Video Fitness

Chair Dancing Around The World

Jodi Stolove

Anyone who can sit up in a chair can do this video. I'm an intermediate-level exerciser who dabbles with beginner and advanced videos sometimes. I bought this video because I had foot surgery, and didn't want to spend six weeks without an aerobic workout. My fellow exercisers were age 5-95, normal weight to 100-pounds overweight, male and female. The video shows three levels to work out in. At first I had trouble getting in my aerobic zone, but lately, with large arm and leg movements, I've been getting 20 minutes in my "zone." The tape has frequent pulse checks, before, during and after exercise. The tape begins with a warmup and toning section. Then we have aerobics, followed by the "Carribean Calypso Cooldown" and "Tai Chair Stretch" -- my favorite parts (also my favorite music. The video's music ranges from the William Tell Overture to Spanish guitar music. The instructor and group use paper plates as props. I found those unnecessary. I tried the workout with wrist weights, but my shoulders ached, and it didn't improve my aerobic performance. I highly recommend this for people with foot or leg injuries -- possibly arm injuries if you use only one arm. For someone with a back injury, I would recommend asking your doctor. This video would be great for someone 100+ overweight, because I'm sure a stand-up video or walking program would be difficult. The chair-dancing burns calories, increases flexibility, and tones muscles. New moms (or pregnant ones) with small children could exercise together.

Beware advanced exercisers: The music and routines are not what you're used to. But if you're getting over an injury, it's better than sitting on the couch eating chips.

Instructor comments: Jodi's teaching style is enthusiastic, upbeat and fun. She seems genuinely thrilled to be working out to polka music, country-western music, and "Tai-Chair." She's nonjudgmental about teaching a range of ages and fitness levels. Her cuing is perfect. I can close my eyes and work out with her (perhaps blind exercisers would find this helpful).

Lilly Anderson

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