I made an amazing discovery this week, and I'm sorry if I'm the last person to the party and you all already know this, but I'll just go ahead and tell you anyway: there are tons and tons and tons of fitness DVDs available on Netflix Instant Watch! Aaaahhh!!!
This has been great for me, because as I've confessed here before, I absolutely hate to exercise, and I get bored very easily when repeating workouts. Once I get bored with what I've been doing, I stop, and take a good looooooong time to pick up a new activity again. However, given that my wedding countdown is now in the double digits (GASP) and my efforts to tone my arms strictly through wishful thinking have failed, I need to pull it together, stop letting myself off the hook, and work hard. Having all these DVDs easily accessible makes it easy to experiment with different routines, and change it up quickly when I feel boredom and dread at the thought of repeating a workout I've already done. We have the Netflix disc that lets you watch anything on your Instant Watch queue via the Nintendo Wii, but I think streaming the workouts straight off a laptop would be fine too.
I've tried a few different DVDs now, and I'm going to throw out a recommendation for my two favorites so far:
Crunch Super Slimdown Pilates/Yoga Blend
This workout is about 45 minutes long and is more focused on muscle tone than cardio. I didn't work up much of a sweat while I was doing it, but my shoulders, triceps, abs, and back were all super sore the next day. It emphasizes moving through sets of poses fairly quickly, rather than holding poses for a long time. I think it would be easy to follow even if you are a beginner to yoga/Pilates.
Crunch Candlelight Yoga
I looooooved this routine. It's also 45 minutes long, and is designed to be more of a gentle, relaxing, deep-stretching yoga session than a real sweating, calorie-burning, muscle-building workout. It felt SO GOOD to do this the day after the other Crunch workout, when my arms and shoulders were sore. That's not to say that the DVD is totally easy--I never find the downward dog pose as "relaxing" as the yoga instructor seems to think I should--but it's definitely quiet and soothing. I would especially recommend it to anybody who's feeling stressed and frazzled by the state of their wedding planning (or by anything, really). Lots of deep breathing and laying on the floor is a WIN in my book.
The Crunch series in particular is almost completely available on Instant Watch, so I plan on working my way through them slowly. (Except for the Latin dance one. I don't think my dignity would ever recover from 45 minutes of awkward and uncoordinated attempts to merengue.) Do you have any particular favorites to recommend?