Tag Archives: fitness

DVD Review – Weight Watchers Punch! (Beginner)

I’ve done boxing workouts before and really enjoyed them so I was excited to try this Punch! Weight Watchers DVD. I know a lot of people think WW DVDs are not hard workouts, and I have no idea why they would think that except they’ve never done one before. Don’t let the name fool you. These aren’t DVDs especially geared toward overweight people (although I will admit that they do accommodate that group).

Punch_WP

Anyway, I was at Costco a couple of weeks ago and saw this DVD as well as the WW Belly, Butt and Thighs DVD. I was planning to only get one but couldn’t decide between the two so I just got both. Since then, we’ve had family staying with us so I haven’t had the chance for an at-home workout. Finally today everyone went out, leaving me home alone (my dream come true) so I got to it.

So this DVD offers three levels. I figured since I haven’t worked out in a while–OK, a year, stop badgering me!–that I should start with beginner. At a total of 30 minutes, including warm up and cool down, it seemed too short. I am a huge fan of the shorter workouts for when there are time constraints (and when aren’t there?) but I always feel like by the time I get going, it’s over. Also I felt like the moves were not challenging enough. Not sure if it’s because I’ve done boxing before or if it’s just that beginner level. I also thought it would be a little more cardio. This is not a vigorous workout. Of course, if I had actually read the back of the DVD, I would have seen that it’s a low-impact workout. But really, who has time to read the back. I’m just looking at the front. If it’s appealing, I’ll try it.

I’d definitely recommend the Beginner workout for people just starting to exercise, or who are limited on time. I won’t do the Beginner level again, but I am anxious to see what the other two levels offer.

PROS:

  • I’ve yet to find a DVD instructor I really like, but this one is among the less annoying. Not too “rah rah” but encouraging.
  • DVD comes with weighted gloves. I could definitely feel more resistance in the moves because of the weight. At the same time, not too heavy that they are inhibitive.
  • Moves are easy on the joints. As someone with knee issues, I really appreciate this.
  • Background music is not annoying.
  • Set design is nice.

CONS: (For beginner level only)

  • Too short
  • Not challenging enough

OVERALL RATING: Worth trying

SWEAT FACTOR: Minimal

FUN FACTOR: Not too shabby

The Tale of Two Pedometers

I know a lot of people think pedometers are full of it, but for me, it helps to keep me going. When I look down at 11 a.m. and see only 1,000 steps, it gives me motivation to go for a walk during lunch. (True story, it happened today!) I’ve also noticed pedometer peeps are loyal to their brands. I’ve tried too many pedometers to count and always come back to the Weight Watchers pedometer. While it seems to give me a few extra steps, I’ve found it to be pretty reliable. Plus, if you accidentally drop it in the toilet (and bonus if you have a husband who will stick his hand in to get it out), it will keep working. Not that that’s happened to me or anything.

Moving on. My new job has a fantastic wellness program (more on that in another post), part of which is earning points for certain things that go toward rewards like gift cards and cash. Um, hello, up to $500 a year! That’s a pretty nice shopping trip! One of the ways to earn points is by wearing a company-provided pedometer, which you then upload your steps for points. (Their marker is 7,000 steps.) As much as I love my WW pedometer, I need the money, honey! OK so I finally got my new pedometer and wore in Sunday. That day I did Just Dance on the Wii, tons of cleaning, played outside with the kid, etc. Looked at the steps at the end of the day, fully expecting at least 10,000, and saw a grand total of 5,625. WHAT? That cannot be right. Here’s the thing I find strange about this new pedometer. There is nowhere to adjust the stride. You put in your height and weight online and it automatically calculates it for you. You cannot change it.

I was sure it wasn’t counting the steps right, but what’s a girl to do? Bring on the test, of course!

Monday I put on both my new pedometer and my trusty WW one. It was a good day for the test because I was off work and out all day, so I was going to do tons of walking around. I mean my Costco trip alone had to have been a couple thousand steps! (BTW, I have this new trick at Costco where I do one aisle on each side at a time so that I have to keep walking across the store for more steps. I’m sure the other customers find it annoying but I could give a crap; I need that movement!) So what do you think the test showed at the end of the day? Guesses? Anyone? Bueller?

Even I was surprised at this:

FotoFlexer_Photo

I know it’s a little hard to read with the light reflections, but yes, you are seeing that right. The WW pedometer showed 10,108 steps and the HealthMiles pedometer is at 6,332. I’d say a 3,776 difference in steps is pretty significant.

I’m sure the HealthMiles pedometer isn’t counting right, but it also got me thinking: maybe the WW pedometer I love so much isn’t counting the steps correctly either. On to the 100-step test. I took 100 physical steps. The WW pedometer counted 112 steps and the HealthMiles pedometer counted 37. I’ve since done that a couple more times, and every time the count changes.

This brings me to one conclusion: pedometers are ridiculous! I know two things to be true: (1) pedometers are a great way to be conscious of your activity and a great motivator to get up and move, and (2) pedometers are not a completely accurate measurement of steps taken.

Back to my real problem. I need to hit 7,000 steps a day to get my points and I have a pedometer that’s under counting. I guess I could call the company and try for a new one. But maybe the better solution is to keep this one and, excuse my lame humor, really “step it up” to get 7,000 (which is really more like 10,000). Either way, I’m moving more than before and that’s probably the more important thing. Of course, a little extra money never hurt anyone!

Turkey Trot: The Aftermath

Sounds dramatic, huh?

I’m sure you read my post about getting ready for this year’s 5K, after seriously struggling last year. And I know you are dying to to find out how I did. Of course, if you follow me on Twitter, you already know . . .

. . . that I kicked ass!

And just to clarify my own tweet, I beat my time by 3 minutes and 24 seconds. (And lordy, you know 24 seconds make a difference!) My goal was to finish in 48 minutes, which would have been a two minute time cut. So I beat that goal and more, so you could say I’m pretty stoked about that!

The funny thing is that I felt like I was really having a hard time during the race so the final time kind of surprised me. They threw me for a loop this year and reversed the course direction, so instead of going down a steep hill with about a mile left, we went up a steep hill about a mile in. And I mean steep. Actually, it was one little hill, right into a bigger hill, right into a really  big hill. We had gotten off to a good start so I was disappointed to come to a slow down so early, but I trudged through and just kept telling myself that the worst was over early on so the race could only get easier. It was tough. My legs were jello after only 20 minutes, but you best believe I was going to keep going strong.

Did I mention that I had some encouragement along for the ride?

Me and mom. All I can focus on is how cute mom looks and how my shirt is all jacked up and stuck on my belt.

That’s my bestie, mom, on the left. Even though her rah rah-ing sometimes annoys me, there is no one else I’d want to do this with! I don’t think I mentioned before that I’ve been doing the boot camp with mom, which is one of the reasons I’ve loved it so much! (Awwwwwww!)

Anywho, we rocked this race. 2012: Chip time, 46:48; Pace, 15:04 vs 2011: Chip time, 50:12; Pace, 16:10

I’ve done bunches of 5Ks over the years, but the last time I was under 47 minutes was at least nine years ago and I think more like 10 or 11. So, yeah, that’s pretty awesome.

So to recap, mom and I are awesome and killed it this year. I’m already looking forward to next year. I’m gonna smoke those turkeys.

(Turkeys, get it? It’s a Turkey Trot? Sigh.)