How Your Laptop Can Reduce Your Muffin Top: Downloadable Workouts Anytime Anywhere

For busy moms, or executives who might not always have time to make it to a gym, the downloadable workout is a simple solution. Pop open your laptop for a 10 minute butt workout.
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Because there really is no excuse for not working out, there are downloadable workouts that come right to your computer. Listen, the multi-billion dollar weight loss and fitness industries are not going to give up on ways to get you to spend your money on the promise of shrinking your waist-line, firming your arms, tightening your tush and getting more fit. And you know what? That's a damn good thing! If there's anything you shouldn't feel guilty about spending your money on, it's your health.

I think it's great that people are starting to embrace the idea of working out to their computer screens as an alternative to buying DVDs or skipping the gym. For one thing, it's environmentally friendly, isn't it? But more importantly, for busy moms, or executives who might not always have time to make it to a gym, the downloadable workout is a simple solution. Pop open your laptop for a 10 minute butt workout, or get out of your Herman Miller Aeron chair, and do a 20 minute ab workout right in your office.

I asked Chris Mansolillo, the General Manager of ExerciseTV which offers 500 downloadable videos, what the most popular downloadble workouts were for 2009. "Bootylicious Buns" with Stephanie Vitorino and "Incredible Abs" with Cindy Whitmarsh (both have two versions) are two of the top four ExerciseTV downloads. At ten and 20 minutes long respectively, these really are the no excuse workouts with no equipment necessary save for a single dumbbell in one routine.

"Bootlylicious Buns," taught by Vitorino, is a solid ten minutes of tush and thigh training. The second version is a bit more advanced than the first one, which is an excellent routine for novices to learn all the right moves, or even intermediate exercisers who are looking for an uncomplicated routine that incorporates squats, lunges and floor work. The second routine is a bit more intense, but Vitorino, a well-seasoned instructor, does a great job breaking down the moves and cueing good form.

"Incredible Abs," taught by Cindy Whitmarsh, is more of a non-stop circuit of various moves that incorporate the core in one way or another. Whitmarsh's bubbly personality makes many of the complicated ab-burning moves seem easier than they are. I'm not sure what she was doing with herself in high school and college, but if you told me she was a cheerleader, I'd have no doubt. Again, the second version of the workout is a bit more advanced than the first. Whitmarsh doesn't waste any time going from exercise to exercise so don't be surprised if you feel like you got a bit of a cardio workout at the same time.

The video player that you watch the downloads on is as user friendly as the instructors. The pause / play buttons are easy to see and the scroll bar takes you forward and back on the timeline seamlessly.

Mansolillo says exercise video downloads are changing the face of fitness since they're available online anytime and deliver results, "some of our most popular downloads this past year are top-notch workouts from the nation's hottest talent and have worked to deliver weight loss and body changing transformations."

I suspect downloadable workouts are just at the dawn of their popularity and I hope more people embrace this model as yet another way to fit exercise into any schedule. And at only a few bucks per download, it's a great deal, not to mention better for you than that mochaccino.

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