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Are fitness DVDs a good idea?

Many people are attracted to the idea of buying a fitness DVD at this time of year, buying into the idea of a better body, but are fitness DVDs the way forward?

Over time, fitness DVDs have become more and more popular, in fact, there are very few celebrities who haven't tried their hand at one. Newitts takes a look below at the pros and cons of fitness DVDs.

The Pros

Convenience

One of the main advantages of fitness DVDs is that they can be used within the comfort of your own home without the need for any additional sport equipment. This makes them popular with those who can't afford a gym membership, or perhaps can't get out due to the constraints of small children, and some people might simply choose to exercise in private rather than on show. All you need is sufficient space to work out and off you go. 

New-mums

Fitness DVDs are popular with new mums who are possibly confined to the house and may struggle to find childcare in order to get fit. Many new mums simply don't have the energy to go for a run or visit the gym and a home workout DVD is therefore the perfect solution. The market caters well to new mums and there are lots of low-impact, postnatal DVDs that fulfil the need for exercise post-birth.

Cost

Exercise DVDs are a much cheaper way of staying fit than joining a gym. Gym membership can be very expensive, and if you can afford to pay for it, you are then subjected to the constant pressure of having to go. You'll have worked out how many visits you need to do per month to make the membership worthwhile, and if you don't achieve this target, you may well beat yourself up about it. In comparison, a fitness DVD costs a few quid and can be picked up or put down whenever you feel like it with no feelings of remorse.

Privacy

The pull for many people towards using a fitness DVD is that nobody has to see you in lycra. If dressing up in sports clothingfills you with dread, what could be better than keeping it within the privacy of your own home? Particularly if you have issues with your weight. Attending a gym can make people feel very inadequate - we can't help comparing ourselves at times to the next Jessica Ennis-Hill who happens to be on the next treadmill.

The Cons

Profile boosters

Many fitness DVDs serve as profile boosters for celebrities who may have been off the radar for a while and wish to create a buzz. After all, creating a fitness DVD is a far quicker and easier way of boosting a profile than say, writing a book. With social media, the celebrity's new slimline figure can easily be marketed just in time to maximise sales. Whether the DVD is any good or not is irrelevant as many people will buy into the image or the celebrity.

Injuries

More injuries can be caused by exercising at home where you do not have access to fully qualified trainers to show you how to carry out exercises correctly. If you join a gym you'll receive an induction where you'll be shown how to use the equipment and weights correctly, whereas some home DVD workouts involve free weights being lifted without anyone trained around to supervise, meaning there is a risk of injury to the person.

Psychology

Bradley Cardinal from Origon State University conducted research on 10 popular American exercise DVDs and warns people that the combination of the DVDs' exaggerated claims and the demotivating language found in them could "potentially cause psychological harm." He concluded that all of the DVDs in the study had demotivating language – one in seven “motivational” comments overall were negative – usually taunting.

Unregulated

The Fitness DVD industry itself is unregulated so buyers need to be aware that some DVDs may be unsafe. Often the DVDs are aimed at beginners but many of the exercises contained in the video are more advanced therefore people must be aware of this and be in tune with what their bodies are capable of. For a new mum this might be tricky and could lead to injury or a setback in the post-partum process.

Would YOU buy a home workout DVD? We'd love to know your thoughts below.

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