I love to exercise. Really, I do. I know that’s not fashionable to admit, but it’s the truth. And when one considers the benefits, my passion for motion makes sense.
- Helps maintain a healthy weight
- Increases muscle tone and strength
- Improves blood pressure
- Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Lessens the symptoms of arthritis and improves balance
- Boosts the immune system
- Protects the brain from age-related deficits
- Improves mood (can be as effective as medication for mild to moderate depression)
- Boosts energy
- Improves sleep
- Enhances one’s sex life—Ooh la la…
- And more!
But working out almost every day requires repetition. Like Rain Man and Sheldon, I enjoy my routine, but even for us rigid types, that could get dull. So how does one stay motivated, especially an introvert like me who shuns the gym scene and finds cardio machines as appealing as bamboo shards underneath my fingernails?
Beat the Boredom
For years I have jumped and pumped to exercise DVDs. Well, let’s be honest. Originally it was Jane Fonda’s audio cassettes that kept my inner and outer thighs pulsing (now that just sounds dirty). But then those fancy VHS tapes ratcheted up my routine. And now I’m squatting and lunging to a large collection of DVDs. My assortment includes everything from step aerobics to kickboxing to weight lifting to—my favorite—circuit training and high-intensity interval training. Which means I’m never bored. An anticipated workout consistently drags me out of bed every morning and gets my heart thumping.
So today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite online shopping sites. I am in no way affiliated with this business, and they don’t know me from Connie, but I’d be lost without them. Collage Video, a Minneapolis-based, family-owned business, sells a huge variety of exercise videos produced by professional fitness instructors. In addition, their staff performs every workout and gives a detailed review of the product, helping the buyer know whether the exercise routine is suitable for him or her (advanced, intermediate, beginner, equipment needed, etc.). They even include a sample video clip.
Below is my own crappy photo showing part of the company’s description of the workout I previously imaged. For a better idea, visit the actual website and peruse their product descriptions.
Some of my favorite instructors based on intensity level are:
Cathe Friedrich, Patrick Goudeau, Jari Love, Amy Bento Ross, Paul Katami, Seasun Zieger, Amy Dixon, Mindy Mylrea, Kristi Molinaro, Toby Massenburg, Sharon Twombly
Kelly Coffey-Meyer, Jeanette Jenkins, Michelle Dozois, Tracie Long, Rob Glick
Chris Freytag, Tonya Larson
There are plenty of beginner videos as well and also specialty workouts for those with back pain, arthritis, or other limitations.
I apologize if this sounds like a commercial (and no, I am not receiving any compensation from Collage Video; they don’t even know I’m singing their praises), but I’m passionate about maintaining good health, and I remember how thrilled I was years ago to discover this company—back when it was a mail-order catalogue business. So I figured it was only fair I shared. Some of you might be interested.
What type of exercise do you do? Do you enjoy working out or would you rather eat barbed wire? Do you have any favorite instructors? Do you pee when you jump up and down? Oh, sorry, maybe that’s too personal…