April, 2003
By:  Beth

OK girls it is tape time here!  Some of you know that I love walking but I am what you might call a fair weather walker.  So during the winter I wanted to find some way to still exercise.  So I decided to try a workout tape and see if I liked it.  I did like it but soon wanted to add more so I did not get bored and could pick what tape I felt like doing that day depending on my mood and how much time I had.  I have tried a few different kinds including Abs of Steel and Ab Yoga. 

Recently though I picked up a new one that is great and I wanted to share with you.  I know there has been a lot of talk about Pilates lately and I was curious myself about how affective it is and how hard it might be.  So I set out looking for a beginner version to try.  I found a great one!  It is called Pilates Workout For Dummies.  For those of you who have ever seen any of the dummy books like Windows For Dummies, it is the same idea.  Another plus to this one was that it was very reasonably priced at only $6.99 in target!  The tape starts with a very simple introduction that shows you some of the basic body positions and moves.  The instructor Michelle Dozois shows you the correct way to do the move and then shows you common mistakes.  She also explains that while they go through each exercise, at times they will put up a small section in a corner of the screen.  In that section she will show you ways to make the exercise easier or harder and tell you what the most common mistakes are and how to correct them.  The next section is the actual exercises.  She first shows you how to do the exercise and how many times she will do it. She shows you how to do each one very clearly one at a time.  It is very easy to follow along.  I have only had the tape for a couple weeks so I can not say how effective it is yet.  I would definitely recommend this tape to anyone who wants to try Pilates. 

My guidelines for someone who would like to start exercising with workout tapes:

First off and very important is if you have any back problems or have not been exercising it is a good idea to check with your doctor before you start.

Next get yourself a good mat of some sort to exercise on.  You can find these in most department stores for a very reasonable price.  A helpful tip is that I found that the exercise mats were more expensive then one of the mats that they carry by sleeping bags.  The mats are about the same size and thickness and work just fine and are less expensive.

Dress in comfortable non restricting clothes.

I found it helps to try to set aside the same time each day to exercise.  It really becomes a habit after a bit and your body will look forward to working out each day.

Start with simple beginner tapes.  They are easier to follow and after a while you can go to a harder tape when you feel you are ready. 

If you have any questions or suggestions of tapes that you have tried and liked please feel free to let me know!