scared friends who have started having hot flashes. One friend is 40, and the other is 43. I am 40 years old and a health nut, so I purchased it out of curiousity! I love the tape. I think it is so informative and the workouts are short, yet effective. I learned things I did not know AND I was able to answer my girlfriends questions and make them feel better about what they are experiencing! I advise any woman 40 and above to get the video tape!!
I've only done parts of this workout. I liked it very much, but I can understand why people who bought the VHS version would be frustrated fast forwarding through the instructional information between sections to get to the actual workout. I'm glad I bought the DVD, so I can pick and choose quickly. I've done the aerobics section - about 21 minutes of mostly low impact aerobics with basic choreography. I've also done the yoga section (about 17 minutes) - a pretty basic stretch with Kathy's relaxing voice over instructions. I like this one.
I wanted to review this DVD from the perspective of someone who is decades away from menopause. I'm only 25, but I got this DVD for free so I tried it out.
This thing is PACKED. There are three exercise segments: cardio, strength and yoga. There is an introduction in which Kathy discusses menopause with other women, segments between workouts that explain how that particular exercise can help relieve menopause symptoms and help women grow older in a more healthy way, questions and answers with doctors about everything from hot flashes to sex, and advice on nutrition, vitamin supplements and general ways to feel better during perimenopause/menopause. There are even recipes on the DVD which you access by putting it in a CD drive on your PC. I actually learned lot and was impressed by Kathy's physique, not to mention much encouraged about how well I can potentially keep up my own fitness level when I reach menopause.
The cardio segment has very simple choreography--knee-ups, V steps, jabs and repeaters. Kathy has two background exercisers: Nancy (from Functional Fitness: Peak Fat Burning) who demonstrates easier moves; and Anita who adds impact. Kathy incorporates some balance moves in a way that reminded me of Charlene Prickett. I'm an advanced beginner and found that following the harder option was a fun challenge. The only problem? The cardio is only 20 minutes. If it were twice as long, this would be a fantastic workout for beginners or klutzes like me. You can always repeat the segment, though.
The strength workout is also 20 minutes, unfortunately. You just can't do a good full-body strength routine that short amount of time. There is a short warm up, then she alternates upper and lower body and combines some of them. She does squats, rear-delt flyes, side lateral raises, rear lunges, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, one-arm rows, standing rear leg lifts and bridge glute lifts. For most of the upper body she only does 8-12 reps and only one set. I guess it's better than nothing but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. For abs, she does face-up planks, toe dips, Pilates 100s, oblique reaches and lower back work. Then she does pushups for the chest. Why she doesn't work the chest with the rest of the upper body is beyond me. She also does Kegels. There is no stretching after the workout, but the yoga comes afterward so maybe that's supposed to be sufficient. Anita and Nancy are in this too. Nancy holds onto a chair for squats and shows how to substitute wall-sits.
For the yoga portion, Kathy is all alone in a room decorated with East Asian accents. This is pretty beginner yoga, in a good way. She demonstrates the poses and the instruction is a voiceover. She does child's pose, cat and dog stretches, bridge, spinal stretches, cobber's pose, half-shoulder stand (this seemed incongruously advanced) and focused a lot on relaxtion. This is also 20 minutes.
This DVD also contains a 15-minute version of Kathy's Pilates for Abs workout.
This is such an informative program that I recommend it to any woman (or man) who is clueless about menopause, and I'll keep it to use the cardio section as an add-on or warm-up before weights. I may use the yoga part too because it's not at all intimidating. I probably won't ever use the strength portion again.
I'm not usually a Kathy Smith fan but I rather like her here. She doesn't get overexited and doesn't seem insincere, as she appears to me sometimes. She seems to have more of a sense of humor than in her other videos (e.g. when explaing Kegel exercises, she says that they aren't apparent to other people so you can do them whenever you want and "have a little bit of a thrill for yourself."