Pros: You'll feel great without exerting too much effort.
Cons: Hardly used the stretchy band!
If you are full of excuses for why you can't find time to exercise then check out the Walk Away The Pounds series! This video is perfect for anyone regardless of age, size, or exercise condition --especially if you are seriously out of shape this video will be perfect start for you! This is only a little more effort that walking around the neighborhood but you can do it at any hour or weather condition. If you are in shape you're going to love the excitement that she brings to the workout. I think you will work in a higher more consistent speed than if you walk on your own. If you don't have a full 50 minutes to devote to exercise you can still walk the 15 min.
I think this video concentrates a lot more on the legs and thighs. There is a little arm movement but more for getting the heart rate up than for toning. The few movements that are done with the band could help tone I suppose. You can control the intensity of the walk by how much effort you put in picking up your feet and pumping your arms which may increase as your fitness level increases. Leslie Sansone teaches the course at the fat-burning level but you can adjust it without feeling like you're missing out on anything.
There are some very basic moves: Walk (step) in place, side to side (one leg length), knee ups, kick (lift) forward and kick (lift) backs. These basic steps are shuffled around at different speeds and intensities. Occasionally the arms will be lifted to increase the heart rate. All exercises are based from the core. This is considered low impact aerobic because you will always have one foot touching the ground. You won't be bending over or stretching in weird ways so is also one of the safest workouts you can do.
The setting for this video is in a basic room with a brick wall. There are 8 walkers with Leslie, most of them have appeared in her other videos. She points out that most of them are grandmothers. They are not "skinny" or "gorgeous"; they're just normal looking healthy women of many body types and ages. Leslie is a very energetic highly motivated woman. I think she does a fine job instructing her videos, she's very peppy and motivational. She talks to the audience and she talks to the walkers. She tells you a little about the moves and how it will help your health. She does a lot less chit-chatting in this video than in others. Leslie has been in the fitness industry for 25 years (as of 2004) and instructing walk videos for 11 years. Her Walk Away The Pounds series is a best seller worldwide.
The video is 51 minutes which gives you a short warm up, a 45-minute high intensity walk, and a short cool down. You can choose to do 1, 2, or all 3 miles. It takes 15 minutes for each mile. The first mile is very fast paced, the second is moderate, and the third mile is slow. The stretchy band is introduced in the third mile.
The stretchy band is like a large rubber band. You hold on to each end and pull which gives you a benefit similar to weight lifting. The closer your hands are to each other the more strength it will take to do your workout so that gives you a lot of control over your intensity. If your copy didn't come with the stretchy don't worry about it, they're not that important and are only used a few times in the last mile. Doing the exercises without the band is still stimulating to the muscle. The band is certainly not worth paying more for in my opinion (unless you'll be using it outside of the video which could be beneficial).
This particular walk focuses more on the legs and thighs. There are several sets of kick backs (because there were a lot) and side lunges (if sinking down into it) that put a bit of uncomfortable strain on my knees. I don't have weak knees but if you do you could take it at a lower intensity during those two moves to avoid problems. There is a lot more emphasis on balance work in the video. The balance is simple -- such as reaching the right hand out as you lift the left leg. Balancing helps get your brain stimulated as well as helping you keep your balance to prevent falls in the future.
I have a few of Leslie's walk videos. I have been using her videos exclusively for 9 months now (and counting calories) and have really notice the difference in tone and I am down 2 pant sizes so far so I do believe it works!
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