Life lesson: When the editor of DVD Talk sends you a list of fitness DVDs to review, look at the list before enthusiastically replying, "I'll take them all!" Otherwise your boyfriend will find you on a Friday morning, inappropriately dressed for a workout in pajamas and a sweater, flailing about the living room to Jane Fonda's instruction and watching intently as she explains the intricacies of Kegel exercises. To say that Jane Fonda isn't quite my speed would be an understatement, but to say I didn't end up with a light sheen of sweat and a moment of breathlessness would be an all out lie. While this workout isn't much of a challenge for people who are regularly active, anyone with a primarily sedentary lifestyle would benefit from a bit of Jane.
The DVD features two living room workouts equivalent to a one-mile walk. The first beginner series completes the walk in a 20-minute pace while the more advanced series pounds it out in 18 minutes. Most of the low-impact moves are appropriate for elderly participants or anyone recovering from an injury, but I tried picturing my grandmothers keeping up and concluded the pace may have been a bit quick at times for the target audience.
All you need are comfortable workout clothes, walking shoes (although I did it barefoot--do as I say, not as I do) and plenty of space to move.
I definitely felt my heart rate increase and found myself a bit sweaty and panting at times. For someone with a sedentary lifestyle, this would be a real challenge and likely effective at increasing heart rate, burning calories and aiding in weight loss. For elderly participants, I think it would aid in maintaining muscle tone and mobility.
Jane has one move in both workouts where you jump back and forth from lunges on opposite legs. This is where I felt myself panting and also decided that an older person might throw out a hip. Slowing this move down would make it less dangerous, in my opinion.
Jane Fonda is legendary in the workout video world and has a
pretty VERY killer body for a 73-year-old. Her cues are a bit slow making it difficult to stay in step.
The music is low and serves only as a beat to keep Jane on task. If you can follow her delayed cues, you won't even notice the music.
The set is an elaborate old lady-inspired living room with a book shelf, pink chair, fake plant and floor lamp that hasn't been in style since Jane's pre-plastic surgery days.
My only complaint was that the "Advanced" workout was just a faster version of the "Beginner" workout. I also disagree with the fast alternating lunges as a workout for an older participant. I think if it were slowed down it would be safer for her target audience.
I wouldn't do this workout, but it also wasn't designed for me. I think that older sedentary people would enjoy it and benefit from it, as well. I used my two grandmothers (ages 82 and 75) as a gauge in my mind and concluded that they would both probably enjoy doing this. I considered sending it along to one of them until I viewed the Bonus Features and found Jane Fonda talking about vaginas. Yes, it's true. The Bonus Feature is Jane explaining how to do Kegel (vagina) exercises. I guess it makes sense for the audience (as women age, their vaginal muscles become weaker and incontinence becomes a problem), but I just wasn't ready for Jane Fonda to say "vagina." Nor am I ready to send my grandmother such a video. Not to mention, a Kegel isn't really something you can teach on a video so it's kind of just an awkward several minutes of watching Jane say she's doing it. No thank you.