Collage Video, For An Introverted Exerciser

Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art

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.

Exercise:

  • 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.

This one’s a doozy, but I love it. (Image credit: collagevideo.com)

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.

Try it. I dare you.

Some of my favorite instructors based on intensity level are:

Advanced:

Cathe Friedrich, Patrick Goudeau, Jari Love, Amy Bento Ross, Paul Katami, Seasun Zieger, Amy Dixon, Mindy Mylrea, Kristi Molinaro, Toby Massenburg, Sharon Twombly

Intermediate/Advanced:

Kelly Coffey-Meyer, Jeanette Jenkins, Michelle Dozois, Tracie Long, Rob Glick

Intermediate:

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…

138 Responses to “Collage Video, For An Introverted Exerciser”

  1. Marylin Warner

    Okay, as much as I love this blog (and all your writing), I can’t seem to find the reference to National Cream-filled Donut Day??? How does that fit into the workout plan?
    (I’m still smiling, Carrie. After you posted the question on my post about my mom, when I came back from getting groceries–and a Boston Cream-filled pastry!–you’d already beat me to it and gobbled down your donut.)
    My mom would be proud of both of us!

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      Yeah, I guess I kind of contradict myself there–cream-filled donuts and a post on exercise. Hmmm.

      It was funny, because I read your post earlier this am. A couple hours later, my husband came home from his coffee run carrying a box of donuts, and he had a vanilla-cream one for me. I never said anything to him about it. But, of course, I ate it.
      ;)

      Reply
  2. Madame Weebles

    I envy people who actually like to exercise. I do not enjoy exercise, generally. I like walking, and I like walking long distances, but exercise of the “working out” variety doesn’t interest me. I like swimming. I just joined a gym with a pool so I can go swimming. But I stay far away from the rest of the gym equipment.

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      Well, swimming is a good choice. Good cardio (unless one’s just splashing for fun…) and good for muscle tone.

      I like going for long walks, too. I should probably use the time to contemplate and plan, but instead, I pop on my headphones and veg out to music. But even then, sometimes ‘A ha!’ moments come through.

      Reply
  3. Arizona girl

    I’m glad to hear you like your fitness! Cool post for people who need workout videos for at home. I’m more of a gym, and especially group fitness class, person. I don’t know what it is, but put me in a room full of sweating fitness fans all moving to the same beat and I go a little crazy. Back home my routine consisted of a healthy balance of Turbo Kick, Zumba Fitness, Body Pump, and Spin!

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      I figured you’d be a gym person, what with your job and all. I suppose when one is a fitness trainer, it’s a good thing to want to work out with other people. I’d be in a heap of trouble. I’m not sure if you saw my blog award acceptance post a couple entries back (A Threesome, How About an Eightsome?), but in the award from you, I mentioned you might make me do burpees if I made any fuss.
      ;)

      As always, thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  4. susan sheldon nolen

    I walk everywhere when I am in England as I don’t own a car there, so no exercise needed, but when state side…wow…where is the nearest gymn! I prefer having it as a part of daily life and not something you have to go and do!

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      So true, and that’s the key to success: exercise has to be a part of daily life and not just an occasional after thought.

      I love vacationing in big cities. We do so much walking. It’s great to have everything accessible by foot.

      Reply
  5. Kourtney Heintz

    I’m a huge fan of exercise DVDs. Especially when there isn’t a class in the area. I have a couple BellyDance videos I adore. It’s cool to see yourself improve and not have to worry about taking down a classmate. ;)

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      I’ve never been brave enough to buy a belly dance DVD. Even in the privacy of my own home with no one home, it wouldn’t be fair. After all, there’s always the chance of a ghost wandering by. And who in their afterlife would want to see that?…
      ;)

      Reply
  6. Curmudgeon-at-Large

    What type of exercise do you do?
    I go through extreme-cardio when opening my bills.
    Do you enjoy working out or would you rather eat barbed wire?
    Eat barbed wire. Ingesting it isn’t so bad, it’s the next part that gets unpleasant…
    Do you have any favorite instructors?
    Sure, Marisa Miller, Jessica Biel or Brooke Burke; I could watch them all day.
    Do you pee when you jump up and down?
    No, because I stopped jumping up and down.

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      Ha ha–great answers! And yes, I imagine the digestion of barbed wire could be a bit tricky, not to mention its ultimate expulsion.

      Thanks so much for stopping by! Here’s hoping your day is free of bills and full of Jessica Biel.

      Reply
  7. Elliot

    I’m a bit late to the party on this one but…

    I love exercise, for me I use the gym. I couldn’t manage working out at home. I use the weights and other cardio machines which works for me. When I’m doing exercise with weights, or the weight machines, I tend to write down what I’m going to do so I can focus on more specific things. On the cardio front I like running but cannot do too much of it as I seem to have a calf problem that flares up with too much running.

    Each to their own though, clearly the videos etc work well for you.

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      My husband prefers weight machines, too, but I like using free weights, so working out at home works great for that. I’m just not a gym scene person, though I used to be when I didn’t have any equipment at home. But you’re right–it’s whatever works for a person and will keep them coming back.

      Thanks for coming by. One’s never late to my parties. Probably because I never throw them…

      Reply
      • Elliot

        Actually I prefer free weights too, but certain weight machines are useful. When I first moved over here, I worked out with a trainer for a few months, so I learnt loads of decent things I could use on my own.

        I try to aim for three times a week, although I’m not yet sure how I fit that in with the new job.

        Reply
        • Carrie Rubin

          Yes, the job can throw the workout schedule for a loop. That’s probably another reason I work out at home–no travel time. When I had to be to work by 8:30, I could still work out in the morning without having to worry about driving to and from the gym.

          Reply
  8. acflory

    I’m not fond of gyms and my patience levels are too low for DVDs but I LOVE working out in my garden. I can zen out for hours until sunburn or pulled muscles tell me it’s time to go inside :) There is something so damn good about feeling tired after you’ve done something physical. It’s great for the brain too.

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      It is good for the brain–makes us sharper. There have even been findings that some of those routines with difficult choreography challenge the brain even more–in a good way.

      I’m sure gardening can get your muscles moving and your heart rate going. Plus, you get a tangible product out of your efforts!

      Reply
  9. Audrey Kalman

    I am probably giving away too much by saying I used to do AEROBICS when people wore LEG WARMERS. The thought makes me cringe! I used to run–even did a half marathon and numerous 10Ks–until my knees and back gave out. Now it’s just walking, a very occasional bike ride, and regular Bikram yoga. Yes, that crazy yoga where it’s 105 degrees in the studio. After 20 years of other types of yoga, I never thought I’d go for it. But I tried it out, got hooked, and after a year it has been the key to helping heal a chronic back injury. I’m a little concerned about how repetitive it is, but I only do it once a week or so.

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      105 degree yoga. I’m impressed. I do yoga once or twice a week, not so much because I like it, but because I know it’s good for me. But I prefer a nice comfy room temp. I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to temperature control.
      :)

      And although it pains me to admit it, I too have owned leg warmers in the past. I never wore them while exercising, but I wore them nonetheless. I suppose I’ll regret sharing that tidbit…

      Reply
  10. Subtlekate

    I would walk into other people thinking they are walls with out my glasses so no blind aerobics for me either. I ride a bike with my son, we do that a few times a week. When I’m not getting over surgery I do yoga like a mad thing. Maybe I look like a mad thing doing it. I walk a lot, if I can avoid taking the car, I will.
    I haven’t tried videos, but they sound like an introverts dream. Do they sound like drill sergeants though?

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      I try to get the DVDs without the drill sargeants, though I do have some Jillian Michaels workouts, and she is a bit bossy.
      :)

      My husband bike rides for exercise. I really should do it more, because I love it once I’m out there, but I end up just going for a walk instead. But in no time it will be winter. I draw the line at snowy walks.
      :)

      Reply
  11. Liz Hellebuyck

    Sometimes I would rather eat barbed wire. Yes. But I exercise anyway. I workout at the gym. To make it worse, I work out at a university gym. It’s cheap for staff (me) but it means I have to work out next to people who are younger and in way better shape than me.
    My solution is to take off my glasses and pretend I’m alone. Sometimes it works. Okay, really, it doesn’t work at all, but it makes all those fit people fuzzier. That’s something. :)

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      You have no idea how much your comment made me laugh. Without my glasses (or contacts), I’d see nothing but fuzz balls. I never thought of using this to my advantage. The next time I’m at a hotel and have to use the cramped gym, I’ll have to try your technique. Of course, I’ll probably fly off the treadmill in the process, but at least if I can’t see anyone else, than surely they can’t see me, either…

      Thanks for stopping by and making me smile.
      :)

      Reply
  12. 4amWriter

    I used to be an avid exerciser (I love hiking, swimming, pilates, free weights, treadmill), but then I had kids and they became my exercise. :) I kept thinking I’d return to a regular regimen by now, but in the past year I developed arthritis in my neck, back, hips. Talk about a downer. So, now I’m trying to learn more about exercise that’s still beneficial yet won’t exacerbate the symptoms. I hear yoga is the way to go…?

    I give you a high ten for being so healthy. We need more spokespeople like you! :)

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you.
      :)

      Sorry to hear about the arthritis. Yoga can be good, but even some yoga moves have been touted as being potentially dangerous.

      I’ve had to modify some things as I’ve gotten older, which is always a downer. But at least it’s better than sustaining an injury. Always listen to the body, they say.

      Thanks for stopping by. Of course, you know now that every time I see your Gravatar, I’m going to think of a squid.
      ;)

      Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      It’s all about movement and occasionally getting the heart rate up, and it sounds like you already do that. I imagine some of your work experiences also get your heart rate up. But not in a good way…

      Reply
  13. i mayfly

    I was a fly on the wall the other day when a newly minted pair of RNs came to visit my brother (friends of his daughters) and they were asking about which 1/2 marathon the youngest was running next. Somehow the chat turned to new research that indicated that extreme cardio (of any variety, not just marathoners) actually generated lesions on the heart muscle! Just saying…everything in moderation? Or perhaps, everything you read in a research study ain’t necessarily so? -Nikki

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      Interesting. I haven’t seen that. I’ll have to do a literature search. But that being said, variety is key. One should not do extreme cardio every day. I alternate between high impact, low impact, yoga, etc. Helps prevent injuries, too.

      Thanks for telling me about that. You know the scientist in me will immediately go check it out.
      :)

      Reply
  14. butimbeautiful

    I like gypsy music. But…I don’t dance to it enough. I walk dogs. I don’t like to get up early. Not a good combo. I did once buy an exercise video but unlike you I didn’t change it often enough and I got bored. Oh well.

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      I think you should produce your own exercise DVD in which you dance to gypsy music. I will be first in line to buy it! And the best part is, I could do it in the privacy of my own home so no one would see how ridiculous I looked. “The Gypsy Rose Workout DVD.” I’m so there.

      Reply
  15. Cakes and Shakes...

    I admire you for supporting a small business, and not just caving to the giant that is Amazon – I used to do an even more dorkarific vas workout *on a trampoline* years ago. It kicked my butt (and I only fell off once). Now, I run a lot (as you know) but I really miss that bad lighting, dodgy frozen smiles of the instructors and having watched one of those a billion times, spotting the places where one of the instructors was out of step :-)

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      Yes, it’s always a treat to see the instructors mess up. I have one step workout where the instructor trips on his step. You’d think they would’ve edited that out, but no siree, he just keeps on stepping. Makes me feel better about my own awkwardness.

      But alas, this woman has learned trampolines were not meant for women who’ve had babies. I only had to try it once to understand why…

      Reply
  16. doncarroll

    you did hit the nail on the head as to the gym. i couldn’t do that either. someday i’ll get a bowflex and that would work. nice finish on your piece as that got a chuckle out of me.

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      Thanks. I do have to try and keep the humor in there somewhere. You men don’t have to worry about that, but every woman out there who’s had a baby knows of what I speak.

      We had a bowflex for a while. My husband really liked it, but for whatever reason, it soon began collecting dust. I prefer free weights, and after seeing it so neglected, we ended up passing it on to someone who’d use it. I think it’s much happier now.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

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