- Exercise & Fitness
High Heart Rate, Low Impact: 3 Cardio Workout Videos
I love workouts that make me sweat -- a lot. If I'm not tired and out of breath at the end of a cardio session, what exactly have I been doing for the last 30 to 60 minutes? When I finish aerobic exercise, I want to be flushed, sweaty, and smelly. While my husband might not appreciate the last, I view these qualities as indicators that I have done something healthy for my body.
A good quality cardio workout is often synonymous with a high impact workout. However, for reasons ranging from joint problems to personal preference, a high impact workout is not realistic for every exerciser. Thankfully, there are many fitness choices available for those who want a high heart rate but low impact to the joints. Try one of these three at-home DVDs for an intense workout that keeps your feet on the ground but sends your heart rate soaring.
Kickbox: Core Cross Train DVD Preview
Kickbox: Core Cross Train
Patricia Moreno's Kickbox: Core Cross Train video is deceptively intense. Running and jumping are nowhere to be found on this DVD. Instead, Moreno delivers a low impact workout in multiple segments that will get the sweat flowing. This kickboxing routine focuses on initiating movements from the abdominals. Moreno says that by exercising with this kind of core awareness, "you'll never have to do another sit-up again." This is not some baseless marketing scam -- it's true. I consider myself to be at an intermediate fitness level if not higher, and I felt this effects of this workout the day after I used the DVD -- and the day after that.
Moreno's DVD is broken down into the following sections:
- Punches: In a horse stance that works the thighs, Moreno warms you up and works your arms with about 20 minutes of various punches.
- Core Energizer: The most invigorating and intense part of the workout, really drawing your core and punches together while getting the heart working for about 25 minutes.
- Power Kicks: In this section Moreno teaches a selection of kicks, focusing on balance and gluteals for about 20 minutes.
- Ultimate Kickboxing: For the last 10 minutes of the DVD Moreno puts punches and kicks together into various challenging combinations. This section ends with a 5 minute cool-down and stretch.
- Bonus: Moreno includes a pilates-inspired core sculpting session that challenges your midsection for 15 minutes.
I loved the gorgeous desert scenery and the music that accompanied this workout. Moreno is upbeat, affirming, and beautiful. The DVD as a whole reminds me of a yoga flow in its gentle intensity, but is definitely aerobic and challenging.
Ultimate Body: Lose Weight Fast
Another fitness title I enjoy that delivers high intensity yet low impact exercise is Exercise TV's Ultimate Body: Lose Weight Fast. This DVD offers three complete 20 minute workouts which can be done separately or together. There are also 15 minutes of mini bonus workouts. The main workouts are:
- Quick Calorie Blast: Led by Michael Carson, this routine requires only a light hand weight, although even that is not necessary. Carson takes you through an intense round of cardio moves that rely upon large muscles to increase the heart rate instead of plyometrics (jumps). He hits every major body area, including the abdominals.
- Quick Trim Torso: Steve Maresca demonstrates this low impact routine using two pairs of hand weights to tone every muscle group. From arm toning to balance work to lunges, Maresca gets the body working and the heart pumping without lower body strain. I really enjoy Maresca's friendly yet no-nonsense demeanor.
- Cardio Blast: Stephanie Vittorino shares her 10 favorite strength moves that also deliver an aerobic workout. There are one or two higher impact moves in this section, but they can easily be modified. Be sure to have hand weights and a mat or soft surface handy.
These three workouts get right down to business and don't waste any time in getting to the aerobic moves, which is important in a 20 minute workout. Carson, Maresca, and Vittorino all know their stuff and that translates into 60 minutes of quality low impact exercise.
Personal Training With Jackie Warner: Power Circuit Training DVD Preview
Personal Training With Jackie Warner: Power Circuit Training
When personal trainer Jackie Warner calls her DVD's content "power circuits," she means it. After a brief five minute warm up (which is high impact, so be aware and make modifications as needed), Warner and her crew launch into a series of nine strength circuits. Along with a mat, they use two sets of weights, light and heavy according to your needs, and the first-time viewer might imagine that Personal Training With Jackie Warner is all about strength, not aerobics. Don't be fooled! This workout is insanely aerobic, working every single muscle including the heart in 45 minutes.
Each circuit focuses on a single body area, such as glutes, quads, upper abs, and so forth. Within each 4 minute circuit Warner guides you through 3 exercises that work the area of focus. The circuits finish up with a minute of "power burn," where Warner has you perform each of the three moves in quick, back-to-back succession. These circuits are intense.
Thankfully, you don't have to complete the entire 45 minute DVD at once. There are different combinations of circuits that span varying lengths of time. The options are as follows:
- 15-Minute Total Body Circuit
- 40-Minute Total Body Circuit
- 15-Minute Abs Only Circuit
- 15-Minute Upper Body Circuit
- 15-Minute Lower Body Circuit
In addition, find Warner's bonus 5 Day Non-Cookers Meal Plan tucked inside the DVD case. This workout is not easy, but it is low impact and aerobic. In other words, it is not a waste of time.
Be careful to select appropriate weights for your fitness level, however. Attempting to go too heavy can lead to injury. Most of all, have fun and enjoy your sweat-inducing low impact exercise!